Today is misty. It is the kind of mist that stays all day, just getting a bit thinner now and again, but always softening the world. Here, it is essentially low cloud, holding the moor.
Ruby must have her walk, whatever the weather. It is a duty, but also a pleasure. However horrid the weather looks from our centrally-heated little box made of ticky-tacky, once I’m out in it I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
This is a lovely feeling, a sense of being in the right place, almost of being part of the ecology of the wood. It is the first time since I was a child that I know I wouldn’t rather be somewhere else.
The beeches by the millpond are dripping with the mist, and the pond is vague and indistinct. Sometimes – and this morning is one of those times – I prefer it this way.
I can count the trees that still have their bright, autumn leaves. There are four hazels and one hawthorn and one field maple. Where the hedge has been layered, the new hazel growth, which is lower, compact, and sheltered by the wood, still has leaves that are a yellowy green. These leaves look paper thin, and it won’t take much of a frost for them to fall.
By the hedge, the railway crosses the canal. There’s nothing special about the bridge, but I love it because they’ve painted the ironwork red, so I see it jumping across the darkness of the canal. I sit on the wall here, surrounded by the dull browns and greens of the wood behind me and the fields in front, but what I can see is a great red slash across the earth colours. It’s like a streak of graffiti.
In the right place, the unnatural looks just right.