Church on the Hill

Goodbye Little Swallows

I’ve filmed these swallows from the first day they were born, all of 18 days ago.

But now its about time they left.
They’ve been getting the hurry up call from mom and dad the last few days.

And today they were flitting in and out of the nest, having a little fly onto the nearby rafters.
Won’t be long now.

Update: I walked up early this morning.
They’d all fled, gone.
Goodbye you barely-old-enough-to-be-in-this-world little pluckers.
Hope you make it to Africa.

Filming & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Swallow Chicks about to fledge

The swallow chicks up at the ruined church are at least 2 weeks old now.

Two chicks had already made it out of the nest and were sat on to the ajoining rafters.
The other 3 chicks were all fluffed up and good to go.

And maybe they would have gone but for the sound of blaring bagpipes bunging up their earoles.
They were shrinking back into the nest wondering what the hell was going on.
Poor fings.

Anyway, all 5 chicks (where’s No 6?) may well have flown their nests tomorrow.
I might nip up early morning to see if they’ve gone.

Filming,Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

Swallow chicks with wings

The swallow chicks up at the ruined church are now about 10 days old.

Still with those white yappery zipped mushes.
But with wings becoming more visible, prominent.
They’re distinctly more swallow-like than muppet-like now.

By the end of this week they may well have fledged the nest. Hopefully the 3 you see in this vid, and the 3 in the other nest, will have made it up into air where they truly belong.

Filming & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Swallow chicks in the ruined church

Up at the entrance to the ruined church on the hill last Sunday I found a pair of swallows nests.
I’ve been up several times since to see the (7) chicks first week of life.

I’ve mostly watched the nest nearest the front porch that was most visible and filmable. On my last visit one chick had fallen out of this nest (or was knocked out) and lay splat on the flagstones underneath.

The 2 sets of parents were swallow-diving in just about every minute with insects caught on the wing.

First time I’ve ever filmed swallows. First time I’ve ever filmed chicks of any bird in a nest being fed. Enthralling.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

A Cello Moon

A full moon. I’m up to the church on the hill to film spiders.

Faint murmuring of music quietly echoes around the gravestones.

When I slip inside the ruined church a sad solo cello is quietly groaning. I can’t see where it’s coming from.

Looming from out of the shadows is a figure on the floor. Dead silent, and still. A body left unattended, awaiting burial? Gulp.

The solitary cello sounds like it’s reverberating from the ground up, whispering and whining from within the stones.

I’m about to be spooked when the cello loudly lurches out into an upswell of swollen strings.

The corpse in the corner suddenly moves its leg.

It’s a middle-aged man laid out on the ground. In this dark ruined church. On his own. Looking up to the full moon shrouded in clouds.

Listening to John Taveners Protecting Veil.

Probably having an epiphany.

Until I turned up.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Church on the Hill Playtime!

Afternoon in Wistmans Wood is followed by early evening in possibly the second ‘most haunted place on Dartmoor’ – the burnt out church above Buckfastleigh; home of the creepy Cabell Crypt, Victorian bodysnatchers, headless horses, Anglo-Saxon burial grounds, those devil dog Whist Hounds again (or if you prefer,’Hounds of the Baskervilles’)

Plenty potential spooky supernatural malarkey going on up here.

We’ve got the idea of making a little Gothic film of this place.

So here is our first playful exploration of the mise-en-scene.

Church on Hill 1

Sepia is quite effective in denaturnalising and draining deadness into everything

The spire of this church is still in tact.

Church on Hill 2

It gleams in the dark like a demonic pointy hat

Church on Hill 3

I’ve lifted the next 2 pics from video clips

Church on Hill 4

We shot 42 video clips! I haven’t looked at them properly yet

Church on Hill 5

If tonight is anything to go by, we’re going to have a lot of fun playing in, and with, this place.

Haze is wanting to dress up in a long black cloak.

The spirit of Ken Russell lives on!