I like returning to places where I’ve enjoyed taking photographs at different times of the year, just to see change. In summertime, I had no interest in these flowers but I’m drawn to them when their glory has faded. I find them poetic when they are reaching their end.
Sea buckthorn. You can hardly move for bush after bush heavily laden with pretty orange berries along the coast near Gullane in East Lothan, Scotland. Just gorgeous. Apparently, they taste disgusting but here’s the thing, they have been deemed ‘the next big thing’ to those in the know about nutrition.
Apparently, they have more vitamin C than a kiwi and more vitamin E than a soya bean so no doubt we’ll be seeing the branches stripped and the berries dried, dessicated and powdered and on the supermarket shelves faster than you can say ‘Donald wers yer troosers’? I think they photograph so beautifully, I’d like to see them demoted to your average berry and get to shoot them every time we go to the beach.
So, I decided to give my shoulder a rest from the D800 and dusted off my old D80 the other day. Totally liberating! I’d forgotten just how light it is, especially when I’m using the 50mm.
Plus, I now know how much I’ve missed the beautiful bokeh it produces. The colour transitions are so gorgeous that I think I like them most of all in this shot – even more than that one beautiful, gorgeously plump berry. Now I’m thinking how great it would be to always take the D80/50 combination out with me PLUS the D800 so I don’t have to swap lenses quite as much. But that would mean two heavy shoulders instead of one!!
I cannot tell you how lucky I feel to be able to see and feel the seasons change. After 15 years in the Middle East, where the only seasons are ‘hot’ and ‘hotter’, I’m still awestruck by how gob-smackingly gorgeous it is in Edinburgh. The colours, the unpredictability of the weather, the ever-changing light are all amazing to me. I appreciate it every single day.
We’re smack-bang now in Autumn, my absolute best-loved season. All I can see are my favourite colours and creatively, that’s just so inspiring. It’s also the time of harvest, of gathering, and in ye olden days that meant hoarding enough supplies to keep you warm and to see you through Winter. When I was a girl, harvest only meant one thing – blackberries. Ker-ching! So voracious was my picking and eating of those darkest of delights, I must have single-handedly deprived the rest of my town the pleasure of eating them for many, many years. Seriously. A purple-stained mouth (and upset tummy) was normal for me when those berries were ripe. I can almost taste the sourness now, setting my teeth on edge yet perversely making me want more at the same time.
The berries aren’t ripe just now in Edinburgh but when they are, I think I will take my daughter blackberry picking for her first time although I won’t encourage her to eat them straight from the bramble and put her off eating them for life, no, better to head down the blackberry jam tarts route.
Anyhow, to welcome October officially, a few lines from a delightful (but quite long) poem by John Clare.
The summer-flower has run to seed,
And yellow is the woodland bough;
And every leaf of bush and weed
Is tipt with autumn’s pencil now.
And I do love the varied hue,
And I do love the browning plain;
And I do love each scene to view,
That’s mark’d with beauties of her reign.