Just as many of my fellow photographers do, I have a thing for old trees, I love their textured barks, their gravity, their endurance, their sturdiness and sheer survival – and so when I read about the oldest oak of Northern Italy being situated within an hour’s drive of our summer cottage at Lake Como I knew I had found the goal for this day’s excursion.
What the guidebook forgot to mention is the 1,5 hour hike you have to take from the place you leave the car to get to the clearing this tree – called Il Rogolone – shares with it’s younger brother Il Rogolino…
Therefore it took two attempts to see those trees, we had to abandon the first because of the steepness of the terrain and the inconclusive directions (what on earth did one do before the internet – I know – take maps for example … and be better prepared the first time…) – so two days later we made another start – now armed with better directions and suitable footwear.
This holiday we decided to kind of combine our hobbies – those of you who have a partner who is not quite into photography as oneself know how complicated it can be to do some photography while accompanied by a non-photographer … so we split, the hubby doing some mountainbiking and leaving me free to walk on my own and at my own pace to the clearing, deciding to meet an the Rogolone. With the help of the ‘friends’ app on the phones we could see the other’s location and time our arrival.
This worked exceptionally well – and it was a great way for us both to explore the countryside – each of us in our own preferred way and still share the experience (or at other times at least a cappuccino) somewhere along the road, so as not spending whole days separated.
On this second attempt I started from Codogna – it was still a bit tricky to find the right starting point – but once found the pathway was very cozy and a good walk – apart from this rather impatient farmer who was very anxious to overtake me I had it all to myself.
The clearing itself has a wonderfully quiet and relaxed atmosphere, there were two benches and on one of them a couple spent their afternoon playing cards and having a small lunch – it added to the enchantment.
I have to admit that the Rogolone is not really quite the impressive oak the Italian description lead to believe 😉– it is ‘only’ about 300 years old, it’s little brother Rogolino counts about 100 years.
Still, it is a beautiful tree in a even more beautiful countryside, I was glad I visited it.
At the end of this day we picked up the car and found a small hamlet with a mill and some pittoresque houses.
In the evening sun, the lizards ventured out of their hiding places to enjoy the warm stones and the last rays of sunshine. I used this opportunity for a bit of wildlife-photography with the Burnside 35.
And suddenly I was child again and inched stealthily and with bated breath ever so slowly closer to the lizard, always anxious not to throw a shadow and not to make any quick movement, like I spent many sunny and long days studying and watching those lithe creatures.
Again the Burnside proved itself to be a very versatile lens, it is well suited to be 'the' lens to take, it is good for landscapes as well as cities, for portraits and close ups, the swirl is superb if you want to isolate your subject from the background bt is just as easlily dialed back when you stop down.
This post is part of a Lensbaby Blog Circle, if you follow he link you get to the next post in this month's circle from Keri Friedman who took the Lensbaby up in the air and offers some unusual and beautiful pesrpectives: