Woodwater by night

I spent a day immured in the office at the computer, feeling wintry-cold while it rained and rained. By night-time, I was completely frowstie at being stuck indoors. I watched a BBC4 programme “Romancing the Stone” on modern sculpture, and as it had pretty much dried up, decided on some mythogeography. Going for walks at odd times, like 10.30pm, follows mythogeographical principles, after all.

So I took my camera, and headed out to Woodwater Lane to take photos of light on rain. At least, I didn’t have a clear idea that that was what I was going to do, but I noticed the streetlight-shine on the tarmac. It became recording images of lights on wet, my shadows, street and car lights, the darkness of puddles against the reflective tarmac. I have had my digital camera for years, and am still learning how to use it. It’s good, but not one of the posh ones, so its ISO settings are limited.

Stepping out of my front door, the night felt warm and gentle. There was very little breeze, and it was quite humid but not noticeably too muggy. The day had quietened – traffic, rain, people, birds. I saw one single person, and one couple. There were occasional cars and buses, too many to walk down the middle of the road much. I prefer tail-lights to headlights; they are less confrontational.

I went down as far as the Northbrook, where I hung over the downstream side of the bridge trying to take photos of the disturbed water. The red guiding light from the camera reflected like sparks shooting off a fire, or wriggling red worms. The photos of the flash reflections were much less interesting, and I couldn’t capture the night-time rippling sound either.

The mindsets for attentiveness and for photography are different, so I was not so aware of sights, sounds, smells until walking back up the road. The rain was dripping in the trees. There was a faint whiff of cow/countryside/manure, then a strong whiff of cigarette, catching in my throat.

On the way home, I decided against exploring alley ways – some are lit, some are not, all are threatening. But it is not the path, darkness or light that is threatening. It is the human being who might be lurking there.