A windy walk

I spent so long on the computer yesterday that  I was desperate to get out and stretch my legs.The weather was looking less than promising outside but I decided to go nevertheless and was glad I did. It was one of those days that could not make its mind up whether to rain or shine. There was a strong breeze and I could see the animals in the field  were alert,as if waiting for something to happen. The grasses were dancing and I noticed the shiny leaves on one of the trees shivering and  glimmering.   The pheasants were socialising in the middle of the country lane   as we approached but  soon clattered away into the undergrowth. I looked into the tangles by the path and noticed one bird cowering and watching me. For a moment I thought it was wounded-but no- it too  flew away clumsily. It was long enough  for me to absorb the intricate dappled disguise  of his feathers.  Further along the track I saw a white bird. It was an albino pheasant. It scuttled away   but  with no hope of camouflage in the colourful hedge. It  stood out starkly from a background of interwoven stems and stalks.  The red details on his tiny head added a rich focal point.


As I entered the field at the end of the lane the sky was darkening to a leaden blue. A silver birch tree gleamed  brightly against this backdrop, quite dazzling in its contrast. Suddenly the sun shone out and  a flamboyant rainbow  swerved down onto a silver birch, shimmering through the silvered foliage.  In the distance deep clouds faded to light on the horizon, broken by misty vertical streaks of  pewter  as the rain  descended. ‘A wet into wash  with confident broad downward sweeps of the brush  to an inky foreground’ , I thought to myself. Elsewhere, in contrast, pale  shafts of light pierced through the dark sky where the sun found  a space to sneak through.  A heron was flapping low over the field, half gliding and half flying.  As I watched, its mate appeared and the two birds played and cruised in the blustery layers of breeze.

Simple pleasures.

2013-06-03 11.53.14

‘Come rain or shine’ Copyright Ann Blockley. Featured in ‘Experimental landscapes’ book



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