City walls walk, spring evening

19 April 2006

City walls, spring evening – view 1
City walls, spring evening – view 2


I’ve taken photos along here many times before, but I make no apologies for yet more photos of the city walls – the finest stretch, between Bootham and Monk Bar. On a spring evening, early evening, with hardly anyone else around. Birds singing too. You’ll have to imagine that bit. And the bright green that suprises us every year, just starting.


Stone steps, stone walls

How beautiful is that.

Or is it just me . . .

It’s something about that bluey-grey on the steps and that green on the walls, and the worn-away bits in the centre of the steps.


City walls, spring evening – view 1Stone in evening sunlight


This old stone is endlessly beautiful because it seems to absorb and reflect the light in so many different ways. On the inner surface of the walls, it’s creamy-grey-white, and on the outer face, where the evening sun hits it, it’s glowing, but this changes too, as the strength of the sun changes through the year. And later, there’s more leaf cover from the trees, and the sun comes through dappled. Most of the trees are in bud, no leaves yet, just interesting shapes.


City walls, chalked graffiti

Interesting shapes too on the paving of the walls walk, thanks to this chalk drawing, which I assume will wash away in the rain. Hope so. A strange thing to think about doing though – "Let’s get some chalk and go and draw on the bar walls." But then no doubt some people would think it was strange to go wandering along here as often as I do, taking photos of pavements.


Horse chestnut leaves unfurling

One of the most exciting and gorgeous things that happens every year – horse chestnut tree leaves unfurling.

I remember reading a poem once that compared their unfurling appearance to pencil sharpenings.

I visited here to see them as it seems like a moment of natural perfection. Everyone should go and see this. (Maybe not all at once though as it’s only a narrow walkway.)

And the colour hasn’t been enhanced – it really was that green.


Monk Bar

Back down at ground level, on Goodramgate. Here is Monk Bar, its inner face.

There are spikes on that ledge – to deter pigeons – the modern enemy of ancient buildings. They do make a mess, and I know many people hate them. But one evening, standing here in the same spot, after dark, I looked up and saw how many pigeons were tucked up in all the window spaces, heads under wings, roosting.

They seemed like a friendly and gentle presence, while the weekend revellers passed by below. Dropping litter, vomiting in doorways . . . It’s not just the pigeons who make a mess.

This evening’s wanders continued: Riverside and city – spring evening

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