I have been waiting for this for a while. Driving up from Hexham, tell-tale dust was blowing across the road. Armed with the X-Pro2 and the Fujinon 18-55mm zoom I was back to the field in minutes hoping to catch a monster in action. It did not disappoint – a Claas harvester was lumbering around in ever-decreasing circles throwing up vast dust clouds to confuse the enemy.
It was a super-heated afternoon with a hot sun piercing high dark clouds – it was very ominous. Within an hour biblical rain was falling on Hexham, the harvester and all souls beneath. It seemed unlikely that the harvest has been completed in time and, sure enough, this morning there was still a large patch of uncut oilseed rape and an abandoned combine harvester. The dust in the air had been replaced by expletives:
Will I see you give more than I can take
Will I only harvest some?
As the days fly passed
Will we lose our grasp
Or fuse it in the sun.
Every morning we look out on this scene; we are very fortunate. Sun, rain, snow or sleet, it remains a magical panorama. I have captured these trees so many times, in so many different lights, they must consider themselves celebrities. We have watched them for over twenty years and, in turn, they have watched over us. Beneath their branches generations of cattle and sheep have drifted by, indifferent to our stares.
Late yesterday afternoon, I climbed the fence and set up a time lapse beneath those same trees to get their view of us, to get their view as the last of 2016’s light faded in the west.
We don’t go overboard on New Year’s Eve , staying out late on a cold winter night has lost its attraction. A modicum of alcohol, a log fire and a good film seem much the better option. Last night we watched John Maclean’s excellent Slow West – It’s only slow in the way a rattlesnake or a predatory killer is slow. This terrific film is actually tense, twisty and brilliant – The Guardian. The film may be Coen-esque but the story of an innocent drifting in a violent world is a direct descendant of Jim Jarmusch’s work of genius, Dead Man. So much so that, realising it was free to view on Amazon Prime, we watched it too – a fine way to enter 2017, in the company of William Blake, Nobody and Neil Young’s haunting soundtrack.
A happy and creative 2017, one and all!