Where are those fieldfare from the North? There’s a wind from the Arctic, snow on the fells and a bright blue sky. Head south and the sun’s in my eyes. The Lyth Valley gleams with flood water after weeks of rain, ice flood-water until the sun gets to work. The limestone clitter glistens in sun-melt. What a stunning morning! When the wind drops i hear through the silence an absence of fieldfare.
As the Lyth Valley floods farmers move their stock to higher ground. The hamlets of The Rowe and The Howe are built above the mosses, on the limestone, and through binoculars I can make out sheep in the pastures.
Baffled by glistening ice-melt on limestone, the camera misses it. When the sun is low in the sky it picks out the anthills, like a rash over the grassland. The day is fine and bright so the snow on the fells melts rapidly and the flood-water shrinks away. Next day is a wholly different day.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)