Tree Limb

Dendrochronology is the method by which you date a tree by analysing its patterns and age rings. It is derived from the Greek word dendron which translates as ‘tree limb’. On Friday I noticed @lovelustlondon tweet that this weekend he adds another age ring to his chronology. As I’d so far only published one shot from our April walk in the park I thought a birthday Sinful Sunday was in order. Happy Birthday!

Sinful Sunday

Forest, Friendship, Freedom

Here’s the second of the photos from mine and @19syllables’s autumn adventure last week. Words and photo by her, body mine! Anyone who knows me will guess these words made me weepy happy. 

A trip in the woods with Exposing40 is a many faceted joy. During the times I’ve been out with her on photography adventures I’ve learned so much. It seems hackneyed but I’ve definitely grown because of it, both for myself, and in my attitude and knowledge of others. The comments that people write on her blog are so positive but sometimes those words make me feel that the pictures don’t tell the whole story. I think they paint a scene of calm and oneness with ourselves and nature. But although there is happiness it’s perhaps not as zen as you might think.

There is so much laughing. Actual hooting. Naked, joyful hooting. Right at the moment we should be super-quiet and inconspicuous.  

There’s tip-toeing barefoot (bare-arsed) over the spikey beech nuts on the forest floor (“ooh, oww yeesh, gah!”). There’s the moment she asked me (from where she’s lying on the forest floor) how the pictures are looking and I accidentally say she looks “a little bit like roadkill” and we laugh that silent sort of laughing when tears well up in your eyes and you can’t make any noise. I backtrack:

“No, no, not roadkill. Not roadkill at all. Maybe something out of one of those Scandinavian TV thrillers..”

We hold onto our naked sides to as if to stem the laughing from bursting out of us and rethink the shot. There’s forgetting which tree we’ve left our clothes behind. There’s E40 so sweetly reminding me to focus the shots and maybe wear my reading glasses which I’m consistently failing to do because I am having So. Much. Damn. Fun. There’s discovering we’ve lost E40’s knickers, retracing our steps only to find them hanging on a twig, jaunty and triumphant, aloft in the breeze like a standard to nudity, and her whooping through the idyllic dappled shade “Hooray! I found them!”

Afterwards, I’m brimming with a special sort of wellness that can only be achieved through forests and friendships and freedom.

Sinful Sunday

The Naked Rambler

It’s been a while since I have been behind the camera for an Exposing 40 collaboration, but what a pleasure to bring you Chiaroscuro. I got the tip off that he was approaching the Big Four O and up for a photography adventure a couple of months back, so a plan was hatched. Anyone who follows Chiaroscuro on Twitter will know he’s pretty handy with a camera himself, so I knew my photos would need to be pretty different to stand out. As a counter to his distinctive and often quite dramatic black and white shots I wanted mine to be green, fresh, carefree and fun – so off we went on a ramble on the North Downs.

The day was as fun the photos suggest, but the stand out moment for me was how surprised and happy he was as we later flicked through the photos over a pint. ‘Look at your back! Look at your leg muscles!’ There really is nothing like having someone else turn their lens on you to tell their story for making you see yourself – and appreciate yourself – differently. I am so happy that getting involved with Exposing 40 achieves this for those who trust this little project. So with no further ado, I bring you The Naked Rambler…

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Sinful Sunday

Godlight 

Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you will never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.” C S Lewis


Photo by Exhibit A who, from his position, couldn’t see the woman walking up the path to my patch of Godlight! Eek! Also, Honey, this area of Epping Forest is known at The Ditches, so I had to have ‘one for the ditch’ didn’t I?! 

Sinful Sunday