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Lone Tree Lone Tripod High above Malham
The skies are big and wide above Malham in Yorkshire - a place where you can breathe in the cold fresh air and feel all is well with the world. It's no secret that Yorkshire is one of my very favourite places. I feel so at home here.
The landscape surrounding the pretty village of Malham is incredibly beautiful but without doubt hostile too. The mist descends. It drizzles. Hard driving rain. Biting wind. It's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when the sun comes out and the clouds float gently across the vivid blue sky - so close that you feel you can reach out and touch them.
Trees are few and far between on this landscape. It takes a tough tree to survive here. In all seasons the wind viciously whips across the land. Bracing. Lone trees are a magnet for photographers. Who doesn't get excited by the gnarled weatherbeaten skeleton of a lone tree? Simplicity is the keyword. I'm not so much excited by those bedecked in leaves - you may see a fine silhouette from the distance but the character's hidden.
And so in the distance I spotted a naked solitary weathered tree. A lone tree with a lone nest. As I perched myself on a drystone wall and carefully composed my photo I noticed movement amongst the limestone rocks. Of all the trees in all of Yorkshire and the one tree I want to photograph is not alone. A photographer had set his tripod up next to my tree! The idea of a lone tree and lone man appealed to me so I snapped away. Alone but not alone.
After a while I think he noticed me. He moved away and so I moved in a little closer. Our paths briefly crossed. We nodded our heads and although we didn't speak we glanced at each other in a knowing way - a mutual appreciation of that lone tree.
The area around Malham is renowned for the striking limestone landscape made up of vast mosaics of clints and grykes. It's a paradise for geologists and photographers alike. The landscape takes on an almost lunar appearance in parts. Scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were filmed way up here - the next time you watch the movie take a closer look at the landscape during the atmospheric scene when Harry and Hermione pitch up the tent.
For me the lone tree represents solitude. We all need solitude very now and again. It's when I feel at my most creative. I'm not talking here about loneliness - I think there's a fine but definite line between solitude and loneliness. What do you think?
Only the well- insulated sheep and a handful of hardy cattle survive up here. They huddle together alongside the dry-stone walls or shelter in the tumbled down stone barns.
Ps I admit I've only ever seen the first Harry Potter film!
PPS Pesky dust spots! I usually take my camera to the local camera shop to have the sensor cleaned but a few days before my trip I discovered that it had closed down. It saddens me. I'm guilty of sometimes using the likes of Amazon to buy bits of kit but when your local shop's gone so too has the wealth of expertise and friendly advice. Too late for my local shop but next time you reach for the buy button online take a few moments to think if you could better support your local camera shop.
What a harsh-looking but beautiful landscape. You describe it so well that I can imagine what it might feel like to be there and experience that mist and rain and wind. That lone tree is a wonderful find. The first photo really gives a sense of the vastness and openness of the landscape. As for solitude and loneliness...as an introvert, solitude is as essential to me as air. Though I'm often alone, I seldom ever feel lonely.
Totally love the lone tree. I have tried to support my local camera store, but the problem is that they never have what I am looking for, so they have to order it, well I could do that myself. But the service of having the camera cleaned is huge. Thankfully there is a very popular camera shop in the city, so it may be a little farther but will still provide what I need.
Do these sheep have shepherds? Thanks for showing the terrain. Hope you are well.
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