Oak Tree in Four Seasons
This oak tree in four seasons, actually a group of 3 oak trees, is located by a public footpath and bridleway in the former Huntington Lane Surface Coal Mine site near Telford. When I first decided to create a four seasons image of a local scene, I walked many miles of footpaths looking for a subject that would work in each of the seasons. Eventually after much searching I found this group of oak trees and have been rewarded with deep winter snow and a hot dry summer. I chose to shoot with the sun coming over my shoulder in all season but summer when I got up at a punishingly early hour to shoot against the rising sun. This site operated as an open cast coal mine until June 2013 and has since been returned to agricultural land and the former haul roads made into a public footpath and bridleway.
Having been fortunate to find around 8 inches of snow in my Garden, I decided to start the series of photographs. Spring and summer were relatively easy to shoot, new foliage came pretty much when I expected it and I captured the image on my first spring visit to the site. The hot dry summer of 2018 also made it easy to pick a morning, I waited until the sun had just risen as I didn’t want a complete silhouette of the tree and path. The sun worked it’s magic on the fence and foreground as it cleared the horizon allowing me to capture the golden tones of the vegetation that were a feature of this summer. Autumn was the bigger challenge, I wanted to capture the leaves at their peak autumn colour but also in good sunlight to bring out their full potential. After many walks to the site to find the leaves were still green even though all other trees were in their full autumn colours, I managed to find one of the three trees without leaves and dark brown leaves on the other two glowing in the sun as the shadow of the fence perfectly aligned itself with the path.
I’ve called the image Oak Tree in Four Seasons but it could just as easily be a quattro station (as in the pizza) or a vier Jahreszeiten if you prefer German.