Abstract Landscape Painter. Rural Dweller. Lover of Modernist Art and Design.
There is a deep crimson skyline to the east, and above it a pale cerulean, turning to deep cobalt at the zenith. It is 4.25am and we are walking across open fields towards the nearest wood, in order to listen to the dawn chorus. The sun will not rise for almost an hour, but the twilight affords visibility enough to find our way with ease and the blackbirds and robins have already begun to sing. The weather forecast promises a glorious day, and certainly there is complete clarity in the atmosphere and not a breath of air movement.
As we cross from one field to the next, and turn along a hedge line, we put a pair of partridges to noisy flight. Then, as our silent little procession passes beneath an oak tree, a tawny owl launches itself into the blue and floats away beneath the half moon and the morning star. When we reach the edge of the wood, the wrens have joined in and the occasional pheasant call is echoing eerily across the surrounding valley.
Within the wood, the lush grass is drenched with a heavy dew, which soon passes through my old leather walking boots and soaks into my socks – it is pleasantly cooling. My trousers wick up the moisture and the damp climbs towards my shins. It is darker in here. The moon peeps at us between the trees. In the densest area, we disturb slumbering pigeons, who leave their roosts with a deep clapping sounds. Not wanting to alarm them further, we move back into a more open area and pause to listen to a song thrush singing mellifluously, high up and to our left.
We are outside the wood now, following its southern edge. Suddenly B spots something loping along ahead of us. It is a fox. Its coat looks thick and rough and glows a deep red in the rosy light.
Taking the bridle path to out left, we hear warblers in the hedgerow. Three hares run along the far edge of the field to our right and then three to our left. They chase each other along the horizon line, under a pale pink sky.
As we near the cottage, shortly before 5.30am, we are walking due east and into the face of the fully risen sun. We are forced to avert our eyes in deference to the fiery globe, which is covering the landscape in liquid gold.
All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson