A rare trip abroad, to visit family near the Mediterranean coast of France gave me the opportunity to explore some novel landscapes. Several years ago I spent an evening in this otherworldly place, known as the French Dolomites so was keen to revisit.
Life has moved on since my last trip here and it was evident in my approach. At first I struggled to find my photos. Not wanting to merely replicate the typical touristy scenes I'd shot last time I wandered the landscape as I tried to get under the skin of the place.
It took a while, and many poor quality photos, before I eventually got an inkling of what I wanted to say, or rather of what the land wanted me to say. Venturing off the beaten track I homed in on the relationships between the exotic trees and the rock structures. First I had to lose myself to the place and fully get in the flow.
On my previous visit I'd taken my full camera bag and worked with a tripod mounted camera. This time I was travelling light, just a camera and kit lens around my neck which enabled me to traverse the more difficult terrain that was quite choked with vegetation.
As I sat in the van in the brooding dark I penned a trial Haibun which I share below, along with an illustrative image.
Cirque de Moureze
Towering spectres of bone toned rock point to an unseen moon rising through the dampening dark. A cling of branches grasp cold evening air, relishing the relief from autumnal heat as the light fades into earth time.
Late birds call and flush in the shadowy bush, seeking a night time roost, safe from marauding seekers. Sleepers that will slumber ’til dawn dreams a new day.
Spires unite in a cohesive whole, rising from the jungle of scrub to dance the slow timbre of the cosmic clock until all is exposed and worn to dust.
Who knows the memory of those
that dare dream days
of rain and rising sap?