Henrietta Richer Photography | Listen While You Walk.

Listen While You Walk.

May 06, 2017  •  2 Comments

Through out this year, I am reading the book Romancing The Ordinary by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It is a month by month celebration of simple splendour, such as the tiny drops of dew on this head of cow parsley.


I recently read the chapter The Listening Walk, in which the author cites Jonathan REE, a British freelance historian and philosopher, and his book I See A Voice, a philosophical history of deafness, language and the senses.

She writes,

'Ree tells us that listening is the homing device by which our soul directs us towards our sense of place. Nothing is more personal than how we listen'.

Indeed, two people, in the same place, will not necessarily hear the same things or react to what they hear, in the same way.


ED9CE888-E1B5-4802-ABCA-2D0E90DB5C93My village.

On reading this, it struck me that one of the reasons I enjoy living in the country so much, is because I grew up hearing the same sounds, that I now hear around my home.


In the chapter Sarah recommends going for a listening walk or just pausing, where you are, and taking note of what you here. So, the next day I decided to make a mental note of everything I heard on my morning dog walk.


The first sound I noticed was the clang of the black bird dropping and pecking Melody's food in her metal bowl.

We generally set off between 9 and 9.30 am, cross the small place in front of the church, where sparrows and pigeons bicker and roost in the church tower.

IMG_2852 We cross the road to a footpath, where the sound of our passing every day, excites a neighbour's Jack Russell, who hurls himself against their aluminium door, like a hungry Sumo, with a resounding bang.

Then we take a narrow footpath, that passes between the walled gardens of the more opulent houses, but also abandoned plots, and here a multitude of different birds give voice. 


The houses along the last part of the footpath, before I reach the fields, have dogs that are left alone all day. They bark excitedly as we pass. If the three mountain sheep dogs are out, I have to cover my ears, as they sound off through the hedge only a hand's breadth away.

IMG_2881"Picture Lane"

As we emerged into the fields that morning, this was the view. It was misty to the east and a cuckoo was calling for a mate, "Cuckoo, cuckoo ..."

I got a picture of this hare, before it bounced away.

I've seen three of four of them, a few times this last week, which is unusual and apparently a good omen.

Out here in the fields, the birds continue to sing, but there is a murder of crows that roost in the copses, and their harsh crowing drowns out the other birds' song or perhaps frightens them away.


My Melody, catching her breath in the sun. She's quite an old lady now at 12 yrs.


Sometimes, Thomas comes with us for a walk too.


We pass by this ancient walled orchard on the left of this path and one of the abandoned gardens on the right, where I 'gather' flowers and foliage. 


I can hear the distant whistle of the 'once an hour' Paris train that rushes through the valley below the fields.

An easy wind rustles the growing crops and sways the leaf heavy trees.


And the leaves of these irises as we emerge from the fields and return home through the village.






That morning I caught snatches of conversation from this garden secreted behind ancient walls.


And back home in my own little courtyard, I had a little chat with this snail, which was advancing down the front door shutter towards these new tender leaves, while I took its picture.

It waved its antennae, as though my words were of interest.





"You are really not at home in a place until you have made yourself familiar with how it sounds and resounds."

Jonathan Ree.





A Quick IPhone Photography Tip.


All these photos were taken with my iPhone 5SE and I think you'll agree that they're not bad, although they would be very grainy if enlarged.

I don't use the Instagram or other filtres very much, but  I do play with the brightness, contrast, highlights and/or shadows.

There are two things to keep in mind when photographing with a telephone:


1. Never zoom. Crop later.

2. Always use the High Definition Range, HDR, function.



Thank you so much for visiting. I hope you enjoyed coming along on my morning walk.






Philippe G.(non-registered)
Thank you Henrietta for this nice trip in our village. I leave there with you but it is amazing how things looks like through your eyes !
Cathy Grayson Schumaker(non-registered)
Absolutely wonderful.
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Portrait by Pauline Goyard.You can find her on FB.Portrait by Pauline Goyard.You can find her on FB.

Welcome to my blog:

My French Country Life.

I'm British born, but moved to France decades ago for love.

My blog is about my photography and my life in the French countryside, near Paris.

I create images that are greatly influenced by art, both past and present, that you can buy in the shop.

I'm happy to discuss comissions.









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