16 Nov 2016

16th November 2016 Tales of mud and mist.


Wednesday 16th 42-44F overcast, calm and very damp with 300 yard mist. Walked up to the woods via the muddy field tracks. Where a foolishly over-competitive hare broke cover from behind me, overtook me and then raced away across the field. I was soon bogged down in thick, sticky mud with my boots grown to a generous EU size 50 and all the weight and lack of adhesion that entails. Two deer then overtook me and bounded off towards the woods. It was odd to see their pale buff, bouncing buttocks, the only visible sign of their swift exit into the steadily thickening mist. It was reminiscent of a mime artist working on a darkened stage.

I stopped to take a few shots of the low sun struggling with the mist and cloud. A difficult balance to achieve when the sun is washed out and the light levels so low. Misty scenes can often seem simply out of focus. I hope I have captured the melancholy scene.

As I took the short cut through the woods I could hear the distant thumping of the drainage excavator rattling its bucket. I was soon passing alongside as the tranches were being back-filled. My earlier [speculative] doubts over the wisdom of their trenching lines was further dispelled by the presence of a brilliant red laser and sight board being checked in the latest trench. The trailer behind the vast Case II tractor was filled with massive coils of corrugated and finely slotted drainage hose. The sheer scale of these vast machines is difficult to exaggerate when seen almost at arm's length. The drivers were too busy to even glance in my direction as I ambled past on the sparse grass at the center of the track to avoid further mud collection.

The wind has really picked up now and the mist thickened further as I finish my mid-morning toast and coffee. Plans to ride to the shops are weakening in their resolve. Even the nearer houses are now completely lost to view. As would I be if I rode far amongst the driving [raving] lunatics.

With two flashing "Smart" lights dangling off the back of the trike I headed out via the hilly route. Fortunately the lanes were quiet so there wasn't too much of a visibility problem anyway. The promised rain was only spitting at the worst and mostly absent. I was a bit breathless again. Though whether this is due to my recent three week "cold" is a mystery. Only 10 miles, with the mist now lifting.

Thursday 17th 39-43F, 4-6C, a clear, quiet start, with showers, leading to rain and wind later. An early ride would be most sensible. A pleasant walk in a rather cold wind and bright sunshine. I disturbed a single deer and saw several birds of prey. As the sun sinks lower, with deepening winter, it reveals new contours via grazing light and shadow. Sadly my camera can never capture the breadth and depth of the landscape as I see it. Wide angle just makes the foreground fields more prominent. Zoom just narrows the field of view. The vast, undulating lawns formed by the low, immature crops are very satisfying with the distant forests and copses as the perfect backdrop. The familiar views are constantly changing with the light, the weather and the state of crops. Or their absence. Much like lakes and the sea, there is an infinity of moods to wallow in, for those with eyes to see. Late morning ride for 7 miles. It stayed dry until much later, despite the forecast, but I mustn't complain.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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