I was greeted by a wall of white and orange as I opened my front door this morning. A thick mist, barely letting the golden leaves of autumn through its deep, pale, layers. Ponderously walking the busy main road, that separates my home from the open fields, cars and lorries loomed out at me like behemoths from a graphic novel. The old church yard stood, pooled in mist, a visage straight from a horror film, but a day late for children's adventures, trick or treating, on Halloween.
|The Old Church Yard in Mist|
Sounds usually recognisable took on a more sinister tone; the cries of gulls eerie in their reverence, the croak of corvids, more human than bird, bleat of the sheep like cries of a child. The thickening mist managing to mask the more familiar sounds of human existence.
There is nothing like mist to give you the feeling of loneliness. Stood, lost from sight, in its ethereal cloak you could have wandered away from civilisation and be truly alone.
|Stump in the Mist|
|Stump in the Mist 2|
Through the Mists
Along the rivers path ghosts of birds appear out of the ether, dark shapes of Mallard swimming the muddy waters, pale white Egrets stalking the rivers banks, Black Headed Gulls dipping to feed from the moving surface as the follow the waters course, every one of them a pale reflection of themselves as the shroud of mist hides them from view.
|River Ouse in the Mist|
The golden browns and reds of the autumn hedge rows turn grey in the hazy light, filtering through the foggy air, hidden within small flocks of birds lurk, avoiding sight but not hearing; Reed Buntings chipping away to each other, and occasionally breaking cover, offering flashes of white outer tail as the move along the foliage; Long-tailed Tits whistling to communicate with others in their small parties as they forage the bushes for food; The alarm call of Robins as they voraciously defend their territory from unseen foes.
|Through The Mists|
From beyond the nature reserve the sound of an angry, braying bull cuts through the silence, as out of the trees burst forth a party of Wood Pigeon, filling the air with loud claps of their wings, 4, 5, 6 taking to flight as a slate grey Sparrowhawk dashes through in hot pursuit, before abandoning this quarry and slowly drifting off high into the mists above.
As I walk through the wild flower meadow, now drab and brown in the decaying colours of autumn, the air is filled with the sounds of winter thrushes, Meadow Pipits and Goldfinch as they fly through or take to the skies at the approach of my foot steps, all remain tantalisingly unseen in the slowly lifting mists.
The blanket of fog still clung to the lakes as I arrived at the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve. Three little egrets could be heard at first, then seen, as they fought constantly, each trying to dominate the fish filled inlets. Above me the metallic call of a passing Yellowhammer stirred memories of years gone by when these small yellow buntings were not so scarce.
|Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve Shrouded in Mist|
|Little Egrets Fighting|
Approaching the Farm Hide, closed currently due to the mindless actions of bored and disaffected youth, Goldfinch twittered away on the wire fence, joined by the rusty orange of a male Stonechat. On the wet scrub in front of the hide Grey and Pied Wagtail squabbled over the rich pickings, while Meadow Pipits dropped into the tall plants, disappearing as soon as they landed. A Wren popped up behind me trilling in alarm as cacophony of sounds drags me back from my anger at the vandals.
|Wren on Fence post|
The path between hides is alive with birds and each, slow, movement I make sends waves of finch or thrush high into the air; Flashes of rufous as Redwings abandon the berry crop; hints of warm honey and grey, as Fieldfare dash off chacking their annoyance at my presence.
Reaching the Viaduct Hide a Kingfisher startles from the muddy banks taking with it swathes of Wigeon whistling in panic, disturbed by my arrival. My quest for a seat is once again thwarted by vandals as this hide is also closed to the public, locked doors preventing my entrance. My mind wanders to what causes the actions of these mindless fools, is it being dragged up through this time of Tory cutbacks and austerity? Can we really lay the blame only at the feet of those responsible or must these harsh times of youth centre closures and media fear mongering take some blame too?
|Black-headed Gull in Flight|
|Cormorants at the Floodplain Forest|
Turning to retrace my steps the mists begin to slowly be replaced by persistent, light drizzle, the drips from the now soaking autumn leaves forming the background music to my walk home.
|View From Below the Church|
|View From the Church|
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