Thursday 31 May 2012

A Stroll Down Rake's Lane

A friend of mine says that photography is like golf, ‘a good walk, spoiled’. I suppose if your idea of a good walk is a brisk march through miles of countryside then my favourite evening stroll down Rake Lane won’t interest you, because it won’t take any time at all. But to an idle snapper like myself, puttering along the track looking for photo opportunities in every inch of hedgerow, it makes a very satisfying walk.

Evening Light - Rake Lane

Rake's Lane is officially known as St Andrew's Lane, but I think if you called it St Andrew's Lane in the village you'd just get blank looks, since it's been Rake's Lane since time immemorial (if you know why, please drop me a line).

From Orchard Corner to Rake's Lane proper, the footpath runs along field boundaries and the  hedgerows are filled with hawthorn in bloom and wild roses bursting onto new growth.

A quick turn left and we are on Rake's Lane, heading downhill to Grange Farm. Even this late in May, huge bumblebees drone around a few inches above the ground, disturbing leaves with the down drafts from their wings and the verges are filled with the rustling of birds, rabbits and other small creatures.

Not just a footpath, a bridleway too.
As we drop downhill we come to a fork, the track heads left and sinks steadily below ground level but before the hedgerows close in we are afforded a view to Low Hutton and the Wolds.

Canopied Path

The Grange, Low Hutton and The Wolds

These tracks, worn deep in the land and roofed by oak, ash, elder and hawthorn are known as 'holloways' which derives from an the Anglo Saxon term 'hola weg' - a sunken road. Reputedly none of the holloways in Britain are less than three hundred years old and this track has a feel of ancient mystery about it.

Holloway - 'hola weg'

Deep in the shade the photographer is forced to contemplate details, rather than wide vistas. Ironically the light is often better here in winter when the trees have shed their leaves, than on a fine summer evening.

Elder Details

Eventually we leave the holloway and pass back out into the light and follow the foot path down towards The Grange and The Old School House.

The Old School

Occasionally the unexpected turns up on this stretch of track, once I found an abandoned vacuum cleaner.

Proof that nature does not abhor a vacuum
And that pretty much wraps it up. Just a couple of miles of track but always an absorbing voyage of discovery.

All material © Michelle Stone 2012

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