Thursday, 3 March 2011

A misty morning ...

Eliot had his routine visit to the vet today and that meant a wee run to Banbridge.  The mist was dense on the motorway but even so, some drivers were without lights - at all!
That's hard to believe when even with lights it was still hard to see the vehicle in front!  At least almost everyone kept a good distance and travelled at the 50 mph recommended.
After Eliot's clean bill of health and booster jabs we had breakfast at a picnic table along the A1.  The catering van from Magherally is always a good place to stop and the breakfast soda was more than I could manage ... to the dog's delight!
 Soda bread with sausage, bacon, egg, mushrooms and a dab of tomato ketchup ... with a warm coffee ... what more could you ask for on a cold and very misty morning.
 I'd already called at my sister's to leave off something and took the chance for a few early morning shots around the garden.
(Maybe you need to know that Eliot's appointment was for 8.45 am, so we were on the road quite early.)
Anyhow ... there are some cute features around their garden and this red kettle grabbed my attention immediately.

They also have a large number of spring bulbs in flower - just growing naturally under trees and on banks ... very beautiful!

 Meanwhile back to the A1.  (That's the main road that links Newry with the motorway to Belfast.)

Although I've stopped at the mobile café on a number of occasions I've never taken the opportunity to sit at the picnic tables or to explore the path into the woods.

Some of the paths were waterlogged but, by keeping to the higher ground or the gravel paths we managed to have a good wander and discovered a small lake!
 He's a very patient dog and reasonably content to wait until I've put away the camera and am ready to go!
 Apart from the traffic on the A1 this was a very silent place ... and once we were over the hill the sounds were muffled.  That was partly due to the dense mist ...
 ... so the photographs today have tried to capture that cool stillness.
 There wasn't a breath of wind and the water moved only when the half dozen lazy mallard decided to have a wee swim.  They didn't stay on the water for long and they were too far away for a decent picture.
 Eliot didn't spot them (or ignored them) and was content to lap up some water from the edge of the lake.  I was rather glad that he didn't decide to swim as the banks were soft mud which wouldn't have done the car any good at all on the homeward journey.
By the time we'd picnicked and had a walk the mist was clearing to reveal a cloudless blue sky.   It turned out to be a glorious day though the mercury didn't rise very high.
There is something very relaxing about being in the open air and enjoying the variety of nature.  It doesn't really matter what the day is like - there is something beautiful in every season and in all weather conditions.  It is good, and necessary, to take time out.  Time to play.  Time to relax.  Time to reflect.  Time to do something different from the ordinary.  Time with God.
Apart from the petrol (and the vet's bill) today didn't cost very much.  I had change from a fiver for that huge sandwich and big coffee ... But it was fun.  That's our first outdoor picnic of the year when it was warm enough (just) to sit at a picnic table!

Glory be to God for dappled things -
for skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
for rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
landscape plotted and pieced-fold, fallow, and plough;
and all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
he fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Gerard Manley Hopkins  (1844-89)


Kelly Smith-Moore said...

Sounds like a glorious day and such wonderful pictures! The Hopkins poem is a nice choice and one that I reread recently. Glad Eliot is happy and healthy. Our Border Collie, Mr. Matty, just had his teeth cleaned on Monday and did very well. He sends woofs to Eliot from across the pond.

Rev Elizabeth said...

Hi Mr Matty! Woof from Eliot who got his hime after the poet TS ELiot!

does one ever "understand" Hopkins .... love the poem though.

Greetings to you from Ireland. Glad to "meet" you from time to time!

keneva said...

Wonderful photos and hugs to my friend Eliot - and his mistress!