35mm · Film photography · Photography

Through the tall grass and nettles

Today’s photo shows another angle of St. Peter’s church at Elmton. This was the view that I spotted as first approaching the village by road, but there was nowhere at this spot where I could park (the roads being quite narrow with no verge that I could pull onto), so I continued into the village and parked my car on the road beside the church. After making a few photos around the church itself I decided to walk back to the vantage point I’d seen earlier. I could have followed the road which, in this picture, passes the wall just in front of the church, heads to the left of the scene, and then takes a 90-degree turn back towards a place close to this spot. But there was a shortcut…

Looking at my maps app on my phone, it was apparent that there was a public footpath through this field which cut the corner. Sure enough, I spotted an old wooden footpath signpost and a stile built into the wall beside the field. Climbing the stile I set off across the field. It quickly became apparent that the grass was longer than I expected and also that very few people must use the path as there was no real evidence of it’s existence, not even in the form of some slightly flattened grass. Nontheless I perservered and made my way down the slope to where my map showed the path exiting the field. As I progressed, the grass in the field began to be joined by clumps of large hardy weeds that I had to skirt and also, worse, nettles! Given I was wearing a pair of cargo shorts, thoughts of stung legs came to the fore of my mind, and I had to take even more care over where I walked.

Eventually I reached the spot where I made this photo, and I ducked into the grass to allow it to provide more prominent foreground interest. It turned out to be the final frame on the roll, so I continued down to the corner of the field and the exit. Unfortunately the exit was conspicuous by it’s almost complete absence, with all that I could see was a rusty kissing gate almose buried in tall weeds and more nettles and then continuous growth for about the next ten feet or so. I could have walked back the way I came, which would have been a sensible option, but the thought of forcing my way through the high grass didn’t appeal, so I decided to chance the overgrown exit instead. It probably took me as long to do this as walking back throuh the field would have done.

I had to procede with great caution, carefully placing my feet as to squash the nettles away from my legs with each step. By some miracle I wasn’t stung a single time, although the final four or five feet involved me making a daring leap across a clump of nettles right where the verge dropped down onto the road. No doubt this would have looked highly amusing to anyone passing by, but thankfully no-one was around.

In the end I had to walk back via the road anyway, so maybe it would have been simpler had I used that route for both legs of the jaunt. But then what would I have written about today? Plus the picture was worthwhile, I think.

These stinging nettles
And not a dock-leaf in sight
A peril for legs

Beyond the tall grass

Olympus OM-2n, Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 12 June 2021

2 thoughts on “Through the tall grass and nettles

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