Trees and Shadows.

The new Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Shadows.

I have a few versions of this scene. Taken from the top of Bickerton Hill, Cheshire, England looking towards North Wales. The row of trees casting long shadows caught my eye and I wanted to isolate them.

That meant using a telephoto lens, the starting point was a 300mm and for this version I had a 1.4x teleconverter behind the lens to isolate them even more. I had a 600mm lens with me but the wind was so strong on the top of Bickerton Hill that it was unusable. So for the 600mm versions I used a 2x teleconverter behind the 300mm.

Shadows from trees.

Old wall box.

One from the archives taken in Cheshire in the 1980s. A wall box is a type of post box set into a wall.

This box was set into a sandstone wall on Bickerton Hill, Cheshire, England. Bickerton Hill is a low, red sandstone hill close to the southern end of a long-distance footpath known as The Sandstone Trail. The area was quarried in the past so the wall is probably built of locally sourced sandstone.

I did a selective colour treatment to leave the post box red with the rest of the image in monochrome.

Sometime after the photo was taken the post box was stolen. Removed from the wall in the dead of night I presume. Apparently there are people who collect old post boxes and obviously some aren’t concerned about obtaining them legally.

Selective colour treatment of an old post box.

Amanita muscaria.

A second Fly Agaric post, Amanita muscaria is the scientific name for the mushroom.

Although classified as poisonous it hasn’t stopped slugs or snails eating part of the cap of the one on the right. You can just see the edge of eaten section slightly right of centre of the top of the cap.

At the same time, the reason it is called Fly Agaric in English is because in the past the mushroom was powdered into milk to kill flies in parts of Europe. Bug Agaric is an old alternative name for the mushroom for the same reason.

Amanita muscaria.

Fly Agaric.

One from the archives taken in Cheshire in the 1990s. Fly Agaric are the classic Toadstool beloved by illustrators of children’s stories.

But they’re far more interesting than that. With the red cap and white spots some people assume it’s highly poisonous. It is poisonous but human deaths from ingestion are extremely rare.

It contains psychoactive substances and some cultures have used it for its hallucinogenic properties. The mushroom was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the indigenous peoples of Siberia.

I picked this shot because I like the way the Bracken fronds have wiped the white spots off a section of the cap. The white spots are the remains of a white veil that enclose the mushrooms when they emerge from the soil.

Fly Agaric and Bracken.