Leaving Fountains Abbey behind, I chose to walk along the quiet riverside. It was such a calm sunny day, the trees were reflecting in the water perfectly. Looking back I really wish I had taken a picnic as it was a beautiful spot to sit. I was dawdling along the riverside paying no attention until my photographer had the camera all set up.
We had stumbled upon the First artwork in Steve Messam’s These Passing Things. We had also wandered into Studley Royal Water Garden without noticing (You can’t take us anywhere). Bridged is a giant red installation which aims to bridge the gap between the two green landscapes. Much to my photographer’s embarrassment I thought it was a giant bouncy slide (face palm). Midday was very quiet around this installation, we only had the company of a lone swan. This allowed me to fully explore and enjoy the art without fear of being stood on by a human (this happens a lot). My favourite part was seeing the reflection in the river. It made the bridge look like a wheel. The water was so flat you might spot the swans or even my reflection in some of the photographs!
Avoiding the giant hill up to Surprise View. I walked along the riverside to the upper part of the canal. This was the site of the second art installation, Drifted. It happened to be the simplest piece and by far my favourite.
The bright white pyramids changed there appearance as I walked nearer to the waters edge. A reflection so clear it took me longer than I care to admit to realise that they were not 3D diamonds. I loved watching them spin and float about, it was strangely relaxing.
Little did I notice a family of nosey pheasants had decided to sneak up behind me and scare my photographer! I decided to leave them to their naughty ways and go visit the moon ponds. I’m not really sure why they are called that as I thought the ponds were triangle shaped. But it is hard to tell when you are following a fully grown human who is too busy running away from a goose. Are any of your human travel buddies this embarrassing in public?
With the goose at a safe distance from my photographer we were finally able to recover from our run. And enjoy the final art installation, Spiked. I will admit this is the one I was most sceptical of seeing as it has been on the front of all the advertisements. Plus I had heard the Temple of Piety is one of the most popular places to visit whilst at Studley. It was the most popular installation on the day I visited, but that didn’t stop me from climbing up one of the spikes.
Following a wonderful morning of exploring, I decided it was time for lunch. Fountains Abbey has a beautiful café looking over a lake. Sadly, that was the best thing about it. The food was awful. My photographer likened the scone to a rock and the coffee …. let’s say I’ve tasted better muddy puddles.
Uninspired by lunch, I decided to wander around the deer park in the hope of seeing one of the residents. Little did I realise how big the park is. It is a great place to go for a walk, there are so many paths to take. As I had time constraints (and a hungry human to contend with), I chose to explore the corner of the park near the church. I could hear some strange noises but I could see nothing. That’s the problem of walking through long grass when you are only 10 inches tall. I was being very quiet, yes I know that doesn’t sound like me. But, it worked and after half an hour I spotted some antlers in the distance. The resident deer were all sitting in the sunshine near some trees. I was having lots of fun watching them. Though sadly they got a bit spooked when another human for a little bit too close.
I was very lucky to see a whole herd, including the alpha make who was guarding the females and tiny deer. There was even a tiny deer who looked like bambi! Sadly, the red deer were hiding in a safe place, probably eating some tasty grass. I was lucky enough to spot lots of Fallow deer and even a couple of very shy Manchurian Sika deer. Sika deer are so small and very cute.
After a fun afternoon of deer spotting I decided I was too hungry to continue. So I headed back to Middleham in search of some food.
Reflections: a project by my photographer. Inspired by the loss of a friend who could find the beauty in the simple things. I was feeling kind and have decided to let them share some of their work.
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