A few years ago I did a photography course over the winter, only to realise that it was the worst time of year I could have chosen. I was rapidly developing an interest in the photography of gardens (sorry about the pun – it was that or ‘growing an interest in garden photography!) and, except for a few bits and pieces of interest, the gardens were bare!
Taking on a winter project turned out to be a good thing though, because it made me look beyond the obvious, to some of the smaller details we often don’t really notice. I discovered a whole new miniature world of mosses, lichens and much, much more, and developed my own small collection of photographs, ‘Bryophytes and Lichens of Windermere’, which went on show at Kendal Museum shortly after.
Mosses, I learned, belong to a group of plants called bryophytes, as do liverworts and hornworts. I also learned that for an outsider to the subject, trying to make an accurate identification of each one I photographed was going to be next to impossible, so I instead settled on my own name interpretations for image captions (as you’ll see below)!
The more I looked and photographed, the more I realised what an exciting new level of detail there is out there to be explored – so next time you’re out in the Lake District, or anywhere else for that matter, I hope the following photos will encourage you to slow down and look out for the ‘little things’ we perhaps take for granted, but which are all around us!
Photographs from my ‘Bryophytes and Lichens of Windermere’ exhibition
Photographs taken since that time
My obsession with photographing moss, in particular, has never really gone away. It’s a beautiful thing and actually, if you don’t like moss, you probably shouldn’t have a garden in the Lake District – it spreads like wildfire, so stand still long enough, and you may turn green yourself! Here are a few more mossy shots from around the Lakes which I have since added to my collection…
It’s easy to get wrapped up in hunting for the big views in the Lake District, but do you have special memories of a smaller detail it would have been easy to walk by and miss? Let us know by leaving a comment below!