Yes, I know what you’re thinking – and, arguably – humans talk even more often about the weather. Last night was the wildest I can remember since storms erased swathes of ancient trees in the 1980’s.
It was with relief then that south-west Scotland awoke to an unexpectedly lovely dawn and I evicted a schedule of decorating in favour of retracing a recent car journey on foot. I wanted to prove to myself that the route would be an accessible one in future snow conditions; given my self-imposed temporary driving curfew.
The weather forecast for the whole weekend was appalling; thus I was suspicious that this wonderful new day would not last long. However, I had a plan if my suspicions were confirmed. I was well clothed, well fed in advance .. and knew the times of the two return bus services I could catch home. I wasn’t entirely happy that this meant waiting four hours if I missed one – but still, they were available at least.
After whipping out the camera far more frequently than I’d expected to do my fingers suffered from having forgotten my gloves .. a handy spare pair of socks made adequate makeshift mittens – so cozy that I became smug at my own ingenuity and nearly tripped several times admiring them. Three shetland ponies sniggered at my ineptitude as a hill-walker.
Given the severity of the previous day’s flooding in low-lying areas – leading to emergency status sounded by the police, fire and ambulance services – it was strange to walk many miles in complete peace, without any wind. Bright blue skies and mere wisps of cloud from dawn past dusk.
Close to home I came across a fallen branch torn from a tree by the storm. I was sad to see it – I’d photographed its beautiful old curves three years ago during a snowstorm. How awful that no-one will ever see it carried so proudly again..a contrast with the calm forest glades I’d passed descending from the hills above.
Early morning through to late evening – the day played out in a kind of hush, with a rosy glow at either end. Sometimes it pays well to take a risk and ignore a weather forecast.
The sun’s fading reflections reminded me of the floods not so very far away in Dumfries, in the Border country – and again in Cumbria where the residents must be wondering what on earth – or from the heavens – will fall next. Everywhere thanks are being given for the compassion and professionalism of the emergency services. I wish all those affected the peace I found here on ..
The Morning After The Night Before