Sunday, 2 December 2007

In praise of damp

As there is nothing you can do about the weather you might as well revel in it and shrug off categorising it as good or bad. It just is.
The last three days have been very stormy; if I didn't know better I would think I was living in a crow's nest, what with all the creaking and moaning and shivering of timbers, shifting of slates and the whistling of the wind in the chimneys. The rain water is gushing down the lane, brown with clay, creating ephemeral waterfalls that dump their load behind the gathering of leaves and twigs blocking drains and ditches. The lunar landscape of the yard now resembles the Lake District as viewed from a passing satellite, and the field ditches are being swept clean by the deluge.
The sheep shelter behind the feeders and hedges and when the rain softens shake their fleece free of the weight of the water. The ducks churn their grassy daytime sward to sticky clay and quack at the wind. The geese splash in the impromptu stream that courses through the orchard.
The mill leat that runs the length of the north boundary of the farm has gone from trickle to flood, backing up where the wood sits alongside, carrying off the leaves that have collected below their parent trees. The ferns at this northern edge thrive on getting their feet wet, and they grow not just in the crevices at the foot of the trees but high up in the canopy alongside mosses and lichens, a whole ecosystem of green dampness. It is not too hard a leap to imagine Moor Wood as an underwater world, the surface above the tree tops, me and the dogs picking about on the water's bed admiring the whorled and fantastically patterned plant exotica; fungi for coral, moss for seaweed, frogs for fish.

Apologies for the poor quality picture - it was getting dark and raining for Devon.

7 comments:

KAZ said...

You don't need pictures - your words describe it so well that I almost went to get my cagoule and wellies.

paula said...

Yes, yes...you've got it!

paula said...

something has happened to your comment page - doesn't let you choose an identity anymore - ie can't link my name to my blog.

Flowerpot said...

wonderful descriptions Mopsa.

Winchester whisperer said...

How about the darling llama?

Mopsa said...

Thank you Kaz, Paula and Fpot - it was a real underwater world!

Paula - not sure what's wrong - perhaps blogger is having an off day. If it happens again shout and I'll go to the Help group with a query. It seems ok at the mo...

WW - yup, he doesn't like the wet, but he does have a field shelter if the sheep give him space.

mountainear said...

'What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness?
Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.'

I've borrowed some favourite words by Gerard Manley Hopkins which sprang to mind when I read your blog.Got to get something out of this weather....