A wet one on the Levels

Another day of drizzle.

It's that time of year. The unrelenting leaden skies look immovable, the air seems permanently moist and the sodden blackness of the earth is only punctuated by stands of silver water.

It's been like this for a month.

Last Thursday the Sun, a pitiful white disc, shone through briefly then disappeared, obscured by dense clouds that subsequently unleashed #rain of such ferocity that the road to #Glasto turned into a tributary of the #Brue. Christmas shopping became a sodden drag, the drive home a game of puddle avoidance.

But it's not all bad.

Not at all.

The #Levels have become magical. Still silver pools reflecting obsidian silhouettes of willow and downy birch. Withy beds, bulrushes, reeds and alder inverted in mirror lakes as still as mercury. Wonderful.

Time to get the bike out and brave the #weather. A few miles along the track to Ham Wall, watching the herons rise and the harriers swoop; past the car park, turn left into the soaking wind – a bit of a struggle – then chain up and walk through the woods ( woodpeckers! wasn't expecting that! ) to Canada farm to pause for a steamy sit in the hide to look for the blue green flash of the kingfisher. I'm in luck. Sitting on a birch branch across the pond as clear as day - and infinitely brighter than this zinc grey afternoon – he sits, twitches, and is then gone, blazing colour in the monochrome.

I stroll back to the bike revitalised and showered by dripping branches.

The ride back is head down under darkening skies.

The damp is through the layers now, down my back, and my knees are beginning to ache. My eyes are sore from back – of – hand wiping. But the spirit is lifted, the batteries charged and a canvas is waiting.


The Flooded Levels Acrylic on Canvas 76cm x 50cm, 2014

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