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Last of the Summer Wine.

September 30, 2011

Summer is drawing to an end, although it is going out with one last burst of life, the weather today was beautiful. As a student, my ‘summer’ lasts a good three months and since I prefer Autumn anyway, the end is quite welcome. That said, this summer has been pretty enjoyable and I have tried to make the most of the free time I’ve had the last few weeks. One day about a month ago I felt like an adventure, so I summoned a friend and we decided to go and explore one of the parks that my town has to offer. We’re pretty lucky in that, for a reasonably large town, there are huge expanses of green space and woodland in the middle, where you can escape and pretend you’re in the country, even though there is a main road or a television studio not all that far away.

We decided on Vinters Valley, a nature reserve which is sandwiched between two housing estates and next to the M20. Not the most obvious place for a haven for wildlife, but it is one of the most peaceful places I know. It is the remains of a country estate, parts of which are now said housing estates and the motorway but a large section, including the lake and some woodland have been left untouched by urbanisation. What’s left is a wonderful place to explore, relax and watch the world go by.

One of the main things I love about Vinters Valley is that it has a very eery quality about it. I can never quite put my finger on it, the light falls through the trees in strange ways and although you are never too far from houses or a main road, it’s easy to feel completely isolated. My mum says that it’s the type of place where you might come across people in 18th Century clothing and not be entirely certain that they were in costume. Although I love going there, it’s not the sort of place I’d go by myself.

I’m all for embracing your local area, there can be some beautiful places on your doorstep, even in cities, it’s just a case of looking. Here are a couple of pictures I took, I’m fascinated by trees at the moment, especially with how the light falls through the distorted branches.

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