Saturday, 12 December 2009

Sunshine and Shadow

We finally got our (short) walk in the next valley today as we had to go over there with our son and his friend (off swimming at the complex). We parked up in the village and strolled up the lane that runs beside the Sannan river. It was mid-day, but the sun was at its height and by the time we had returned after half an hour, had dipped down behind the steep hillside and the bottom of the valley was in gloom, although the higher fields were still bathed in light.

It was difficult to get a clear picture of higher land though because there were so many trees in the way. I hope the little glimpses of the steep fields between the trees help to give an idea of the landscape in this little hidden valley.

We parked close to the church, which has recently had restoration work carried out on its tower.

This part of the lane along the valley bottom was already in gloom . . .

But behind the lovely Mill, the sun shone golden on the hillsides, illustrating the shortness of winter sunlight in a steep valley in December.

The Sannan river tumbling down its wild valley bottom.

The sun was dipping behind the hill . . .

To get a better photograph, I walked a little way up this sunny lane, though knowing just how steep it is further on, I wasn't keen to walk right to the top!

Looking across the valley towards the gate in the hedge on the hilltop.

As you can see, it is rough grazing at best - only just holding its own against the bracken, gorse and young colonizing trees.

Positively the very last blackberry flowers I will see this year . . .

There was a tempting little footpath taking you back to the village centre.

This very old church window appears to have had the wall above it extended at some point (or perhaps just replaced).


  1. I so wanted to walk down that little footpath!

  2. The black lines of the branches against the gold backlighting is simply a stunning photo. In comparison to our snow-covered and frozen place, your world is still so green--imagine blackberry blossoms in December. I think that a walk there in mid day would be pleasant, maybe a bit brisk--but not an adventure of freezing fingers and toes! Are these old churches still heated? Used for services? I'm guessing the interiors could be "stone-cold" and bleak.

  3. I love that photo of the mill with the golden light behind it. The days are so short now and the sun so low in the sky - but not long to the Solstice and then the days begin to lengthen again:) Although that old saying about the cold strengthens as the days lengthen isn't especially encouraging is it?

  4. Rowan - that's a saying I don't know - thank you, I always like to add another to my mental list. With the forecast of a cold snap next week (courtesy of America I believe), we could get it BEFORE the days lengthen!

    MM - I was pleased with that photo too - there really WAS such an amazing golden light . . .

    Kath - it was very inviting, and just cut off a corner behind the church, but you felt compelled to walk down it. Centuries old of course.

  5. Hullo BB,

    Bonnie photo's to be sure. The interesting one to me - but I agree, there are some crackers - is the kirk tower. It looks authentically defensive with the splayed base yet has what looks like a false machicolated top above the corbelling which somehow looks done contemporary with the tower itself, and with what looks like a heraldic panel above the door. Looks like a bit of a conundrum......... Do you know any of the history?


  6. A lovely virtual walk and such a blue sky in the first photograph. I wonder if you will have snow in the next few days? There`s a cold easterly blowing here tonight.

  7. I feel like I almost walked with you!

  8. Al - no, nothing of the history - I tried searching on line but there is nothing. I will see if I can find something in the Records Office some time in the New Year.

    DW - no snow is allowed until the girls are home. Picking G up on Weds and T at the weekend . . .

    Goosey - glad you enjoyed the walk too!