Saturday 25 April 2015


Late March sees the first transformation of the year in the appearence of Milton Country Park.  The blackthorn comes into flower, producing large patches of brilliant white flowers throughout the park.

Blackthorn Blossom 23 March 2015

Elusive Blooms

On the edge of the Wetlands 23 March 2015

Despite its prominence, blackthorn is surprisingly elusive to photograph. The delicate white flowers, which appear before the leaves, create a light snowlike smattering across the surrounding vegetation.  To the eye, the blossom is obvious; in a photograph, the flowers are easily lost in the complexity of the surrounding bushes, or against the light grey of a typical spring sky.  In this image, the central spiral-like structure is evident, but outlying blossom is somewhat lost.

Flowering Bushes

Exit to Fen Road 23 March 2015

A lot of the blackthorn bushes in the country park are growing alongside the paths.  Intermingled with these are trees whose trunks are encased in dark green ivy. This tends to produce images with a very harsh and unpleasant contrast. An effect amplified by the narrow paths which often have one side in bright sunlight and the other side in deep shadow.  This view of the exit path to Fen Road does not have these very strong contrasts.  The building visible at the end of the path adds to a rustic feel.

Towards Fen Road Exit 23 March 2015

It is quite unusual to make an image of a natural environment that has any strong graphic qualities - trees do not grow in straight lines, bushes do not grow as perfect spheres, and plants and bushes freely intermingle.  However, here the white dome of the blackthorn, echoed in the background trees, provides a strong graphic contrast to the single white line of the birch trunk to the right.

Lonely Daffodils
North End of Todd's Pit 5 April 2015

Besides blackthorn, there are odd isolated clumps of daffodils like this scattered throughout the park.  Daffodils inevitably invoke thoughts of Wordsworth.  But a single isolated clump like this seems to epitomise the very opposite of the poet's sentiment: it is the daffodils that are as lonely as a cloud, and the onlookers (park visitors) who are the host.

In Summary

Todd's Pit 5 April 2015
This image is in someways a coda for this post: delicate blossom lost against the surrounding bushes and the grey sky.  Yet, the appearance of blackthorn leaves and the bright green of young shoots on other vegetation point to the greening of the park to come.

A Note on the Schedule

From now on, I shall be publishing a new post on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.  When I started this blog, I expected that each new post would reflect the changes in Milton Country Park in the previous fortnight or so.  It has come very forcibly to my attention that nature does not work like this: sometimes a lot alters in a very short time (like now in spring time); at other times, nothing much happens for weeks.  The contents of each post are therefore going to be dictated by nature.  When change is rife, I will playback the changes in slow motion and use more posts for a given time period.  When nature is dormant, I will fast forward and use a single post for a more extended time period.


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