Saturday, December 06, 2014

Home on the range

Winter in the country can be a bummer - the dark, the cold, the mud, the leaching out of colour, the lack of access to what’s going on elsewhere. It takes only half an hour for us to drive to town, but we have to go over a ridge of hills to get there, which means that if there’s an event we want to attend in winter weather – ice, snow, fog – it requires skill, courage, determination, four wheel drive and snow tyres. I can say yes to only two of those.

On the other hand, when I arrive home from Sheffield on a clear night, the stars are bright. And I’m so much more aware of the sun and the moon out here, how their arcs change through the seasons. I like that I know exactly where they rise and set throughout the year.

When I drove home the three miles from Bakewell just after four yesterday, I was bewitched by the huge full moon hanging above the horizon in a clear sky. I parked the car and rushed in to drag Dave out to see it, and then I tried to take a photo of it and failed.  See what I mean?


Yes, I took a photo. But could I capture the enormity of it? The awesomeness? The magic? No.

The last leaves have fallen from the copper beeches in the garden, the frost has turned the lingering nasturtiums by the front door to mush, and the Christmas tree is up on the village green. Starlings are gathering in flocks and flying up to their roosting place over the hill and soon we’ll be driving up to see their murmurations. We’re nearly at the winter solstice. The natural world is quiet. And you know what’s next?

An ON Christmas. 

If you’re new to the blog and don’t know what an ON Christmas is, read this.

And here’s a more successful photo I took four years ago of the winter moon setting behind the village.

Jan 10 016

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