'... A hill lights up
Suddenly; a field trembles
With colour and goes out.'
How R S Thomas captures the patterns of weather in 'The Small Window'. This poem speaks to me so clearly of the rapid changes of sunlight and cloud in the landscape of Penllyn. Here we are in the back end of the year reluctantly accepting the early darkness now the clocks have gone back, but rejoicing in those sudden transitory moments of light amongst the scudding showers of rain and hail. And there have been rainbows this week.
Winter bird flocks are gathering. A party of long-tailed tits came foraging along the banks of the lane outside my kitchen window one day. On the telephone wires large numbers of starlings assemble, making a feathered abacus between the each pair of poles. The winter thrushes - redwings and fieldfares - are back, flying up urgently from the trees if disturbed.
The stubble field next to my garden (it was fairly disastrous as a crop after late sowing and very late combining) has attracted flocks of pigeons, yellowhammers and bramblings. Most noticeable of all is the daily convention of corvids that gather in the middle of the field. Restless black flutterings that are finding plenty of food.
Patterns of flight - endlessly changing.