Every year, I try to visit at least one beechwood at about this time, when the leaves are like fluttering scraps of lime green taffeta. This year I could only manage a short repeat visit to Lewesdon Hill, and this time, I took my infrared converted camera and a wide angle lens (21mm equivalent) for a different look at the world.
The first image above is a view of the same grove of trees in the linked article. It beautifully demonstrates “crown shyness” – the charming name given to the way that trees compete for light. Standing under those tall straight beeches looking up at the canopy is like being in a natural cathedral.
Usually, on a still day, the scent of the bluebells and the sound of woodland birdsong would be overwhelming. But today there was a stiff breeze, blowing the smell of slurry being spread on nearby fields and sending the birdsong scurrying away. Despite that, I enjoyed my walk.
(For those who don’t know, infrared picks up especially on the chlorophyll in leaves, giving a dreamlike snowy appearance to scenes with green vegetation.
As they come out of the camera, the images can be muddy and brown, but by a bit of digital magic (swapping the red and blue channels), you can get the results shown here, as well as more traditional black and white results.)