Abstract Landscape Painter. Rural Dweller. Lover of Modernist Art and Design.
Last night, alerted by a tapping sound on the roof, we opened the kitchen doors and were met by the earthy smell of rain. It was 10.30pm. I walked the length of the garden and stood in the twilight, looking out over the fields at the narrow, orange arc of the moon, and let the heavy droplets fall on me. It was over all too soon, but was so good while it lasted!
This morning is breezy and blue. Small white fists of cloud scud across the sky and the air is cool. We set out just after 7am and walk approximately three and a half miles.
On the dusty bridle path near the wood, I observe the dark polka dot pattern of last night’s large raindrops still evident on its surface – as if the soil has held them there, just to treasure them for a bit longer.
By 8.10am the sun is already feeling hot, but I have planned our route so that the last section will be in shade. A buzzard flies languorously above us, casting the shadow of its great wingspan onto the land below.
We reach the lane at the bottom of the hill and wind our way along. Millie stops periodically to check out flattened areas of the verge, where the deer have crossed from field to field. There is still some water at the bottom of the deep, tree-covered ditch.
Further along, the land rises again, and here the drainage is being improved. It may not seem relevant now, but when I think back to the winter, it is all too necessary. A digger has cleared another deep, narrow ditch (it looks as if it descends steeply about three metres) and three dead trees have been removed. I can see the open ends of two large pipes (the land drains) jutting out of the smooth, cut side of the opposite bank. Before being cleared, the bed of this deep-set brook ran between gnarled tree roots and was overhung with lianas and twisted branches. In parts it looked more like a sunken lane from a hobbit adventure. Now the base and one side are composed of shiny, compacted clay. They will speed the autumn rains on their way.
As we reach the top of the hill, the swallows are skimming the surface of the cropped clover at high speed, in pursuit of their in-flight meals.
We head back home and I into the studio to begin again a day’s painting.
All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson