Friday, May 05, 2006

A glimpse of a church

click photo to enlarge
"Among the changing months, May stands confessed,
The sweetest, and in fairest colours dressed" James Thomson (1700-1748), Scottish poet

Fresh green grass, new translucent leaves, the verges scattered with dandelions, bluebells glowing in the shade, hawthorns covered in drifts of blossom, and all lit by a bright sun in a clear blue sky scuffed with soft white clouds. Is there any month that can compare with May?

Freshness and promise are the things that May offers. Anything seems possible in this best of all months. Everything that catches the eye is new: nothing is jaded, and a walk in the May sunshine positively lifts the spirit. We photographers relish all that the month offers, and delight in pointing our cameras at the bright world before us.

The photograph above shows the fine sight of the church of St Lawrence in the village of Crosby Ravensworth, Cumbria, on a morning in early May. The oldest part of the building, the crossing, dates from about 1190-1200, with the remainder of various ages from the thirteenth century through to the chancel added in the nineteenth century. It is a fairly typical English village church, built over a long period by succeeding generations. However, its location is particularly lovely, with a hump-back bridge over a small stream leading to the churchyard gate with its arch and light. Ancient trees surround the building, including the usual dark yews.

My photograph tries to capture something of the setting and appeal of this charming church. It's hard to show much of the building, so my composition positions the bridge to the left, the tower in the centre, and a dominant tree to the right. Not an original shot, but one that the pleasures of a May morning demands that you take!
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen