Thursday, 19 November 2009

All alone

16 November

The sky is overcast and the sea whipped into white curls by the keen on-shore breeze. I see noone apart from, in the car park on the edge of the cliff, a figure sitting in a small silver car that faces the sea. Small birds scurry through the gorse, staying close to the ground. Gulls congregate in the fields. Their cries penetrate the roar of the sea and wind. I spot a kestrel on the cliff face. He does not move from the shelter he has found even when the curve of the path takes me closer and I watch him through binoculars for some minutes. The grass shivers around my feet and individual blades shine as they move. As I walk, Godrevy lighthouse, stark white against the black of encroaching rain, disappears from view. I disturb a flock of tiny birds that fling themselves into the air like a handful of ash. There is a pair of stonechats on the wire fence. The one nearest to me sits tight for as long as it dares, then lifts off to a safer distance further down. As I approach the second, it too takes flight to a position beyond the first and so the game continues as I make my way. Black faced sheep watch as I turn my back on the smoky filaments of rain now descending from the clouds to the sea, and enter the woods. Here the colours are yellow, brown, orange and green: too much green from leaves torn off by the wind before their time. I stand under an ancient oak, its branches reaching far out from its trunk and ending in thin skeletal fingers that almost touch the ground. Nearby is a beech so alight with yellow leaves that for a moment I think the sun has come out.

1 comment:

  1. I love Portreath; the road that descends down to the harbour from the west unleashes a fantastic view when at the top of the hill. I'll be waiting until the spring before I take up your walk though, I reckon. I'm a fair weather walker for sure!