DEAD TREE ROOTS, Cefn Coch, Cwmystwyth, Ceredigion 2008

Notes on DEAD TREE ROOTS, Cefn Coch, Cwmystwyth, Ceredigion 1989 - 2010

This particular image was a challenge. The camera was only a few inches off the ground and I lay upon my coat on the frozen ground. The January morning was beautiful, cloudless and very cold. I had visited this root many times before, attempted to photograph it at a higher viewpoint, but had never quite managed the composition I had visualised. This time I more or less knew exactly what I sought and although I didn't want to photograph it in bright sunlight I was fortunate that the sun had not yet risen over this part of the hillside yet the sky behind was too bright to record on the film. Once printed in a low-key, low contrast manner my pre-visualised image was realised and all those previous trips to this root can now be deemed a necessarily and eventful progression.

All these images of dead trees and roots were taken after climbing up and over the cave at Hafod to Cefn Coch plateau. I remember my first visit during heavy fog. The tall trees, branchless, standing like ancient monuments, imposing in the white gloom. The subsequent visits, of which there have been many, as often as I can, returning to particular trees. Photographing, re-photographing the upturned, exposed roots. With each year passing, more of their trunks, branches and roots eaten away by the damp, or wind, or frost or sheep rubbing themselves to rid themselves of an itch.

Once at the tip of the plateau before you stand the Cambrian Mountains and their marshy and heavily tussled grasslands, leading to Teifi Pools and Cwm Elan. Seemingly, nothing much to see up there, except cairns and secret lakes, peat bogs and sheep enclosures. But the views and the slowness of foot benefits the soul and many hours of contemplation can do no one any harm. Often I sing while I go. The sheep do not mind and if the wind is behind you, and the ground beneath dry, miles can pass by without notice.

COED MARW. Cefn Coch. Cwmvstwvth. Ceredigion 1989 - 2009
Tynnwyd pob un o'r deiweddau hyn o goed a gwreiddiau marw ar ol i mi ddringo dros yr ogof yn yr Hafod i Gefn Coch. Torrwyd y coed ar y llechwedd hon, a oedd ar un adeg yn rhan o ystad yr Hafod, a llawer o goed yr Hafod yn ystod y ddau ryfel byd. Wrth wneud hyn, diflannodd llawer iawn o'r 3 miliwn o goed pren caled a blannwyd yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg.

Cofiaffy ymweliad cyntaf a ddigwyddodd yn ystod niwl trwchus. Safai'r coed tal heb ganghennau fel henebion hynafol, yn fawreddog yn yr oerlwm. Rwyfwedi ymweld a'r ardal hon ar sawl achlysur ac rwyf wastad yn dychwelyd at goed penodol a'm hoff goed. Rwyfwedi tynnu Iluniau o'r gwreiddiau agored hyn dro ar ol tro. Wrth i'r blynyddoedd fynd heibio, mae'r lleithder a'r rhew wedi golygu bod y boncyffion, y canghennau a'r gwreiddiau wedi dirywio. Nid yw'r ffaith bod defaid yn rhwbio yn eu herbyn yn helpu dim.
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DEAD TREE ROOTS, Cefn Coch, Cwmystwyth, Ceredigion 2009

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