I’ve been visiting Quarry Bank Mill in Styal for over fifteen years. It’s about five quick miles from me and the contrast is stark. One moment Manchester squalor (concrete, city, cars) then rural delight (peace, trees, flowers). I feel happy here. A seemingly naive and ostensibly innocuous remark, yet not so. There’s an atmosphere in peaceful nature and this is far enough away from me – the city – to find it.

I’ve wandered up to this view many times admiring the conjunction of tree, field, and sky. It’s very simple. I’ve photographed it many times too. This is the best. The light was good, the sky blue, the tree a fresh spring green. I’d never before seen the flowers.

It might surprise you (in some sense it surprises me) to see my delight at such a tame shot. Where are the mountain views, you think. Where the distance, grandeur, power and beauty of the hills you say. Where indeed. Still there, but like music and food you enjoy different tastes at different times.

The only lack to this is you find, at other times, the field is attractively furrowed. But then the spring flowers won’t be there, the leaves will be less fresh, it will be summer.

 

Styal English Oak

Friday May 5, 2017