5 Nov 2017

4th November 2017 Autumnal melancholy.

Saturday 4th 48-50F, 9-10C, heavy overcast, light winds. There was shooting around local copses so I stopped to watch. The several dogs present were wildly enthusiastic but rather erratic. Perhaps it was because their ears were stuffed with ear protection? Several pheasants were brought down but one escaped numerous  wasted shots. I am always surprised by the huge variation in the noise made by the guns. Some seem almost slow while others make are very short 'crack.' A large bird of prey was watching from a local mound and seemed to be moving steadily closer. Fortunately it changed its mind and flew off in the opposite direction over the village.

Enjoyed my usual Saturday ride to more distant shops. Only 16 miles. Going well.

Sunday 5th 48-50F, 9-10C, heavy overcast, light winds, showers or rain are forecast. Though it stayed dry for a longer walk up through the woods and back long the quiet road. A couple of small deer dashed away as a female kestrel hovered busily. Until shooed away by a U-turn crow. The sodden ground squelched beneath my darkly wet boots. My flapping trouser legs blackened to the knees from brushing through unkempt reed on grassy, brambled, lumpy ways.

There is a delicious melancholy about the somber and muted tones of autumn. It is easy to become lost in nostalgia as the wind itself carries a forlorn mood under ragged skies. The dimly remembered chill cuts through thinning trees and straggly hedges and across sparsely cropped fields. Known landmarks sneak back into clear view in the absence of crops with the trees suddenly bereft of leaves.

Temporary field ponds reflect distant woods and dismal farms. Distant, newly naked, tree-lined lanes appear unexpectedly as the light is finally able to reach damp asphalt again. Small, mixed flocks of birds move nervously along hedgerows or scatter untidily across the wide spaces. Solitary crows flap like oily rags through the drab landscape under untidy, leaden clouds. On endless, unknown errands to be somewhere other than just here, right now.

No ride today but I may be allowed out for a longer ride tomorrow. Sunshine promised all day with light winds and a trip to the city in prospect. 40-45 miles should still be well within my capacity despite tailing off my mileage this year. The Vetta SL saddle hasn't been a pain yet. At least, not on shorter rides.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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