Facebook flashed up a message from Discover Flintshire about a special evening event at Loggerheads Country park so rather than fall asleep in front of the telly, I pulled on my wellies and headed into the dusk.
It’s exciting to be out in the woods at night. Even the house martins were tucked up in their nests above the shop. After the rain, the air felt heavy and wet and the pungent smell of wild garlic made my nose twitch.The trees dripped and mist hung over the lime stone cliffs transforming the woods into a mystical rainforest.
At the candle-lit Mill, we watched Sean Harris’ animation of
ghostly reindeer, inspired by a 12,000 year old carving.
We were given tiny tea-lights and followed a trickle of people along the rain-swelled River Alyn. There’s something magical about candles, lots of them had already been placed along the path and the woods twinkled. A grey wagtail danced on river stones, its tail flickering like the candles and screens, suspended across the River like a magic lantern, showed flickering images of reindeer, elk and aurochs, animals that would have roamed here thousands of years ago. Their bones have been found in caves only a mile away.
We lit our candles and were invited to place them wherever we chose. I spent some time selecting just the right spot, noticing where other people had put theirs. Some were tucked in tiny crevices in the limestone, some in tree holes, some on mossy logs, some stood alone and others in family groups.
Standing in the peaceful glow of candles, fat rain drops rolling off glistening leaves and bats flitting through the misty tree canopy, I felt connected to the ancient past. The River bubbled and gurgled, carving its way through the limestone as it must have done for centuries, and if I half closed my eyes, I could definitely imagine an elk lowering its huge head to take a drink.
Thanks to Sean, Ruthin Craft Centre and Denbighshire Countryside Service for a lovely event.
More about Sean Harris www.wildboarpress.com