Pancorbo. Castile and León. 31 January 2019.

La Tormenta. #67

 Blown into the quiet empty streets bereft of human life. Hidden against the storm that rages above ancient shelters.

 A crack of sunlight; brief and without hope, reveals the passing of a Red Kite. Each wing adjusting against ever buffeting turbulence.

 Tumbling joyful Raven play with the air. Rushing past with each mighty gust, then turning into the inferno to slow and land.

 Magpie bicker and userp for prime position on an unidentifiable corpse. Flattened and made flesh by passing traffic.

 In and around the habitations, Spotless Starling appear in flurries. Rising and falling as one in time with the ever changing pressure.

 Driving relentless rain returns and with it all viability lost. Muffled sounds mark the retreat of both scavengers and watchers.

 The towering peaks are once more hidden in the gloom. The streets are still empty and the wind still howls...

MV Pont-Aven. Portsmouth - St. Malo. 28 January 2019.

Detour. #66

 Meekly into the vast gaping mouth of steel and noise. From darkness to all consuming unnatural light.

 Follow the herd onwards and upwards to ever narrowing passageways. The dragging movement of wheeled possessions.

 Out into the blackness, past the safety of concrete and order. Feel the sway as the depths deepen.

Shortened journey of unwanted safety, running scared of dangerous consequence. Twice deprived of warmer ports.

 Watch the gathering gloom and half seen images. Hear the moan of battering wind, pressing hard for unwanted entry.

 Juddering movement and violent action. Never ending throbbing as the mass fights on.

 Nature lost in the enveloping blanket, a missed opportunity beyond control. Palagic denied and the road ever lengthened...

North Wootton. Somerset. 16 January 2019

Wassail. #65

 Flickering flame, burning brightly. False pagen promise evaporating upwards in sparks and smoke.

 No druid manifestation of popular culture this. Not borrowed and made good from folklore and presumption.

 So soak the roots and lay the toast for bounty and fertility. Break the silence with the crack of gunfire.

 Shout and bang in contemplation of the occasion. Join the revelry of drink and song: hear the chanting.

 File in line to warmth and light. Watch the mummers perform the reserection of good against evil.

 Hear the stepping of rhythm against hard polished board as geometric display mimics music.

 Companionship and community delivering continuity. The sum is greater than the parts and goodwill abounds...

Hayle Tidal Barrier. Cornwall. 10 January 2019

Flow. #64

 Endless river, falling downstream. Waved ever goodbye by flitting Chiffchaff and Robin.

 Straightened and channelled, man-made manipulation. Retained detritus picked though by opportunistic corvids.

 Regulated by sluice-gate, flowing through in orderly fashion. Grey Wagtail patrols its insect rich ramparts.

 Bursting under culvert; noisy with overhead traffic, oblivious to dancing Lapwing above their urgency.

 Low tide mudflats, feast aplenty. Congregations of Redshank and Blackwit wade the shallows.

 Deep channel rush, snaking, but onwards. Lined by Wigeon; resting, but watchful for the threat from above.

 Burnished flashes caught in watery sunlight. As Golden Plover circle and land. Crouching in hollows to lessen the bite.

 Widening and slowing, joining the vastness. The 'toing and froing', a tidal imperative. Welcomed and wanted by bickering gulls...

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