The lifeless tree

It’s amazing how attached you get to a tree. I’m a lover of trees and woodland and really need to spend more time photographing them. A misty woodland can be a dream. Any way, that’s not what this blog is about.

There is a tree, to look at, it’s a dead, lifeless tree and I have passed it many, many times. It’s on the east side of Ullswater just off the road to Martindale, one of my favourite places in the Lakes. The tree has stood dead for as long as I can remember, proud as punch with all its limbs in tact, taking pride of place in a field with a few Herdy’s for company. When the rain comes its often surrounded by water due to flooding and, as I whizz by you get a glance of a reflection, I’ve said countless times that I really need to get a shot of that.

Well, back in March 2018 I happened to be heading to Martindale to give Percy Pup a swim and as I passed the lifeless tree the conditions were near perfect. The tree, surrounded by water no wind and a touch of mist. Today was the day that I pull up, set up my gear and get the shot I kept telling myself to get. Out came the gear, through the gate I went and I started to study my composition, it was fairly simple to be fair, it was the tree and it’s reflection and hopefully some mist. Out came the tripod and on went the camera with the 24-70mm lens and a couple ND Grad filters to hold back the bright clouds. After taking a few images I settled on this one

The Lifeless Tree - Blog Image 4x12.jpg

I continued to pass this tree on my many journey’s to and from Martindale and I always thought to myself that I needed to capture some more images of this awesome structure of a tree in all the seasons and the many different conditions presented to us in the Lakes.

Imagine my absolute horror when on my journey to Martindale on the 14th January this year I neared The Lifeless Tree and was presented with this devastation

I honestly could not believe my eyes, I genuinely felt sick. I instantly pulled up and wandered in to the field to have a look and try to gain some understanding as to why this beautiful natural structure was no more


I realise it was dead but it was a fine example of natures architecture and such a beautiful specimen. The fact that throughout the green seasons it wasn’t covered in lush green leaves mean’t that you could still see all its limbs pointing in all different directions, standing tall and standing its ground against all that the weather and nature could throw at it to find itself finally brought down by the hand of Man

I’m just glad that I managed to get an image of it before this Lifeless Tree met it’s final end!

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The Impromptu Move

It seems like a lifetime ago now that I had my Landlord came around to check on the rear garden fence that had blown down in some high winds back in June. I’d spent the majority of my tenancy fixing the fence, making good where I could and creating a secure environment for the Wife and Percy Pup. However, this visit didn’t go as planned. The Landlord arrived with the raging hump, this wasn’t unusual to be honest and I wasn’t surprised that he was late, at least on this occasion it was only by half hour or so as opposed to a day or a week, which quite frankly was the norm. We exchanged pleasantries, he wasn’t interested, it was what it was. I led him to the back garden and showed him the fence that I had propped up with some posts to try and safeguard our property. His immediate question was “What do you want from me Steve?” I replied with a fence that does it’s job please Mark………. His next comment, which wasn’t uncommon was; “what are you going to contribute? I don’t need a fence, if I had my way I would rip it down, burn it and leave you with the dwarf boundary wall!” Any way, I’ve set the scene, and despite being told in writing that I could count on a tenancy continuation in February the same year! We were then told on Friday 13th July 2017 some Two weeks after our contract had ended, that we would not be getting a new tenancy and we were now on two months notice…….. PANIC I tell you. It’s hard enough to find a rental property as it is let alone with a Percy Pup and a Pindie Cat! Can you believe it, not everyone in the Lakes is a pet fan!

The weeks that followed were spent house hunting and viewing every conceivable property that would allow pets. We travelled all over the Lakes and surrounding areas. We lost out on one as we were pipped to the post by a couple that only had a cat grrrrrrrr! Is there going to be light at the end of the tunnel we asked each other. We had to keep hoping and looking. I tell you, the stress was tough and everything went on the back burner and painfully this included the photography, we just had to find somewhere to live.

The wife had started packing immediately after we were told as packing a five bed house that’s over three floors is no mean feet and a challenge in itself. We lived around boxes for a month or so and then we see the light, it was there in the distance but, it was there! Suddenly, the ideal property, not just A property, the IDEAL property suddenly popped up on Rightmove and I was the first to call in, this had become a job and we were beginning to perfect it. Could this be ours………. We learnt not to get ahead of ourselves but stayed optimistic!

We viewed the beautiful Farmhouse in Watermillock, four minutes walk from the shores of Ullswater, our favourite lake, the one we got married next to. This was THE ONE! We want it we told the agent, you have to make this ours! After a few weeks and lots of competition we were finally advised in mid August that we had secured the property, YAY!

Only people in this position will understand what stress and pressure this event puts you under, were put in a very difficult position and with support from our wonderful family we managed it and overcome it!

We now live in a lovely Farmhouse on the shores of Ullswater in the heart of the Lake District National Park. We wake up looking over Ullswater and mountains, this view looks different every day. I can walk to some lovely locations to shoot, we have our own Jetty and some truly wonderful views to capture. I’m out more than ever with the camera and growing as a photographer, practicing this craft on my doorstep.

I guess the point of this long blog is to say that every cloud as they say, does have a silver lining and, in this instance, it really did. You can’t always think that way during the stress but try to stay optimistic and positive. I was always told throughout this Impromptu Move that something will come up, it always does. Again, not always easy to see this when you are knee deep in pressure.

Anyway…………… I think I’ve rattled on long enough now. It’s been a while since I have written anything or posted any updated images on my website and I just wanted to provide an insight in to why.

Time to move onwards and upwards and Happy New Year to all my readers!

Thanks for reading, feel free to like, share and comment

All my images can be purchased via my Store pages

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