Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Journey

Today I have driven over to meet my god-daughter for lunch in Sedbergh. I love this journey and I have taken you with me on the drive through Wensleydale many times.

One of the interesting things about living in the Pennines is that the weather can change in just a few miles. It was a lovely sunny day here and it remained so all the way (it is thirty miles) but within five miles of leaving home it was obvious that there had been torrential rain overnight. The roads were swimming with water, the water was cascading down the hillsides and the river was full to overflowing. We had had no rain here.

Sadly I drove past a dead badger on the road. It is always sad to see such a beautiful animal killed by a car. Road kill is a fact of life up here - pheasants, rabbits, even the occasional hare I am afraid to say and now and then a roe deer, but it is a long time since I saw a badger.

I allowed myself an extra half hour to look round Westwood's Bookshop in Sedbergh one of the best second hand bookshops in the country and one of the most comprehensive. I managed to find an Iris Murdoch which my son has not read so that can go in his stocking for Christmas (if you are reading this Dominic, skip this paragraph).

Then, so that I got home well before dark (I am not good at driving in the dark), I set off to come back home. I stopped just long enough to get you a shot of the beautiful Howgills looking in quite a sombre mood, but livened up by a few shots of sunlight. And that brings me quite neatly into another of my poems. There is a hill near home called Scarth Nick and the view from there is spectacular. This is a poem I wrote about it:-

The View from Scarth Nick.

A spotlight 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 split second-
catches the sunlight.

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


Rachel said...

The best badger is a dead one. Ask the farmer.

Heather said...

That is such a beautiful view Pat and your poem paints another one.
Even though our locations are quite different we experience similar weather oddities here - my daughter who lives only 1mile away can be dry when it is pouring with rain on us.
Sadly we often see badgers as road kill. I've never seen a live one.

angryparsnip said...

I am so sorry for the Badger, They are such beautiful animals.
Your photo of the Mountains/Hills are so beautiful. Just thinking about the water cascading down the hills is such a luxury for us desert people.

cheers, parsnip

Dominic Rivron said...

Like the poem - shades of Norman MacCaig.

Rubye Jack said...

Beautiful shot. I really like the poem a great deal.

Pondside said...

It sounds like you had the perfect sort of day. Place names in the UK are so very interesting - how could a poem about a place called Scarth Nick be anything but enjoyable?

Bovey Belle said...

Love the poem - I could picture the scene in my mind's eye.

LOTS of dead badgers round here, bunnies and foxes too. The occasional pheasant. More towards the end of the shooting season when they are afraid to take their feet off the ground . . . Local farmers will always aim at a fox if there's one crossing the road. With the high incidence of TB round here, probably the same can be said of roadkill badgers too . . .

Jinksy said...

I tend to see country vies as stage sets, too, with weather always waiting in the wings...

Rachel Fox said...

I remember this poem - you've posted it before, right? And the fact that I remember it speaks well for it - I remember the prima donna cows!

mrsnesbitt said...

Lovely Pat - and i too am saddened by the road kills - I know provide food for other animals but still sad.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the nice comments.

Gwil W said...

Pat, I do enjoy your farm(er) poetry revisited. Keep em coming! I've changed my poem about the monolith quite a bit since you commented. Finally got what I wanted after that wee bit of encouragement. Persistence pays.