Dark outside

December 28, 2020

I am stood in my kitchen watching the clock. It is the nosiest thing in here. The second-hand clicks around as it has done since it was put up 33 years ago in 1987. Behind me the window; outside it’s dark. Really too dark to assess whether to go out or not. In the end, the desire to escape wins and regardless of what is to come, I step out into a blustery morning. It’s not cold despite being near the end of November which is a surprise, a welcome one.

Not quite dark but enough to put my head torch on and suddenly the shadows jump out, and the noises of early rising birds startle me out of quiet thoughts.


As the wind blows leaves are picked by a small vortex, they swirl around before coming back down on the other side of the path.  Other drying leaves rattle softly against branches as they are rocked in the breeze. Finally, they give up the futile effort to hold on and drop to the floor.

The thing about the wind is that you never really escape the noise of it. The constant thunder in your ears as it blows around your head. The soft hiss as it blows in the reeds, it causes them to dance and sway, with each gust you can see the reedbed changing as they move. Light and shade courses through the bed.

Then there is the roar from the trees. From a soft murmur to roaring like a jet engine. All the while the tree creaks and groans as it is buffeted. With each tree a different note. This also changes with the season; Autumn sounds very different to summer. That not just because of the difference in the strength of the wind but the age of the leaves from new buds just emerging to fully grown leaves full of vigour.

Old House

Of course, we all know the howl of the wind through cables. That mournful low-pitched whistle that oscillates up and down. Suddenly you are transported to an old desolate house in the middle of a moor. The windows rattle, the curtains move and the candle gutters before finally being blown out in a draught. Darkness abruptly falls. You are alone in the dark and all the small noises are amplified. The odd scratch here and the soft thud there echo around.

That’s not what today is about but the wind is awesome. Except when you are using a large-format camera.

I am out again with my camera and head torch walking to a different location hoping and praying that the clouds part and I can get some dawn shots. I know where the sun should be, I know where it should rise. Knowing this, however, does not mean you can actually see the sun. You know it’s there, but it is concealed by the clouds.

I am in what is called the blue hour. That time before the warm colours of the golden hour. Next to the river, I call it the brown hour. Particularly today when the river is full of silt from the recent rain.


It’s way past the time the sun should have been up. Obviously, it is up, but behind the thick grey clouds. Not photogenic at all. In fact, by the lake where I am sat, it looks grey and cold. It’s nice just being there though. Camera by my side, now, more on the off chance rather than anything else. What I want is a coffee to make things complete but with neither gas cooker nor flask, I have to go without. Next time.

Finally, a break in the clouds. The sun just catching the edges lighting them up and the camera earns its keep again. All along the edge of the lake things are coming to life in the glow. It’s funny how the change in light makes the most mundane of things come alive. Then just as quickly as it came it goes. Back to heavy grey.

The walk home is broken by flashes of the sun at once warming but lacking power and quickly vanishing again. The cows are back in the field. Chomping away on the winter grass, and I cross the wooden bridge, back, in my mind, to civilization again.

The results of this morning are not on here but there are other dawn shots on my Instagram page which can be found HERE

Many thanks for reading





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