October 31. Life and Death. Our Samhain celebration started with a favourite walk. The morning was still and slightly overcast. We encountered a greater spotted woodpecker (unusual) early on. After a couple of miles we paused only to hear a Crow’s call that echoed like a gunshot in the stillness. The land stretched out before us.Entering the wood was almost a reverential act .It seemed as though all of Nature was saying farewell to Summer and hello to Winter such was the quietness. We walked mostly in silence lost in our own thoughts and meditations .A late lunch of homemade parsnip and apple soup made for a perfect end to our excursion. As darkness fell I set up the Samhain portal mirrors and fire pit .The moon partially hidden watched over us as we lit the fire. Little Owls called from the fields beyond the garden as we stood quietly in the firelight.The fires consumed the years unhappy memories and we gave thanks for the goodness we have received. Winter and cold will come soon now along with warm jumpers ,boots and scarves. Time for enjoying the rhythm of the seasons and accepting the dark and cold , understand the meaning of “winter” and looking forward to the light of rejuvenation.
Great to wander around within a couple of miles of home.The River Lathkil is a shadow of its former self. The deep green waters are no longer .The days of the beautiful river seem to have passed.The damage done by mining now taking its toll.we hoped to catch a kingfisher but no joy.The vegetation is dieing back now .A sure sign that winter is close
A sunny October day finds us exploring “the Realm of Ancient Kings” , Harboro Rocks. Buzzards wheel and hover in the clear skies and you can see for miles. I fantasize I can see Toby Hay,s house in mid Wales. In the early afternoon we eat our picnic gazing across the landscape. Perfect.
Out on the North Eastern edge of the Peak District today .A strong winds and cloudy skies made for a bracing walk.Grouse chattering away and a lonely kestrel the only activity out there.Fantastic views towards the Hope Valley to the West and Redmires to the East.
Listening : the wind across the moor and the grouse chattering in the heather.
A blustery westerly winds pushes us over the Moor. A solitary carrion crow watches us from a fencepost as we pass by. It is a splendid afternoon . Just off the beaten track we spot funghi in an old Oak grove and take a look. Further on we find the Nine Ladies sitting quietly now ,the tourist season over, and the Equinox revelers departed. That unique “special place” feel has returned. The wind continues to annoy the birch and oak trees and beautifully coloured leaves ,yellow red and ochre, skid through the air freed from their moorings. There are more funghi specimens hidden among the trees .The sky feel endless and the sun sends shafts of light all around. Near the entry gate the ground is littered with sweet chestnuts. Nature is not only bounteous but seemingly wasteful as well.
Listening: Anne Briggs “comes a time”
September drifts to an end quiet warmish days and showers. Pay a short visit to our friends Peter and Linda . We met a lovely watercolour artist Patricia Board whose work is wonderful and a retired farmer/countryman Peter Thomas who now spends his time woodturning using found pieces of natural English wood. They both said ” we love what we do ” .They felt like kindred spirits creating beauty simply because they could. Unpretentious happy artistic beings. Inspiring.
Listening : Windy & Carl : blues for a UFO
The Equinox seemed to sneak up on us this year but blessed us with a glorious day. We headed out west and wandered on a little known trail past Lud’s Well under the guiding hand of S.J. Hopkins. Buzzards and Ravens were out and about on a day that made you glad to be alive. Those darker cold times seem far away !
Listening : Jeff Pearce “for the darker seasons”
September has offered some beautiful days and in between taking in the on coming Autumn it has been a busy period painting for the last installation of the season at the Old House Museum and for an installation at LoughranHague. Listening : The Tarkovsky Quartet