Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pollarded willows

click photo to enlarge
In the middle of the Lincolnshire town of Bourne is a large, grassed open space with some stretches of water, trees and bushes. It looks like a municipal park and it is - the war memorial is sited there as is a children's playground, benches and tarmac paths. However, there are also a couple of quite old, stone-built buildings - an early C18 farmhouse and barn - and, at the edge of the area a building that was once a working water mill fed by a stream. There are also odd undulations that hint at what was formerly here and accounts for such a large area being undeveloped.

The mounds mark the site of an eleventh century motte and bailey castle that appears to have had two large enclosures. Some of the remaining areas of water must have fed defensive moats. However, the motte has gone and it is hard to discern the parts of the Norman site that must have been built to control the area after the Conquest. Recreational use has led to the planting of plentiful willows, the water-side sites being ideal for this species. However, willows in parks can present problems - they weren't called "crack willows" for nothing - and many have been pollarded to control their spread and remove high, heavy boughs that were seen as potential dangers.

Todays' photograph shows some of these pollarded willows reflected in one of the stretches of water. Immediately after they have been cut such willows look rather ungainly compared with their elegant uncut neighbours. But, as the boughs thicken and the the shape returns they look much better. These, I thought, looked somewhat sinister reflected in the water with a broken sky above.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Pollarded Willows, Bourne, Lincolnshire
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 25mm (50mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5
Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On