25 May 2018

Unfamiliarity

Your friendly correspondent went out for another country walk yesterday. The weather forecasters got it right. Morning cloud cover burned off to reveal a warm, blue sky afternoon.

I love to walk in unfamiliar territory, plodding along by-ways, paths and lanes that have never felt my boots before. This is why yesterday Clint and I drove north of Doncaster to a village called Kirk Smeaton. After parking the silver steed in Rectory Close, I donned those boots and set off to discover what sensory feast The Lord God Almighty had prepared for me to enjoy.

How delicious and heavy was the creamy hawthorn blossom, festooning ancient  hedgerows as I walked south to the long abandoned Hull and Barnsley railway. Then eastwards along Flea Lane and up to White Ley Plantation. I was heading for the village of Norton but noticed that a windmill was marked on my Ordnance Survey map sheet.

It is in fact the old Norton Tower Mill, now part of a desirable country residence protected by CCTV cameras and a frothy-mouthed and rather  loud Alsatian called Satan. There's a good boy Satan! WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!...But he didn't get me.

Plodding by more hedges heavy with May blossom, I noticed a gap that seemed to frame the old windmill and I snapped the following photograph. It was the best one I took all afternoon and rather than cause distraction with other images, I have chosen to share it with you in splendid isolation:-
Though I say this myself, I think it sums up this beautiful Maytime in northern England quite perfectly.

By four thirty I was back at Rectory Close in Kirk Smeaton ready for the drive home. There spaghetti with meatballs was waiting to be prepared for our evening meal out in the sunshine. Nurse Pudding was already home. Clint would have to make do with unleaded petroleum.

30 comments:

  1. What a lovely photo. It looks positively bridal with all that white blossom.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer. I hadn't thought of it that way.

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  2. Only yesterday a friend and I were discussing dogs, and both of us praising the beauty of Alsatians aka German Shepherds. They certainly are a fine dog.

    That photo above of the old windmill and the white blossoms is outstanding....a beautiful shot, that is for sure.

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    1. Did you also praise the blood-crazed ferocity of Alsatians? Glad you liked the picture Lee.

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    2. No, but we did discuss the ignorance of lots of dog owners. There are people who should not have dogs because they have no idea how to teach, train them, care for them properly. Part of our discussion was about a dog's behaviour, good or bad - that it's behaviour is a reflection of their owners.

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    3. Satan's owner must be a ruthless tyrant - something like Attila the Hun with a raging hangover.

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  3. Your photo is beautifully composed.
    I have tried to read Marcel prousts book, " Remembrance of things lost" several times but never managed it. His description of the Hawthorne tree blossom will stay with me forever.

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    1. This?
      "When, before turning to leave the church, I made a genuflection before the altar, I felt suddenly, as I rose again, a bitter-sweet fragrance of almonds steal towards me from the hawthorn-blossom, and I then noticed that on the flowers themselves were little spots of a creamier colour, in which I imagined that this fragrance must lie concealed, as the taste of an almond cake lay in the burned parts, or the sweetness of Mile. Vinteuil’s cheeks beneath their freckles. Despite the heavy, motionless silence of the hawthorns, these gusts of fragrance came to me like the murmuring of an intense vitality, with which the whole altar was quivering like a roadside hedge explored by living antennae, of which I was reminded by seeing some stamens, almost red in colour, which seemed to have kept the springtime virulence, the irritant power of stinging insects now transmuted into flowers."

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    2. You have made my day!😀
      Thank you.

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  4. I shall have a tisane of lime flowers and a Madeleine to celebrate!

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  5. What an artistic photo of the windmill. It would make a lovely postcard of the place.

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    1. As you know, I take many photographs but just occasionally you know when you have captured a really special image.

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  6. I must say I wish Satan's frothing, snarling face were framed by the blossoming hedgerow, but I'll settle for the windmill. :)

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    1. If Satan's face had appeared in that frame, I would not have been standing around taking photographs! I would still be running through the fields of barley yelling, "HELP!"

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  7. Before I read what you wrote right underneath the photo, I thought "This is what May is all about."
    How do you know the dog's name was Satan? Did he (or someone else) tell you, or was he wearing a name tag on his collar?

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    1. It was burnt into the name plate on his kennel... only kidding - I just made up his name to fit his character.

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  8. What a gorgeous photo, it looks like a floral embrace!
    Thank you for taking us with you - always so beautifully descriptive.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. A floral embrace? That is a good way of putting it Maria. Thank you...abbraccio floreale.

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  9. Beautiful photo ! I see that your boy and his mate are in the Waitrose " Weekend" paper again. A very good write up for them.

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    1. Well I didn't know about that Frances. Thanks for the heads up.

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  10. Your words are poetry in motion as usual, my friend. But that photo.......no words can say how beautiful that is. You must try to paint it.....

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    1. Paint it? I fear I would fail miserably Donna but it's a nice thought all the same.

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  11. Great photo - you should sell it to the owners of the mill.

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    1. I would have to get past Satan first!

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  12. That is indeed a beautiful photograph! I am glad you were able to avoid Satan's reach for surely that would have taken your walk for a decidedly darker turn.

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    1. Yes, the darker turn would have been to the local hospital or the mortuary Bonnie!

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  13. Very few people know the pleasure of a good country walk because they don't make the effort and probably very few of them would appreciate the walk and scenery.

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    1. If you follow the rarely trodden paths you will sometimes encounter hidden visual treasures like the windmill framed by blossom.

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  14. Lovely! As much as I like coloured blossoms in spring, there's something special about masses of white flowers on draping branches, and you've caught that here as well as the framing of the windmill.

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    1. I am rather proud of that image Jenny. Thank you for your endorsement.

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