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25 December 1999 @ 11:02 am
Stonor: So This is Christmas  
Stonor: So This Is Christmas
25 December 1999

Location
Stonor, Pishill with Stonor Country Parish, Buckinghamshire. OS Explorer 171.

I tried to park at the Stonor Arms but a young man with a South Park tie told me that they were fully booked and would need all their parking spaces. He was ever so nice about it. Considering that the first item on their menu was watercress soup with frog legs, I didn't mind too much. I am not making this up.

My walk took me from Stonor Deer Park eastwards to Southend, through Gussets Wood via Upper and Lower Woodend Farm to Bosmore Farm and through Coxlease Farm back to Stonor. Considering the rain storm the night before it was surprisingly unmuddy.

There are not many pictures from the first part of the walk. Stonor Park was littered with No Trespassing signs and besides I was in a funk. As usual a couple of hours at the bosom of Mother Nature made me feel a lot better.


Weather
Cloudy with some strong winds. The rain held up until I got back to the car although I was worried there for a while.

The night before had been very stormy with torrential downpours. Areas in Scotland had flash warnings of severe weather. A number of rivers in England were on red flood alert. That's why I chose high-lying land for this walk.

Walk
This beautiful oak stands between Bosmore and Coxlease Farms. The fast-moving clouds behind it only add to its feeling of permanence in the landscape.
oakwsky

This is the view from Woodend Lane into the valley west of it. The horses to whom the orange trough belonged were evidently feeling neglected. While I took the picture they were loudly banging their feeding buckets to get my attention. In this part of the Chilterns you see a lot of horses in pastures.

Because of the low light levels the picture turned out too dark. When I brightened it in photoshop, the sky was ruined. It wasn't this turquoise at all.
downwards

I found the pattern that these fields and hedges make interesting. The light parts are not dusted with snow, as someone from Sweden might think. It's just that the soil is drier there.
fieldpattern

Sheep. The English landscape is unthinkable without them. You can see that this is late in the walk because the light is fading already.
sheep

This is from earlier in the walk, looking eastwards from the ridge between Southend and Gussets Wood. You can see why I was worried about rain.
chilternsky

This is what the English call a "country lane". It's meant for cars and for two-way traffic. Until you meet someone in a giant Landrover you may think that they're picturesque.

This is between Upper and Lower Woodend Farms.
chilternlane

The way these boughs snake their way heavenward is very suggestive. The whole image makes me think of the Fire Swamp in the movie The Princess Bride.


Under this sign, you will be happy! You can see that we're in Bucks from the swan (cygnet in poshspeak) on the sign.
underthissign