Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Wild, wild, wild.

It is a wild day today. The trees are bending and crashing in the wind. We go to the feed merchants over a very swollen River Ure and River Cover - carrying vast tree trunks with them as they cascade downstream. Trees are down everywhere. Where one has fallen across the road someone has already been with a chain saw and sawn the trunk into pieces. All is piled neatly by the side of the road.

Where a tree has been ripped up in the field it lies, its roots cruelly exposed, its limbs broken and scattered - a giant felled in an instant. A buzzard rips a rabbit apart and devours it in the middle of one field and along the side of the road a sparrow hawk darts, below hedge height; although whether to keep out of the wind or to chase a little bird it is impossible to say.

The sky is very beautiful. Layers of angry cloud, some black, some grey, some silvery-white, overlay one another and here and there bright rays of sunshine push through. We can see another hail storm passing down the dale and we run into a torrent as we arrive at the feed merchants.

Sheep huddle against stone walls, keeping well out of the force of the wind. The hail, when it comes, is sharp and cuts into the skin. At least we end up with rosy cheeks.

Now indoors with all animals fed and watered, hens shut in, curtains drawn, log burning stove glowing I write this and look out of the hall window in front of me to see the most magnificent sunset. The whole sky is pale apricot edged with black clouds. There is such beauty in this wild weather.

22 comments:

Dominic Rivron said...

Only ventured as far as Leyburn myself.

I often wonder what happens to birds in windy weather. Do they just get blown miles off course? Same with voles, etc., when it floods. If they just drowned there wouldn't be any. It's a bit like where do flies go in the winter?

mrsnesbitt said...

Our hens are locked in too. We had an incident on Christmas Day resulting in a plank from the door being badly damaged so Jon made a little lifting flap so the door can be closed all the time - I just open it to clean the hutch and get the eggs. They took to it straight away - bless!

John Gray said...

pat.. me too..... am going to have the night in reading and thanking goodness I am warm!!!

Heather said...

What a beautiful description of a day some would call 'awful'.
I always feel sorry for the birds when it is so windy - they can't go about their business or fly properly at all.
Apart from a tree down somewhere on the outskirts of our town, and everywhere very soggy, we aren't too badly affected.
Keep warm, and dry, and safe.

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

The harsh yet beautiful British winter... Lovely description :)

Rachel said...

Don't worry Dominic, the birds aren't daft, they take shelter out of the wind. The voles make for deeper holes, or higher ground, not sure which. Flies? they hide in the eaves and wait for a sunny day to come out and invade again.

Maggi said...

What a very evocative description.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

It was even a little bit wild down here in the soft south today. Sparrowhawks often hunt like that - flying low along a hedge then popping over to the other side catching their prey unawares.

George said...

Batten down the hatches and stay warm, Pat. I agree with you, however, that wild weather can be quite beautiful.

Gerry Snape said...

what a wild day this is and not over yet I think....no trees down here so far...I'm glad that you got indoors and are warm in front of the fire....so are we...with big yule logs burning slowly in the windy chimney!

Bovey Belle said...

Our wild weather came through last night and resulted in more wetness about the place than trees down and structural damage, thank goodness. Not as wild in these parts as up your way

I loved your descriptions and think you have a lot more of a view than we do here, snuggling on our hillside. We see sunrises (not sunsets).

Dartford Warbler said...

Wild winds and horizontal rain here as well. Good to watch through a window but not so much fun when you are outside in it, trying to keep hay in a wheelbarrow!

rkbsnana said...

Wow! This post was poetic - lovely

Eryl said...

Incredibly beautiful writing, Weaver, makes me sorry I didn't go out and have the full experience myself. Instead I sat by the stove all day reading and looking up to say "bloody windy out there!" every now and again.

steven said...

weaver - such visceral writing and when i read about how my homeland is being torn up by nature i am astonished and then i imagine that weather like this has visited england before and will do so again. steven

Cloudia said...

Your last line is Truth; and your elegant & brief sketch illustrates it beautifully! You have transported me with your words. . .




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Pondside said...

What a beautiful description - you had me right there until the end.

Golden West said...

Days such as you just had will guarantee a bountiful spring, with plenty of berries for the birds and lush borders where they can hide their nests, just around the corner, really!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Still wild today although not as bad as yesterday. Not a day for venturing far. Thank you for the comments.

Mary said...

............and I hear it hit the south coast too, lots of damage in Devon. Hope it's calmer by now for all of you.

Colder here but brilliant sunshine - a day when a good country walk such as you enjoy would be perfect if bundled up!

Hugs - Mary

ChrisJ said...

I used to love the wild weather we had on Flamborough Head, but that was hundreds of years ago or so it seems. Now we complain if the temps go down into the 50's and if it rains -- heaven forbid -- we don't leave home. We have become so soft -- but I don't feel guilty.

Pat said...

Eryl sent me and your writing conjures up winter's we knew in our Yorkshire cottage now enjoyed by others.
Thanks for the memory.