Dark Water

Jason // October 31 // 10 Comments

Tanglewood. It’s a woodland, or rather an old conifer plantation that has tied itself in knots. Mossy knolls, peaty pools and festooned larches gather together in this dark place to entice and ensnare the unwary. I’ve been inexplicably pulled to this forest for years, ever since I met a solitary sycamore that somehow thrives in the dark void of dank resin breath.

Always an edgy place and not somewhere to be caught after dark I was taught a lesson in these depths not many weeks ago. An all day medicine walk led me to the centre of the place as dusk bared it’s teeth on the moor drenched horizon and I was cock sure of my way out. Of course Tanglewood had other ideas.

In the brooding light I passed an unknown pool of peat treacled water and was taken aback by it’s pure, cold darkness. Stunned, drawn and repulsed simultaneously I determined to return at a friendlier time of day. Of course Tanglewood had other ideas.

Twenty minutes later in a panic of lost light I circled right round back to the place and knew I was lost. Utterly and totally out of my realm, I felt the prickle of tension grasp the scruff of my neck as the shadows laughed in my sallow face.

Slowing my pace, finding my breath I eventually found my way and the exit path which led me to the final sun glimmers of open space, but the dark water seeped under my skin and now the place and I have an uneasy alliance.

Returning in daylight and plotting my path I found these photos, and the beginnings of a dark journey into the real Tanglewood.

See more Tales from the Land

  • Edgy is a perfect description. You really captured the atmosphere of dark water. I could really sense the prickly tension as you described it.
    I especially like the way you filmed the raindrops making mesmerising concentric ripples . And what a relief to see the golden morning light.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • At 17 I found myself in my own tangled wood… equally dark and mysterious. I know the gripping panic as the sun sank towards the western horizon, and the relief of discovering the path out. I felt it again on this journey with you. Lovely photos!

    • It’s a very primal feeling isn’t it Linda. And that feeling when you find the way out and see the pool of light! Thank you.

  • A wonderfully evocative piece of writing, beatifully illustrated……and again I find the video mesmerising, meditative….I could have watched the raindrops leaving their rings on the water for ever. Gorgeous. Thank you xx

  • Beautiful, mesmerising, hypnotic – a meditation…. And I have just seen that someone else has used those words too. And yes I think you could have stayed with some of the images for longer. Thank you x

    • Thank you. I appreciate your thoughts and the confirmation that I could make the videos more meditative. Looking forward to what I can create in the next few days. x

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
    About the Author Jason

    Jason follows his lifelong vocation as a countryside photographer who tries to catch the spirit of the places he visits. After decades working as a professional editorial photographer he now focuses much of his time on conceptual fine art photography, visual storytelling and in aiding others to follow their creative calling.

    See more short pieces...