The Mystical Oaks

It was a beautiful morning. I wanted to see if I could capture the magic.

I was almost swallowed by mist down by the river. You can see the pictures here.

I was looking up to the greensand slope of Linton Hill. The façade of Linton Hall was illuminated in the morning light.

I thought I might just take a walk up to the park estate, and commune with the trees.

Since reading Jinny Blom’s ‘The Thoughtful Gardener’ I have developed a thing for estate fencing. Look at the lovely curl of this gate handle:

You enter the parkland under the cover of trees. These branches guard the entrance.

The jagged angles are striking against the sky. They are conducting the clouds.

They seem dark and looming, but take a step forward, and suddenly there is illumination. The textures change. There is warmth.

Some trees defy gravity. Proof that big and heavy can have balletic grace.

There is a dip in the slope, smudged with mist.

The ground here is frosty, and the grass crunches as I make my way over the hummocks.


The sun is just lifting free of the horizon. I move towards the light.


The sun is cradled in the boughs of the tree.

And then, I think I get my photo.

The sky, the sun, the tree, the mist.

I stand for a moment, feeling the magic of it. And then I turn back. The sun is up.

The Mindful Gardener aims to bring you little pops of wonder through the challenging month of January.

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48 Comments Add yours

  1. Emma Cownie says:

    Oh that’s a wonderful photo of the light streaming out from behind the oak tree!

    1. It was a magical sight! I was drawn in.

  2. Rupali says:

    I love the light and feel the magic.

  3. This is magical. Its like a fairytale unfolding. 💗

  4. Lovely Ali! How wonderful to have vast areas of land nearby for walking with such beauty to behold. This is one thing I miss by living in the city.
    Your photos, words, and imagination are most mystical. You should write books. You have a wonderful way of drawing the reader along with you.

    1. We are lucky that there is a lot of open country with footpaths criss-crossed through it. Thank you Cindy, that is a very kind comment. It is an ambition.

  5. Ann Mackay says:

    Love the way you’ve caught the light in the mist – beautiful! And you really did get your photo. It’s pure magic, as are your words.

    1. Thank you Ann, for your lovely comment.

  6. Tish Farrell says:

    Sunlit oaks on a mist carpet – gorgeous work, Ali.

    1. Mist carpets are fabulous, aren’t they? I always get excited if I see one!

  7. I love oaks in winter! I always find that you spot the best views from the car window just when you can’t stop to admire them!

    1. That is right! You get a tantalising glimpse and can’t explore it.

  8. Angela says:

    Wondrous. I love trees in winter.

    1. They are majestic, aren’t they?

  9. bcparkison says:

    I really like that you share so beautifully what you see.

    1. Thank you Beverley. I like that you are here to share it with me.

  10. Heyjude says:

    Beautifully captured here Ali – that wonderful light streaming through the mist. You definitely got your photo 🙂

      1. Heyjude says:

        …along with a very keen eye.

  11. nanacathy2 says:

    Simply stunning pictures.

  12. I love seeing the structure of trees in the winter time. Your photos are very lovely. 🙂

    1. They are incredible. I especially like the gnarled and bent oaks.

  13. I’ve always loved the way early morning sun peers through bare branches of trees in winter. You’ve caught that shot just so!

    1. Yes, the silhouettes seem to make us appreciate the low light and the colours of sunrise and sunset.

  14. So perfect! I loved the gate handle one, but those pictures of the sunlight illuminating the trees are perfect. I’m so glad you had this beautiful walk!

  15. Also, Ali, you should think about selling your photos as prints. I would most definitely buy these. And frame them and hang them in my house and office.

    1. I would be very happy to send you the image so that you can print it, Shelly. I have thought about having an open garden and having some prints available to buy…

      1. If you would like to send me a private message through my ‘contact me’ page, let me know your email address and I can send you that image in high resolution.

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    Most lovely post, Ali!

  17. A magical post, Ali – yes, you did capture that perfect moment – thank you for sharing it. Our property is filled with oak trees – I love living among them. “Proof that big and heavy can have balletic grace” – yes!

    1. I love that you always pick up my favourite line in the whole post!

  18. Beautiful post with beautiful photography. I can feel your wonder and sense of place! I’d love to see the same walk during a different season!

    1. Then I will return with pleasure!

      1. That would be terrific. It is wonderful to see the seasonal changes from the same vantage points. Thanks!

  19. Indira says:

    You captured the mesmerising moments from nature!!

    1. It was certainly mesmerising, Indira!

  20. Cathy says:

    Lovely skies too, Ali

  21. Brilliant! I really enjoyed my tour of your estate. Your photos are stunning and so uplifting!

    1. Thank you! I should make it clear, it isn’t my estate! There are public footpaths through private estates, allowing us commoners to enjoy the land too! 😂

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