Mid December! Fog bound for days.Everything is still.The land is enveloped in the blanket of low cloud. Bare trees once laden with leaves etched against the bleakness. The stillness is tangible and I let it quieten my soul .
Midweek! Clear blue skies ,the sun is even slightly warm! The light is sharp.Still no wind ,it’s a beautiful day! We get out passing a hidden place where I left a picture ( it’s yours if you find it). It is a day to delight in after the gloom. Nature is quiet though. We come across a track way of funghi as we meander along. The sunset is just breathtaking and we stop and stare in wonder before heading home. Darkness falls and the moon rises ,huge and orange through the trees.
Listening : Tim Story “Perfect Flaw”
Out on the trail near home on a gloomy afternoon. Leaden skies and low cloud. Very atmospheric ,and in its own way, beautiful. Very still ,no wind and dusk descendend quickly. Lost in thought I am considering some words from Brad Warner’s book “Sit Down and Shut Up” dealing with Dogen’s teaching about the present moment. Meanwhile magpies are grumbling in the hedgerow and a couple of bats whirl around above our heads. The half moon appeares as the air cleared. Home beckones as does “the present moment”.
Listening : Tor Lindvall ” The Park”.
The last week of November and first few days of December have been still and quiet. Atmospheric morning s beautiful days and starry skies. We have explored old ground ,the edges and moors where not many people wander. A visit to the local Starling roosting site was wonderful with literally thousand of birds wheeling and whirling making graffiti in the skies. Joyous days drinking in the incredible sunsets with a flask of tea and chocolate biscuits.
Listening : Plinth “Winter Songs”.
Dusk on the High Peak Trail. The wind moaning in the trees. Exhilarating!
We awake to a crisp morning and the predicted snow fall is just a covering on the higher ground of Longstone Edge. We head out after lunch towards Buxton on the trail .There is more snow to the North West but we have escaped with only rain.Our walk is brisk and rewarding enhanced by a huge gathering of jackdaws and rooks rising from the fields loudly complaining at each other. They are soon put in their place by a magnificent Raven. His “Kronk” made it clear just who was in charge as he flew west. About 500 starlings joined in the fun.
Later more activity from about 300 gulls also feeding on a recently fertilised field . You kind of wish they would go back to the coast but they are fairly spectacular in the afternoon sun. The final icing on the cake is a close encounter with a Kestrel intent on finding an afternoon snack.
Listening : Toby Hay. Birds ep
One of Van’s great songs begins “On a Golden Autumn Day”. That was today. Still, clear and fresh . We wandered out on a back lane taking in the beauty and the colours on the trees. Only the odd leaf made the journeyto the path from above. We disturbed a couple of Chaffinches in the hedgerow and I was bemoaning the fact that there were hardly any Greenfinches around. Also that the Yellowhammer had disappeared from this lane where a few years ago there were two or three pairs. My biggest sadness is the Lapwing (Peewit or GreenPlover) .There was always a large flock in the fields around us but now just the occasional pair can be seen. Then to my delight in the distance ,as if to confound my sadness, about 20 Lapwings rose from a field about a quarter of a mile away their white markings shining in the afternoon sun. Nature!! Always there with a surprise!!
After a busy few days we took an early evening stroll through Chatsworth Park to see an illuminated sculpture on show there. It was one of those magical Autumn evenings after a beautiful day . Still and quiet. Dusk fell quickly and the trees soon became silhouetted against the darkening sky. We could hear the primal growl/bark of a Red Deer echo in the air before realising he was closer than we realised. There he was just above us serene and majestic advising us to make our way home and leave the park for him to rule over. I thanked him for allowing me to take his photograph before moving off without looking back. A special moment!
Our visiting friend Maarit from Helsinki will soon be heading home so it seemed prudent to visit Arbor Low with her as she has fallen in love with the ancient Peak District. The Spirits blessed us with a magnificent afternoon just perfect for an intervention to honour the arrival of October. Our companions were a large gathering of Rooks who were feasting on a nearby freshly harrowed field. Arguing and bickering the would explode into the sky like living graffiti before settling back down to feed.
The swallows and house martins silently slipped away this week. Funny how they know it’s time. Unusually we had about 10 garden warblers feeding in the garden at breakfast time. They were so delightful to observe. Our local robin was not too happy with them though.