'I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out 'til sundown, for going out, I found was really going in.' John Muir

I've seen the top of Everest (from a long way off), smelled the breath of a whale (from way too close) and lived on a boat in Greece (for a few years), but I continue to experience some of my most precious moments right outside my backdoor.

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Saturday, 3 January 2015

Snow Senses

Happy New Year!


In winter I like to give my senses a bit of an airing, I mean really focus on each of them, not just sight. I shut my eyes and sniff and taste and touch.  Being out in the snow is generally not an olfactory experience but if I try hard enough, there's always something to make my nostrils twitch. 
 
Sounds:  

The chacker-chack-chack of fieldfares in wind-bent hawthorn, 
the crunch of footsteps in ice-crusted snow,
the heavy kronk of a tumbling raven,
the pebble-tapping clicks of a stonechat.


Smells: 

Wood smoke from the chimneys of thick-walled miner’s cottages,
sweet, wet hay scattered for foraging sheep and ponies.


Touch: 

The prickle of gorse when I try to pull myself up a steep slope for the best coffee stop view,
the hot plastic cup from my flask warming my hands,
sticky cake crumbs on my lips,
icy wind against my cheeks.


Taste: 



Hot, sweet coffee,
chocolate cake,
a lemon-ice taste in my mouth from a gulp of mountain air.


Sights: 
 
Black raven in a blue sky, sheep splashed with either red or purple paint, one lamb or two?
Yellow gorse flowers shining on the hillside,
watery-orange sun slipping below the whale-back-mound of Moel Arthur.