Friday, May 3, 2013

I saw...

...the Thames valley from Richmond Hill, where pleasure-craft cruise over the silver-snaking river and life feels fat and bucolic.

Let poets rave of Arno's stream

And painters of the winding Rhine

I will not ask a lovelier dream,

A sweeter scene, fair Thames, than thine;

An ‘neath a summer’s sun’s decline

Thou wanderest at thine own sweet will

Reflecting from thy face divine

The flower-wreathed brow of Richmond Hill.

—Alaric Watts

...massive-trunked, ancient oaks, still green-flowering each spring long centuries after the bones of the kings and their hunting parties have crumbled to dust.

...rolling, sandy uplands open under the eye of the sun, hushed but for whisper and crunch of dead grasses under my feet.

...great banks of rhododenrons, translucent as stained glass in the light (this highly invasive species from China is currently being rooted out from the grounds).


...and a small family of six fallow deer who followed their own paths, away from the larger herd. They flipped their tails to chase off insects, grazing in the shade of the wood, keeping a watchful eye on any passing humans.

All taken at Richmond Park, former royal hunting grounds, and in the pretty village of Richmond, about 10 miles west of central London.


  1. What a gorgeous park! I especially love the deer, they're quite a bit fuzzier than the ones that live near me, and they look more fairy-esque for it.

    1. The deer may still be shedding their winter coats, since it only really started warming up a couple of weeks ago--?

      It is cool how each park has such a distinct character—this one felt almost spooky to me somehow. It was like yet unlike the oak savanna where I'm from...and those oaks have such presence. You can't really tell the scale of them in my photos but they are hulking, and they've been pollarded, which gives them that squat, brooding look...maybe I was sensing ghosts!

  2. Such a lovely place! My heart reaches through your pictures with a wish to be there.

  3. I am glad to share the journey with you, and be a witness to your beautiful place as well.


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