Saturday, 23 November 2013
A Red Letter Day
After the stormy week and the high tides and grey dull days, to wake up to a beautiful calm day was most welcome. The sky was completely blue, not a single cloud and the views just beautiful. A perfect day for a walk. We knew it was cold after many hailstone showers through the night and the white tops of some of the Lakeland mountains.
My newly knitted head and ear warmer, wrist warmers and my new duvet jacket were all to be given their first airing. And off we went to enjoy the day. The first thing to make me stop were the gorgeous branches of red berries on one of my favourite hawthorn trees. Many of the berries had been caught in the frosts and were blackened but the rest so beautiful against the sky.
The same things I see each year and yet I still love them, I still want to draw them. I poked deep down in the thick layers finding the little red berries everywhere as they had fallen onto the ground between the gaps in the leaves, and then I discovered the layers of the tiny brown hawthorn leaves. They are so pretty and delicate with their dancing shapes, a whole hand full of berries and leaves went into my bag.
I was now alone, someone had carried on without me. I realised just how quiet it was, just the sound of my foot steps in the leaves. It was much cooler here, lots of white patches of frozen hailstones, the cold grey slate walls and the towering hills of the slate waste. Alone with my thoughts of how many times I have walked here. Memories of being a little girl, it seemed so steep. This uphill incline was once the railway line transporting the slate from the quarry down into the village. On a summers day it seemed such a long way, so hot and tiring, I would gladly take an icy cold drink from the fresh water spout which came directly out of the rocks.
Today the water gushed out of a wall making this part of the lane very muddy, the grey slate dust coloured this sloppy muddy mire. I started to walk up the old stone spiral steps, now mostly reclaimed by nature and carpeted in thick moss. A branch from the oak tree had fallen on the steps making it difficult to pass, perhaps not a good idea to climb as I snagged my new jacket. Then I saw something at the top of the rusty hand rail. I know what I thought it looked like, something so small and it was sparkling in the sunlight.
It is here I like to collect acorns but only found some acorn caps, a few half eaten acorns and noticed the strange growths of the oak galls on the branches. I kept going back to see the ladybirds, now huddled together as the sun dips and it is getting cooler. The view from this high vantage point looks down to the shore in the distance, it would soon be sunset, the sun was dipping and the temperature dropping. I was glad of my warm jacket and pleased to feel so warm and cosy with my handmade knits.
We saw a wrens nest full of moss, exposed as the hedge had been cut. Then a brightly coloured tree covered in Rowan berries with the last few yellowing leaves clinging on. It shone so brightly behind the grey stone wall. The walls which stand as a testimony to the skills and craftsmen of the quarry workers.
This is my little arrangement. I sketched seven leaves.
I have almost finished my sewing project and will share that next time. Hope you are all keeping warm.
Thank you for visiting and for the lovely comments which I always enjoy reading.
Hope you all enjoy seeing my world and what I have been up to. Bye for now. Millyx