Monday, 9 February 2015

A Dragon's Dawn, a field of spun silk & a house full of fire

An odd title perhaps but all will become clear. Yesterday was full of light, of bright Winter light but first came the Dawn. A Dawn of such intensity in its rich colours as to be almost unreal. I often miss the Dawn & was expecting to miss this one as we had friends over the night before. Much eating & laughing & merriment had taken place, so waking in time to witness the sunrise was not foremost in my mind. The bedroom was bathed in a cool blue light but at the edges of the two skylights the tone was warmer, a little peachy even. Before I turned to open the curtains to peer out I knew it was going to be a good one. I wasn't disappointed. The whole sky was rich & full & bloodied in red, edged in golden yellows & ragged oranges. It was as if a Dragon had belched across the sky. The land below, crisply blue with another of Jack Frosts visits & the lake, a shard of fallen sky hued deep salmon & rose pink. On one of the big Ash trees, two Buzzards sat high, silhouetted against the brightening sunrise. They sat there until the sun broke the lip of the horizon before deciding to go about their Buzzardy business. Birds sang with notes & tones that I hadn't heard since last Spring & Summer. Clues to Spring being just around the corner.

 After breakfast there was the morning after the night before clearing up to do but I enjoyed it, knowing that later we would venture out into the day, into the brightness of it & soak some of its radiance into our very souls.
At 3:30pm Jill & I made our way to the Towy, crossing the King's Bridge out onto the fields & along the river edge. The river meanders lazily through the valley but its awesome power is never in doubt. During the twenty two years that i've lived here I have seen the course of the river change so much, as it snakes its way through the land devouring fields & wooded banks & spitting them out along its course to make new fields & new banks.
In the bright yet warming sunbeams of this Winters day everything looked gorgeous but the best was yet to come. As we strode on, upstream, we admired whatever wildlife presented itself to us. Snipe sprung from the marshy ground, beautiful Teal flushed from small pools at the rivers edge, art deco little ducks, exquisitely painted & one of my favourites & Gooseanders scrabbled across the glassy surface like paddle steamers on speed.
As the sun was slowly sinking, fields full of gossamer silken webs of perhaps a million spiders carpeted the grass like discarded strings from Fairy Harps, translucent & beautiful. Absolutely stunning & rather than words i'll insert here the photos.

Jill sat amongst a field of silken webbed beauty

Jill haloed in the setting sun amongst the discarded strings of Fairy Harps

 Returning the way we came, the sun now lowering quickly, some sheep fat with lambs yet to be born were grouped in a field, naples yellow hued & reflected in the flat marsh pond, watching us & ready to bolt.

Stopping by Yankees' Pool to watch the last rays disappear over Llandeilo I watched some small insects, backlit as they danced upon the air, bouncing as if held by invisible strings. Mesmerising they were, with their little sun dance. At the exact moment that the last ray of the sun fell behind the hill, all the little flies parted & flew into the hawthorn hedge to settle for the night. How many of us I wonder are lucky enough to witness the bedtime of bugs.

Little dancing flies bouncing on the air just before bed.
Time to go & as we walked out onto the field which leads to the Kings Bridge a familiar hello found our ears. Friends from the evening before were also out for a stroll so tales from last night were echoed & the laughter resumed.
Some years ago I lived in a small cottage close to this part of the river & so i've walked across these fields more times than I could possibly imagine. So often when returning home I would see this house ( not mine ), a farmhouse which stands at the foot of a hill & when the sun set it would appear that the house was full of fire as its windows reflected the setting sun. I loved the intensity of it, the rage from within, golden & orange, like the sun had gone for tea. I always wanted to photograph it but never had my camera with me. Not a great photo I know but it gives you an idea.

So that was yesterday. A day of silken webs, of flushed ducks, of a sunrise & a sunset & what we were hoping for was the sight of an Otter. We didn't see one but that didn't matter, it was just great to be out. I'm out on the Towy at sunrise tomorrow with a friend, hoping to photograph some Otters. I'll let you know how we get on.


Anonymous said...

A wonderful day!

Kath Winnell said...

Very eloquent David, and evocative. You are as masterful with the pen (ok, keyboard!) as with the paintbrush!!