The Forest

The recent winter storms have left their mark in the conifer plantation that lies to the east of our house.

Storm damage Storm damage The trees are about 35 years old, mainly pine with some larch and birch. I remember planting them with my father and sister one winter when we were young. They are planted in what was once a bog local people used for cutting turf. The turf was used to heat their houses. When useable turf has been removed from a bog it becomes know as cut-away bog. My parents had bought the individual strips from the locals and tried to reclaim into grassland, but the fields had always been wet and full of rushes. I barely remember it as open fields. Though sometimes I get flashes of memory as to how it once was. At some point my parents decided to plant with trees as forestry grants were available through the government. This year, the majority of the trees, will be clear felled and replanted.

Storm damage Storm damageI have been using my camera to try and capture the ‘forest’ – for that is the grand term we give it. Parts of it are dark and lifeless, but other corners are full of character. And I will miss them. The kids will too. When we told them the trees would be cut down their first questions was – “where will we play hide and seek?”

For the storm photographs I have either used the black and white setting on my camera or used the programme picasa to change colour shots into black and white. I’ve also fiddle a bit with cropping and saturation.

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26 thoughts on “The Forest

  1. Robbie

    interesting story + like the mood you have created. It does feel dark and scary like a forest sometimes feels. Is the soil soft as peat? It also is sad and makes me think of loss….

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    1. Murtagh's Meadow Post author

      Thanks Robbie, and yes feelings of loss are there – I am not looking forward to the day the machines and trucks arrive. Parts of the forest are dark but I will post sometime soon about some of the nicer bits. The soil is lovely, really peaty. We collect the pine needles in the autumn and use as a mulch around our blueberries.

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      1. gaiainaction

        Yes I’m with you there, my daughter when she was small and I planted a conker together, it has grown into a massive tree, we even had to cut down a few of it’s branches the other day. Lovely to have seen it grow.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane

    What hits me is the contrast between my reactions to storm-felled trees and man-made ones here. Your beautiful photos capture the strength of nature and what it can do. Imagining their planned felling is so sad, I have to say, and intensifies the feeling of what they have meant to all of you. There we are really.

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  3. Marija

    What wonderful, evocative photographs – black and white has a timeless quality. My favourite is the first one, where the captured light looks like smoke from a wood fire rising up through the branches. Loss of a familiar and much-loved landscape is hard, especially one full of memories, but it won’t be long before nature will provide new and exciting things for you and the children to enjoy and they will have the pleasure of watching a young forest grow to maturity too.

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  4. Miranda

    I’m a tree hugger and there is something hauntingly beautiful about the images you have captured. I guess it means more cos I have walked through those woods with my mates and Godchildren. Bally clever use of the old monochrome me dear! xx

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  5. Ruth

    Fantastic shots and I’m sure you will miss them when they are gone, the same has happened to the snatches of forestry around the area I live in. The landscape has changed so much from they were felled and now it all looks barren and desolate and I miss them.

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  6. Pingback: Trees – planting and felling | Murtagh's Meadow

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