I’ve been venturing out lately with my old Nikon D40 which is about ten years old. I was about to sell it or trade it in and put the money towards a new lens for my Canon so a couple of weeks ago I thought I’d take it out for one last spin and an unlikely thing happened. I found myself absolutely loving using it. Now, don’t get me wrong here, the quality of the photos of the D40 are nowhere near as good at my 6D but, there’s just something about using that camera that I really enjoyed. Perhaps is was the old familiarity, I mean, I did take at least 10,000 shots on that thing. Maybe it’s the slightly hazy, warmer tones it produces, or even just the quality of the photos or using a zoom lens (me and my 50mm prime have been inseparable for a couple years now). Who knows, I don’t even really need to know why, I am just enjoying using this old friend of mine again.
Sunday morning just past I took the D40 (and only the D40) along to one of my favourite spots. I was down in Somerset for the weekend visiting family and I managed to sneak a precious hour on Sunday morning to visit one of my most favouritist places – Hestercombe Gardens.
I’ve been a member of Hestercombe for a couple of years now and I love it there. It’s a little bit like this secret place that’s always so incredibly peaceful and I’ve come to think of it as somewhat of a sanctuary for me. Even in the thick of winter when all the flowers have gone it’s still a pretty little land to wander around. But hey, we’re not quite in winter yet and so I was greeted by a most marvellous sight of golden autumn leaves through the beech woodlands. Now, anyone who’s been following me on Instagram for a while will know that I have a bit of a thing for trees, and beech trees are hands down my favourite. Wandering about under their canopies as there burnt orange leaves fell down around me reinforced that adoration even more.
The thing about Hestercombe is that actually, it’s not really a secret place at all, in fact it’s a very well known spot and so there are generally always people around but that’s ok. One of my favourite things is watching kids run around spots like this tearing about with the sheer joy of playing in the outdoors. And there were quite a few families there doing just that on Sunday. In fact, it’s pretty rare to see someone else on their lonesome ambling around. I often feel like a bit of an outsider being there on my own but at the same time I have a sort of sense of belonging and authority when I’m there too, like I’ve got special permission to be walking about with my camera snapping away.
I did the usual route that I do when I don’t have a great deal of time. Up the high path towards the waterfall, up the woodlands a little way, back down past the lakes (always with a “hello” to Hester the resident swam, across the lawn in from of the Orangery and then finishing with a lingering wander through the gardens. I have visited this place umpteen times now and I love that there is still always something new to see, or something to see again in a different way because the seasons have changed it. Every time I visit this place it gives me something that perhaps only someone who experiences the same thing when they visit their special place can understand. And it keeps me going back there, time and time again.