As I crested the hill this morning that rises behind my friend’s home to take me through Derbyshire to my home in the south, I was greeted by splendour. The valley below was a sea of gilded mists while the sun lit my path into what looked like another world.
It seemed a fitting start to the last miles of a weekend that has been simply incredible for the beauty seen and shared. I have never seen Albion as beautiful as she has been this year. The heather covers the moors with vibrant purple.. more glorious even than I can remember seeing it before. The bracken is lush, primitive, scenting the air with its sharp aroma. Ancient lichens spatter rocks that sparkle with quartz in the sunlight and hills appear and disappear in magical mists.
Birds have been everywhere… flocks of ravens, robins and skylarks, chaffinches and peacocks, grouse and pheasant…Wildflowers abound, the rowans are laden with berries, bilberries hide beneath the heather and spires of rosebay willowherb reach above ancient dry-stone walls.
I could, of course, have fought the madness of the motorway… or meander back through Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Northamptonshire… There was no contest really. Why fight the traffic when I could stop in almost every layby and drink in untold beauty?
So… I got a little sidetracked, felt obliged to wander through the glories of Dovedale, stop at an ancient church, collect swan’s feathers from a riverbank…and I was still back by late lunchtime.
There are photographs of wonderful places to share… memories to cherish of places so beautiful they take your breath away… But for now, as I catch up with correspondence after a weekend where internet connections were simply not happening… there are just these few images of a wonderful weekend and a glorious morning in England.