Edgelands Northolme Crescent and the wide open spaces

It was quite late on a wet, grey afternoon by the time I had called in to make an appointment with my dentist. I sat for a while wondering where I could take photos on such a dark afternoon. I set off on foot along Northolme Avenue which, at the point at which it was bordered by open grassland, became Northolme Crescent.

Google Earth shows the way the curved suburban roads of West Park sit alongside these open green spaces. Google Street View allows one to take a panoramic view of the area. The excellent Street View panoramas were clearly taken in summer.

Northolme Avenue. Ahead you can see the small white sign that shows the road becoming Northolme Crescent.

It is the end of March and there are plenty of daffodils about. The grass hereabouts is cut only infrequently by city council workers. And the use of a tractor means that a rough border is left; rough and containing a diversity of plant types...

Northolme Crescent

The fields facing Northolme Crescent are at a lower level than the road and the front gardens opposite. The grasses of the rough border were allowed to grow taller. They stand out starkly against the spring green of the shorter grasses.

Looking across to Spen Lane and Queenswood Drive

Open grassland like this is ideal for dog-walkers. During the hour or so that I was photographing in the area, there was almost always at least one dog-walker within view.

The barrier (right) prevents cars going onto the fields.

Along the rough, uncut border so many species of plant jostle one another and compete for light and nourishment. A cluster of diverse species like this offers an image of the readiness of nature to "re-wild" the area. Those big dock leaves and the accompanying nettles are often a sign of the beginnings of "re-wilding".

How many different species can you spot?

Above and below: only slightly different perspectives on the same clump of weeds, grasses, brambles and creepers. The little tree enclosed by a wire tube (more clearly visible in the picture below) is an apple (of the variety "James Grieve" ). There were 4 or 5 such well-protected saplings nearby. It will be wonderful if they are allowed to grow to maturity and bear fruit.

The picture below was taken facing Horsforth and Leeds-Bradford airport, as can be seen from the plane in ascent just to the left in the middle of the sky.

Looking towards Horsforth, houses on Spen lane on the horizon.

The open green space, with its rather messy, wilder border is the main subject of this short photo-essay. But I could not but pay some attention to the very neat front gardens of the semi-detached houses facing onto the open grassland.

Looking along the walls bordering front gardens along Northolme Crescent

Pages yet to be compiled will feature more photos of the diverse houses, front gardens, not just on this road bordering the suburb but also deeper into West Park.

It was always my intention to foreground the wilder, messier clumps of uncut grasses

One way flat, two-dimensional photos can offer a vision of the landscape is by means of a kind of layering . . .

Yet another dog-walker passes by

That's it for now, folks. Once again I set off with one idea, aiming to capture perhaps one photo, or one type of photo, but I found more and more to interest me. I found myself looking more and more closely at the detail, at what it said about the rhythms of life and the complex interrelations along that edge of the suburbs.

So here is one last photo to illustrate the benefits of looking closely...

HOW MANY species make up the ground covering of this open grassland ?

NEXT: a look at some of the houses, streets, passage-ways in the surrounding suburb. I will post a link to those photos as soon as I have compiled that page.

LLOYD SPENCER

March 29, 2107

Created By
Lloyd Spencer
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Copyright Lloyd Spencer

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