I set out tonight with bright sunlight hitting the clouds bringing them to life with a huge range of colours from a purply haze to oranges and reds. Walking towards my patch of the river, I call it mine, but I don’t own it, wish I did.
10 minutes into the walk a dark ominous blanket of cloud rolled over the sky running west to east effectively cutting out the sunset. But only over the half where the sun was actually setting to the east a haze of the above-mentioned colours filled the sky and reflected back into the calm river.
Early September is an awesome time of year. It’s still warm but with realistic times for sunrise and early sunsets. It feels like there is a change in the air. The 21st is the autumnal equinox and marks the slow steady decline into the winter months. I know that people don’t like this time of year they think of the cold and barren landscape but they don’t look at the patterns that are formed with the empty branches of trees or how the cold wind seeps into you and washes all the rubbish away leaving that clean fresh feeling of being alive.
Decent photography being out of the question I took a couple just to say I was there trying and failing to capture the reflection in the water. I think tonight was more about some alone time away from the pressures of my day job.
It was calm tonight. Once you filter out the ever-present road noise the still air was creating a bubble of tranquillity. Small zephyrs of wind caught the river rippling the surface and dying away just as quickly leaving the little circles of the fish as they fed on insects near the surface.
A boat comes by. A small inflatable with an overstressed engine straining against the current. The noise intruding on the quiet. It gets louder, grating on the peace, as the boat passes the wash hits the bank causing small eddies which bring up swirls of black mud that drift lazily downstream on the current. Then it’s gone, the raucous noise diminishing slowly as the riverbanks absorb the noise.
The calm has that hot buzzy noise of insects flying. These are being chased by Martins and Swallows as they gather for the long flight back to Africa. Putting on their final aerobatic display just for me as I sit and watch. Then a shield bug hums its way over my head.
The feel of the colours are changing. The greens are darker more intense and there are patches of reds and browns starting to appear a forerunner to a month’s time when everything will be bright and colourful. Images of autumn will abound again. Another photographic trend to be embraced or ignored.
A last baleful moo from the cows in the field and I realise it’s getting dark. A sort of half-light, enough to see trees but the details are fading in the gloom. Good job I know the path well.
One last stop, that stupid invisible line I have to cross. It’s a wooden bridge, one side is civilization with work and people, all hurrying, places to be and things to do, most of which seem to be about impressing other people. The other is in the countryside. For 25 years crossing has meant passing this arbitrary line. Constraint to freedom or vice versa depending on the direction of travel. There are other places where the same feeling comes over me. The deep sigh of release as I move further away from the hassle, stress and intensity of modern life.
It’s dark when I get home. The lights are on, glowing warmly in the night an inviting feel. To close the curtains and shut out the night and the world.
Time to kick off the boots, feet up with a nice beer.
The landscape tells a story. Tonight it was the changes that are taking place, that always take place. This is incredibly difficult to show in one image. I have seen it suggested that you set your camera up in the same place every month for a year just to record these changes and this can provide an interesting series of images. Something I am doing but not in that precise manner. My hope is that between this blog and the images it gives a sense of how I feel about, and how the landscape makes me feel.
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