Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Wilds of East Anglia

Driving ESE from Cambridge last night, heading through that corner of East Anglia where you randomly pass in and out and in again of three counties, I glimpsed something ahead on the dark horizon. It radiated a warm glow. The skies were almost clear after the day’s terrific rainstorms. The only clouds were misty streaks.

Cottages, trees and hedgerows obscured the glow, and I wondered if it had been some trick of reflected light from within my car. Then I caught another glimpse. This time I could see it was an orb, easily three times the size of the full moon.

I thought of nuclear powerplants, early warning installations or even some ghastly illuminated erection to celebrate the Olympics. The next time I saw it, I made out the mottling of craters of a not-quite full moon glowing a gorgeous orange as it rose with astonishing beauty to light up the night.
Then on the River Cam this morning, the rain that we’ve all cursed so long and loud has given life to the creatures we share this planet with. It’s cleared the water so that terns come spear-fishing, plunging down from on high. Damsel-flies of jewel-brilliant emerald and sapphire cavorted and dipped along the luxuriant grassy banks doing amazing nuptial dances, in-flight insemination, while a humourless sentinel heron batted not an eye.

Live shows are always more atmospheric than anything recorded but am I alone in thinking that nature in all its glory still surpasses anything that TV or the film industry can show us?

Sunset over the Fens at Welney

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