Rant 3 is done (Sunday 29th January) with my friend Jeremy Grimshaw who is responsible for a lot of my Cagean input.
Rant 3 Step 1
A long drive to the Tweed valley, sequential turns onto diminishing roads gets us to the site, accessed through a gate that would be a sea of mud if the temperature was above freezing. As it is we just walk over the frozen top. The site is along the hedge line and is easy to access. The hawthorn hedge is thick with yellow lichen. Crops to the north and stubble to the south. I am not surprised to hear Skylarks calling but am surprised when, having chased each other around for a bit, one of them launches into a song flight.
sunny, quiet wind
along field edge
four Skylarks in the stubble field
couple of shotgun shots
one or two planes
lichen on hedge
Rant 3 Step 2
The site is accessed from a busy road and the way in is not clear; hedges, fences and no obvious access. A map-marked track by small estate of bungalows isn’t there so I am walking the roadside hedge when I find a locked gate that I can easily climb. Given my previous experiences with horses I am a little uneasy about stepping into and crossing the horse paddock but the two horses take no notice of us. I step over the barbed wire fence and continue down the small valley until the path enters a bog – almost exactly at the site. As we walk in, on the other side of the valley, three Roe deer slowly walk off over the brow of the hill. A Wren moves amongst the sedge. The road above is a dominating sonic presence and an almost constant backdrop to the scene.
roadside, houses, gate, fence, rough field
in a dip down to the river
three roe deer
Rant 3 Step 3
At the end of an unremarkable single track road but within distance of a busy road, a golf course and an airport. A small stream, a lot of suburban shrubbery and an amount of bird call – Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird. The site is in a stubble field accessed from a footpath along the margin. I can just about hear voices and the swish of clubs from the nearby golf course; traffic on the main road but no noise from the overhead power lines.
end of road
Rant 3 Step 4
We retrace some of our days ‘steps’ to the final site. Roads to farms lead to the site. Trees at the roadside, a shallow valley, a distant, ridge-top community and a closer farm, surrounding trees. Access via a wooden gate into a grass field. The belt of trees to the west of the site is providing shelter from what little wind there is. There is no hedge or fence between ma and the farm but a former boundary line seems marked by a change in crop but the cattle seem to wander too and fro at will. The whole area feels sheltered and still.
big wide sky, cloud at the edges
trees and fields
pheasants, cows, two horses
hills nudging over the skyline
low slanting sun etching sheep onto the fields