Monday, 17 January 2022

Monday 17.01.2022

 Wow! The most perfect winter afternoon. Stacking firewood this morning in breezy cool conditions but after lunch as the wind dropped so did the temperature and the still, icy air, the clear blue sky and dazzling sun beckoned us out. Up the road, round the woods, deep breaths and striding out - what else can you do in such conditions 😊 The light made me wish, not for the first time, that I was a painter







and as we turned for home an enormous silver Wolf Moon guided us down the hill. Perfection.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Sunday 16.01.2022

 Bit at sixes and sevens and out of sorts this morning - too many things swirling in the brain - and there`s generally only one cure for that....so off we set. Up the hill into a cold wind but once in the woods it was calmer, the wind less noticeable, the firm ground beneath our feet a pleasure to walk on after the slippy snow and ice we had last weekend. 

The light was wintry, predominantly grey with washes of whites and pale yellow but it was dry and bracing and good walking weather.

The geometrical rearrangements made by Storm Arwen are still in evidence everywhere, 

and were some times easier to  manoeuvre around......................



......then others..........









However, the walk did the job. Head cleared.
Later, another quick gallop round our top field - nights definitely drawing out, wind still cold but sky clearing, a nearly full moon and some beautiful colour..........

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Sunday 09/01/2022

 A New Year.  Perfect winter`s day. This morning, just before sunrise, the air ear-bitingly cold but very still, the sky clear, distant lights twinkling and, somewhat surprisingly given the temperature, one or two of the braver birds trying out a chorus or two.

Stayed sunny all day though the temperature hardly shifted and began to plummet again as the sun went down. 


The last rays illuminated the landscape: the grasses, the gorse that never seems to stop flowering,


 the still bare branches of the two big beeches at the back of the field .
The fallen tree continues to provide a good frame for scenic views 

and this evening, if you look hard enough, caught the demi-moon as it waxed its way across the sky.



We crunched our way back down across the frozen snow, watching the sky where the sun had disappeared (to the south-west at this time of year) turning a pearly pink.
If all our winter days were like this there`d be nothing to complain about.

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Saturday 18.12.2021

 If ever there was a way to lift the spirits, out early on a morning like this up on our back hill would take some beating.

There had been a hard frost and as we crunched across the grass, the still, raw air pinched at ears and nose while the freezing fog lay low over the adjacent fields.  

The sun was not quite up but the sky in the east was a wash of deep red, presaging its emergence. On the opposite side of the sky, a golden very nearly full moon lingered just above the horizon, as if waiting for the sun before it could disappear. 

A solitary star was still visible in an otherwise clear sky and then as it faded from view a very high-up plane drew an arrow-straight white line over our head, disappearing eastwards, who knows where.

No camera could have done it justice: it was winter perfection.


Sunday, 21 November 2021

Sunday 21.11.2021

 Out in the semi-dark this morning, cold wind, threatening clouds looming on the horizon but patches of blue sky and the just-beginning-to-wane moon still suspended high up to the West.

A dramatic change in the weather then, from the last few days of  balmy zephyrs, beautiful light, autumn colours,  and the uplifting sight and sound of geese circling lazily overhead.


By contrast, this morning whispered `here comes winter`. A solitary goose flew across the sky, lost or a maverick? And as we arrived back the skies opened and threw sharp little pebbles of hail at us.  And apparently there is snow to come by the end of the week which is going to make the imminent journey south an adventure. 



Thursday, 4 November 2021

Thursday 4.10.2021

Not sure whether the literary term `pathetic fallacy` actually applies in this case (having just looked it up) but there is no doubt that in the early morning last Sunday, 1st November, dawn was the most startling crimson I can remember seeing in a long time, a startling crimson which took up a broad swathe of the eastern horizon and imperceptibly turned to gold as the sun rose.

It seemed a fitting way to mark news of a death that had come overnight, albeit one which was long expected and was genuinely that thing people talk about - a release. 

Since then the mornings have been dreich and grey and cool which has underlined even more how memorable that dramatic moment on the morning of All Saints Day was.

R.I.P. Joan Mary. In the Celtic tradition the 1st of November is known as Samhain, which, among other things, is thought to be the time "when the spirits of those who have passed are closest to us." It certainly felt like that, pathetic fallacy or not! 

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Wednesday 27.10.2021

 Could get slightly obsessed with these early morning/late afternoon perambulations on top of our little hill.

Yesterday morning, even earlier than usual, we were under a low grey lid of cloud, a foreshadowing of the rain that came later in the day, but the lid was slightly aslant and the eastern horizon was a fierce red gold . Like Mary Oliver observes in "Why I Wake Up Early", it does make for a positive start to the day.**

This morning meanwhile, we were half an hour later, the sky was lighter with the clouds higher and more scattered. Mild air and a half-moon poised even higher overhead, the birds a little more active than the other day and a single bright yellow flower hanging precariously on the gorse. 

**Why I Wake Up Early

Hello, sun in my face

Hello, you who make the morning

and spread it over the fields                   

and into the face of the tulips

and the nodding morning glories,

and into the windows of, even, the

miserable and the crotchety –

                                                                               

best preacher that ever was,

dear star, that just happens

to be where you are in the universe

to keep us from ever-darkness

to ease us with warm touching,

to hold us in the great hands of light –

good morning, good morning, good morning.

 

Watch, now, how I start the day

in happiness, in kindness.

                      Mary Oliver