Sunday, 25 October 2009


Last night British Summer Time ended and we all put our clocks back one hour. That means that this morning it is much lighter when we wake up. Our bay window has an east facing pane and through it we could see the big, round, orange sun just peeping up over the horizon. At that same moment the thousands of rooks from Forty Acre wood flew past, tacking in the South Westerly wind and almost touching the window. That is a sight I look forward to every Autumn. It will continue for the next few weeks and I shall enjoy it every day.
One of the advantages of this weather (sunny, raining, drizzling, throwing out a rainbow or two, flinging great black clouds across the sky) is that, when the sun is low as it is now, it does tend to create shafts of light which illuminate particular spots. We had a wonderful example yesterday when a friend and I walked our usual route across the fields. As we walked along the side of the beck we suddenly noticed a bright red flash sitting on a post. Was it a robin? No the wrong coloured red. It was indeed a kingfisher - it sat for a moment in the shaft of sunlight then darted off like an arrow just above the surface of the water, into the plantain. What a treat that was.
The beck is low at the moment so he will have no trouble with his fishing (minnows, stickleback, small trout and bullheads all live in our beck).
This morning, looking out of the bathroom window, I saw the spotlight was on a patch of blackberry leaves in the paddock hedge. I popped over to take a photograph. Naturally (sod's law) by the time I got there the sun has gone in for a rest and a mild drizzle was falling - but I think you get the general idea from the photograph. Then when the sun came out again I nipped into the front garden and took a few illuminated flowers. Even the wretched convolvulus, which is the bane of my life, looks pretty against the stone wall!
Some time ago I posted a poem about spotlighting. In this hilly area it does throw up some fantastic sights. Here it is again:-
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. PT


Jinksy said...

I think you put yourself in the spotlight with this post, Weaver!

Elizabeth said...

Such crisp lovely details
loved the hydrangea best
sorry about the drizzle
we have had torrential rain and thunder but pretty and sunny today
happy Sunday

Lucy Corrander said...

My eye keeps being caught by such spotlights falling on single red leaves among otherwise green ones.

. . . Or flowers that seem to belong to the wrong season - like chicory.


steven said...

weaver you're such a keen observer of the details of nature and especailly the little details around you. i like that as you know! the spotlights are something we get here because of the mottled cloud cover and i love when they illuminate one tiny spot. pure magic - like your photographs!! have a lovely day in the dale. steven

Bovey Belle said...

Hmmm - I was about to go out for a walk and my son has just pointed out it's drizzling now, but I may go anyway.

Lovely photos, little oasis of colour in what is becoming a drab landscape (round here anyway). LOVELY poem too.

Golden West said...

I'm always so surprised to see the same flowers in your garden as we have here! Your scabiosa "pincushion flower" is one of my favorites in the garden and as a cut flower, too.

ArtPropelled said...

I'm so pleased you re-posted that lovely poem and I do love a walk across your farmlands admiring nature's treasures.

Jane Moxey said...

What a great post and how I loved your poem. Nature's light can be very theatrical, and how clever of you to evoke that metaphor! I was in the front row of the stalls admiring the "performance" you described in the poem!

Leenie said...

You still have roses. Ours have succumbed to the cold. Your black-eyed susans (the yellow daisy flowers with the dark center)look like children shoving each other aside to be in your picture. Wonderful poem. My recent cow post watercolor could illustrate it.

Titus said...

Lovely, Weaver.
I so enjoy watching the light move (like lightening, sometimes) across the hills - thank you for capturing this in a poem!

Jenn Jilks said...

You are so right. We haven't flipped our clocks yet, but I find the change so interesting.

And light levels profoundly frame a picture, don't they?

I am attending a "Grief" training course in my capacity as a Hospice Volunteer. Might I have permission to read your poem on death? I printed it to read it again. It moved me!

Heather said...

Beautiful seasonal photos Weaver, and I love your spotlight poem. It must have been wonderful to see all those birds wheeling in the sky. We have enjoyed the Autumn Watch programmes - they featured thousands of knot doing just that this week.
In reply to your comment - I am a great fan of Maggie Grey and think you would enjoy her course. She always explains things well, but leaves leeway for us to add our own touch.

Gwil W said...

Ah yes, you get this spotlighting in the Dales. It's great when patches of sunlight cross the flanks of a hill sompeplace like Whernside and the grass suddenly takes on an amazing glow. You have huge skies and you are not far from the coast so you get this broken cloud that makes the light "fragile" as R S Thomas describes it in one of his poems about North Wales - another place with amazing spotlights briefly picking out features on mountainsides.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Oh, I love the spotlighting of the sun and you describe it so well in your descriptions and in your poem!

Anonymous said...

Vivid evocations of the turning of the season in prose and poetry here, Pat.

Loren said...

I'm envious of all the flowers you still have.

Here were left with little more than 'mums.


Cloudia said...

*Clap Clap* *Applause*

I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful interlude in lovely England...and your creative mind.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

Love that purple flower! so pretty!

ChrisJ said...

Here I am in Southern California, been here for more than forty years, but I can still name that pretty purple flower --field scabious. Am I right?
I really liked your poem too. Can we have more? (I'm a newcomer.)

Amy said...

I have similar flowers in my garden tioo.

BT said...

I know exactly what you mean Weaver and how frustrating it is when you run to fetch the camera and the spotlight has moved or popped behind a cloud! It happens all the time to me. Your photos are beautiful and those scabeous just keep flowering! Our cosmos are still going and some dahlia and roses. It's been a fabulous Autumn so far.