Sunday, 7 December 2008

Quality of Light.

Up here in the Yorkshire Dales the quality of light - particularly when the Winter sun is low in the sky - is superb. JWM Turner captured in to perfection in his paintings of this area (there is now a Turner trail you can follow). Today, with snow still lying and a low sun already shining at 9am, trees, barns, walls are lit here and there with an almost magical light. With no camera equipment other than an ordinary digital camera, it is impossible to show you the "spotlight" effect this low sun sometimes produces. So I give you instead a poem.

"Scarth Nick" is an escarpment in Wensleydale. There is a road running obliquely down the nick and at the top of the road there is a viewing place. Stand in that place and you will look across Wensleydale and down Bishopdale - one of the best views in the Dales and one I would love to capture on camera when the sun is making its spotlights to perfection.

The View from Scarth Nick.

A spot light shines
on Friesian cows
and - for an instant -
they are Prima Donnas,
holding centre stage.
Then a cloud
switches off the light.

A golden poplar,
lit from the side,
gets a starring role
before the light goes out.

There are bit players -
the barns,
the sheep,
the sometimes-sparkling water
of the beck,
a red car that, for a second,
catches the sunlight.

But for today
the cows
and the tree
are the stars.
Tomorrow will be
a different play. Pat Thistlethwaite


I hope you get the picture.

14 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

ah yes you've captured beautifully the wonderful everchanging winter light. I like the prima donna cows...

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

Lovely, Weaver!We don't have the same effect here In Georgia, But throught the poem I am able to visulaize it in my mind.

Rachel Fox said...

Told with love. I like the prima donna cows!
x

The Solitary Walker said...

Very nice!

Dominic Rivron said...

Great minds think alike. I've been thinking recently about writing a post, well, not so much about the light in Wensleydale but about the skies. It's such a major part of the landscape here, somehow. I think it was the striking proximity of Venus and Jupiter (I think it's those two) in the evening sky at the moment that prompted the thought.

Sharon said...

Really wonderful piece. I love that the cows and the tree have center stage for the moment.

acornmoon said...

Yes, I get the picture, beautiful.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comments everyone - Dom - Lincolnshire has even better night skies as it is so flat.

Mad Bush Farm Crew said...

A painting with poetry Weaver. I love the works of Turner. Just love the way you've painted the scene with your words.Wonderful Post
Liz

Robyn said...

Yorkshire Dales and Prima Donna cows.....perfect!

Red Clover said...

Beautiful! What a world we live in.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I truly love your poetry.

BT said...

What a wonderful concept, Weaver. Having shone 'centre stage' a few times myself, I love this poem and the thought of the cows treading the boards!!
xx

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