stormwind buzzards

Storm Doris was passing through. An unlikely epithet branded by the meteorological office onto the low pressure system sweeping across the waistline of Britain, the storm brought high winds and disruption to many. In this part of Hertfordshire though, with the branches and trees of Plashes Wood thrashing below them, a pair of buzzards danced.

Storms are exhilarating events and within the confines of a wood their power can be felt at a deeper level. Huge upright beams sway as ship-masts in a heavy sea, creaks and groans laid over the deeper rumbling breath of the vast movements of air surging across the land and through the stands of the wood.

I set up microphones in a hollow on the eastern banks of Plashes Wood. Above me the tree covered hillside climbed away into the wind. Below, the flood-plain of the River Rib opened up into hertfordshire farmland with the river snaking a path beside the lane to Standon.

Picking up the camera I spent some time walking through the wood, exploring ways to capture the movement of the trees visually. Long exposures seemed to show the way and the results were pleasing.

As I walked a pair of buzzards started to call in the distance, each faint sound rising and falling in the unmistakeable kee-aah of a large raptor. They moved closer, gliding across the face of the wind and into view, passing in and out of sight between swaying trees, rolling above and below each other, revelling in flight on the edge. I watched for some minutes, melting to invisible stillness against the trunk of a tree before they moved off, sliding down the wind in their afternoon exploration.

At home I decided to pull together the sound and images into a short film, best listened to with headphones I think.

stormwind buzzards
Sound: Schoeps CCM4Lg x 2, CCM8Lg in Double MS to Sound Devices 633, mixed to stereo.
Images: Pentax K-5, Pentax 50-200mm zoom
Production: Adobe Audition, iMovie

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