Slowly Beats the Heart of the Forest – the making of the film

Jason // January 6 // 24 Comments

As the snow gently settles a blanket of light upon the land nature is slowing down. Right down.

Long nights encourage longer sleeps. Much of life from Bluetits to Birch trees conserve their energy, knowing the secret of rest. Hunkering down is the way of winter.

The hoary song of Mistle Thrush ripples through evergreen mists, Coal Tits, looking incredibly vulnerable in their smallness, tweezer nutrients from seeds as a rusty Roe Deer lopes in the shadowlands between the worlds of man and mystery. Not one of these folk know what tomorrow will bring, neither the winged ones, the four leggeds or the tree people, but they carry on being beautiful and elegant despite the bone shivering cold.

Concerns of what the next sunrise may bring, or the next moon, or the spring equinox don’t weigh heavily upon them. They go about their work of being Fox, Squirrel, Fir and Hedgehog. Knowing that the way of nature has seen their kind through to this point they follow their ancestral callings and live their lives.

Their resilience comes from a connection to all that is. Invisible threads of unknown magics weave between each and every one of them, entwining them into the great being that is ‘life’. Tuned into the rhythmic turnings of the year and wired to the weather each and every one of nature’s folk prepare, lay down stores, get fat, know when to hide, when to sleep or when to forage as if life depends on it. Because it truly does. For them and us.

There’s something about the heartbeat of the land that words cannot describe right now.

A mystery seeps from the mosses and lingers in the chill breath of the soil.

No one knows the name of this spirit, yet it waits in the enchanted corners to slow down our heartbeat, to bring us solace and bless us with beauty and truth.

Robin knows the days are now getting longer, as do Alder and Fox. Blood and sap are preparing to rise again, to inhale this spirit and wander the wheel of the year. Right now though, as razor edged frosts creep in from the moon drenched hollows and hunger is an every present gnawing, it’s time to hold each other with eloquence and benevolence.

We need to sew ourselves back into this colourful tapestry. To quieten our chatter, feel the stitches that bind us to our neighbours, let the trees bring forth our tears and synchronise our heart beats with the rhythm of the land.


Slowly Beats the Heart of the Forest is a short film I've created to catch the feel of this time of year, I invite you to watch this and share your thoughts below.

See more Tales from the Land

  • Blessings Jason, your eloquence and benevolence has synchronised my heart to your Heart of the Forest. Flying through that portal pond to another world of stillness and mystery. Within all our reach. At this still point of the year 🙏

  • I’ve watched this before but this time as l watched the ripples in the water for a few seconds from 1.38 the face of what looked like an otter appeared. Also, at 3.32 did a deer walk through the trees to the right of the nuthatch. It was just a shadowy figure 🤔

  • Correction to my previous message. I should have said “did a deer pass through the trees to the left of the nuthatch” . Often get my right and left mixed up.

  • Your films are so wonderful, Jason, that it is difficult to find the right words to appreciate them, but deeply valued they certainly are. Thank you for sharing.

    • This is kind of you to say Barbara, thank you. I look forward to sharing more and have a full years plan of films to work on for 2024.

  • Beautiful and mesmerising. I love the pace of the breath set by the music, the industry of small birds, the power of the luminous tree and most of all way you captured that reassuring pulse of sunlight flickering through the winter branches, making its promise of ongoing life

  • Took the time to watch again today Jason, as ever you captured the “essence” of this time of year and the forest perfectly, enhancing perfection with music and words as only you can. The images breathtaking. The detail on the Coal Tit, stunning. Today, I felt compassion for her, desperately trying to break the small seed open. I felt her despair of hunger in wintertime, the cold and the damp, as would our ancestors. I also saw, decay, decomposition and renewal in the months ahead as The Wheel turns once more. You captured “survival” in its finest – how hardy are the mosses, we have so much to learn from the land, thank you Jason for all you do and share – you are an inspiration.

    • Thank you for this Paulina. I am often haunted by the Coal Tit clip. It really stays with me and takes me right back to the time when I was stood by her, watching her forage for tiny seeds. Fragility and strength were brought to mind. Even now, this clip is one of my most memorable for me, and for Nicola too.

  • Hi Jason hope I’m not being a pest but I did exactly what what I said I’d do and using this as a meditation I’ve found myself in troubled waters lately and even a walk in the park didn’t help to bring me back to balance but this did Thank you so so much Hope you and Nichola well See you soon Jc

  • {"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.

    >