Landscape: Abandoned Capture an image of that which others have forgotten. It may be the last image before its gone from us forever.
The Forgotten Wood, as you know, is on what used to be the formal grounds of a local manor house. It sits behind its deer fencing and a mass of of laurel practically gone wild with rhododendron so large as to be small trees at one end and just inside the laurel. You can’t easily circumnavigate this wood, it is that overgrown, but you can get through the interior with little difficulty. This is where my favourite Beech tree with the mushrooms in his elephantine roots lives. Here, is the home of the grove of Birch trees I featured a couple of weeks ago. The most clear area is around the Victorian pumphouse; the pump was installed in 1896 to pump water from the stream up the small hill to the manor house. To this day, it is lovingly maintained and provides the water for a small fountain in the formal garden.
However, go further, off to the left of my Beech, past the sculpture tree and through the branches of lower lying rhododendron; there, you will see this.
This is the entrance to the Victorian ice house. It is possibly older, given the narrow and slightly uneven nature of the bricks in the tunnel. From almost every angle except in this area, it is invisible now. The Wood has begun to take it back. Essentially, that is how the current owner is happy to have it. He keeps it safe (it is boarded at the opening to the deep ice room) and maintained so its structure holds. Other than that, having been a provider of luxury for close to 100 years, it is abandoned.
I really had to work to figure out my settings for this shot. The bushes provided a lot of cover, but it was also approaching sunset on a very grey day, so light was scarce. The 1/2 shutter speed meant that hand held would not work, so my camera was sitting on a trunk that had fallen across the path. In the end, the RAW photo was a touch brighter than the actual light, so I only needed to tweak my shadows a bit in developing.I’m learning.