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Richard Baker

Interpretations of our Natural World Through Images and Literature

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travel blog

Birds & Bikes

The wick gears of spring sound up in song,
Wash smooth and true over weary bones,
Perpetual natter glides and gifts the spirit
Each shift and kick to lift the visit,
To join feathers in the firmament,
Potent and impermanent,
Dead air compressed to transient glory.

Then bare on back under pines time soaks,
Into finest fog that remains for the day.

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An Eskdale Escape

Earlier this week I managed to spend 2 days camping and walking with my girlfriend in Eskdale. The universe seemed to collect and compose all the most perfect of components for this break, with an almost idyllic wash of low wind, endless blue skies and persistant sun.

The valley itself was an area of the Lake District that neither of us had explored before and we were both truly blown away by it’s beauty. It was like being taken along an experiential conveyor belt that was motoring steadily into sensory and spiritual overload. Even with the Fred Witton race taking place that day, the area we explored was about as desolate as you could hope for on a late spring Sunday afternoon in the Lake District.

Over the days, we walked, we talked, swam, sat, listened and just let the scenes rinse into us. Hundreds of millions of years of slow distortions, fractures explosions, grinds, crumbles and cracks to be treated to, in such imposing but beautiful prehistoric towers of compression.The most beautiful ghylls taking water down into the Esk below, made the perfect resting spots, the gurlging and rinsing sounds of gentle wet contact over rocks I find the most soothing on Earth.

With Mental Health Awareness Week coming to an end, I genuinely could not think of a better tonic then emersing yourself in the outdoors. Slowing life down and allowing the vastness of a landscape to truely effect you, the sounds of the natural world to heal you and taking the time to notice the small things we share the world with.

There is just an endless amount to love and to learn, whether its distinguishing the tiny complex chatter of busy birds by a slow quiet stream, or becoming familiar with the different families of trees that frequent lowland forests or claim a solitary watch on a mountainside.

On our way back to the car we swam and walked along the most tranquil and beautiful pools and falls of the Esk and I felt utterly revitalised and refreshed ready for my return to work that evening and with plans for my next adventure already clicking into gear.

Great Douk Cave

I have been in a bit of a creative void for a number of years, but recently, rather suddenly, I have emerged from the tundra, throwing myself into the outdoors, into running, writing, reading, into learning and into life, with a passion and conviction I wish to transfer into several creative projects through this blog.

When we challenge ourselves and test our resilience and resolve I feel we gain the richest rewards.

This was a short poem inspired from my first experience caving on a crisp late winter evening

To crawl upon the scars of time,
Where wet cathedrals long to wait,
Midst ancient grinds and fractured lime,
Organs lull mortal minds sedate,
In cascade corridors, not yours or mine,
At alters, prone, no mark of man.

Sinews humbled between hallowed stone,
To breath again at the floor of eternal skies,
Orion laughs, Betelgeuse bellows,
Our effete tongue against the cosmos cries,
This restless edying rock sublime,
Was never yours nor mine.

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