Art & Trees & Autumn Light

Chatsworth, September 2015

Chatsworth, September 2015

“But not a cell in all the tree
knew aught  save that it thrilled with life,
Nor cared because the hammock fell
In the dust with Milton’s Poems.”
– Many Soldiers, “Spoon River Anthology,”
Edgar Lee Masters

Warnings for: artiness; mild outbreaks of tree admiration, & enthusiasm

One of the many pleasures of out of country visitors is that we tend to revisit places we’ve not been for awhile, as well as go to ones which are new to us. As previously stated on this blog, I don’t get out much.

Another trip to a great house such as Chatsworth, or castle such as Conisbrough, with a friend also means seeing somewhere with a second, fresh pair of eyes. What they see, I may miss, and vice versa. The American humourist James Thurber, when writing about walks with his father, commented that his dad frequently noticed things which Thurber himself overlooked.

Conisbrough Castle, Sept 2015

Conisbrough Castle, Sept 2015

I’ve not yet downloaded my photos from York, which we visited yesterday with our friends Sue and Mark. Mark & Sue went into the Minster, whilst we walked around the city. This is partly because we don’t believe someone should be charged to go into what is supposed to be a house of God. Mark, however, thinks of the Minster as “a work of art”.

I can see both points of view, and have certainly enjoyed my past walks around the Minster’s interior. I definitely recommend visiting the Minster, and indeed York itself.

Also on my list of recommended sites are the other places we’ve visited: Conisbrough Castle, which is only a few miles away; Chatsworth in the beautiful county of Derbyshire; Beverley in the East Riding, and Brid(lington), although it will never top Scarborough or Whitby in my list of favourite British seaside towns.

Annoyed of Beverley Minster, Sept 2015

Annoyed of Beverley Minster, Sept 2015

It was great fun going round the likes of Beverley Minster with my friend Sue, a talented photographer, each pointing out details large and small to shoot (Sue) and snap (me). Unlike York, there’s no charge to visit: just a small (£3) fee for photographers.

Chatsworth, however, eclipsed them all through its combination of stunning views, an art collection which is still being added to by the present Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and trees which – unlike most town ones – have been allowed plenty of space to stretch out, and breath.

Thanks to my bridge camera’s huge brain, I was able to take endless pictures of one piece of art alone:

2000-04-24 05.30.53

Hare, courtyard, Chatsworth House

I am a writer, yet I struggle to put into words how much this statue delighted and intrigued me: in part, because its setting is so beautiful, and perfect for it. Plus,the Devonshires had the taste, and sense, not to clutter the courtyard with anything else.

This, my third visit, was the first in many years to include the gardens. To see such a combination of trees, plants, ponds and art on a mostly sunny day in early September was both uplifting, and restful.

Lion woman (?), Chatsworth House gardens

Lion woman (?), Chatsworth House gardens

I came away from Chatsworth feeling almost sated with beauty. And, whilst I feel privileged to have visited there, I live in a town blessed with both public art, and green spaces. The ability to be moved by art, nature – and indeed poetry, such as the Masters poem I quoted earlier – is an option available pretty much any time I’m not either working, or asleep.

Autumn arrived in late August this year. With the equinox not long away, I’m already struggling to motivate myself to go out in the evenings. And yet, autumn light has a beauty unsurpassed by any other season.

A beauty, and an art, all its own.

Tree, sunflowers, and autumn light: Chatsworth, 2015.

Tree, sunflowers, and autumn light: Chatsworth, 2015.


About Sheila N

Enough about me. Art by Tom Brown.
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2 Responses to Art & Trees & Autumn Light

  1. Nimue Brown says:

    Big houses seem to bring on my inner communist (who is grumpy, beardy, definitely a guy and objects to ‘fancy bits’ on everything from cake to architecture. I have no idea where I got him or why he stays….) but yes, places of beauty and all that, so much better when they’re accessible to the many 🙂

  2. Sheila North says:

    I feel like I *should* have such an inner socialist: too many years of being told they were under the bed to have an inner communist! Alas, or not, my inner socialist only becomes strident on the subject of the welfare state, and re-nationalising the railways, and water.

    In the presence of such beautiful houses, and contents, I melt. And I fall into the camp of people who find stately homes and palaces much more interesting when the family actually lives there.

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