I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Walking The Edge

It's a perfect evening on the Viking Way. The sun shines in a calm blue sky. Even at 8 pm it's mid-afternoon-bright. From Byard's Leap I follow a green tunnel south for several miles ...


This part of Lincolnshire is known as the Heath, or the Cliff, or the Edge. It's a thin band of limestone, a low plateau 150 ft higher than the clay land to east and west. The Romans built a famous road upon it: Ermine Street, which ran straight as a die from London to York. And in WW2 the military found it an ideal site for airfields, as it was flat and faced Germany. (Lincolnshire became known as 'Bomber County'.) For all I know, this rogue strip in the middle of cornfields may once have been a runway ...    


Monotonous views of endless crops stretching to distant horizons are certainly most people's image of Lincolnshire ...


... though as always - if you look hard enough - variety, interest, colour and texture can be found almost anywhere ...


This one-time wild heathland - a habitat rare in Britain - is now intensively cultivated with wheat and barley, potatoes, sugar beet, and oil-seed rape ...


Scarlet poppy heads stipple the green.The purplish-brown tips of barley whiskers silkily ruffle a sea of corn. Tits and finches sky-dance jerkily from bush to bush. And briar roses turn their pale pink petals to the remaining sun. I walk the Edge in the dimming light. Edge of limestone and clay, plateau and vale, heath and weald, holloway and skyway. Edge of field and path, hedge and ditch. Edge of day and edge of dusk. Edge of darkness. Edge of light. And edge of my life.  

7 comments:

Ruth said...

I hope you don't tire of praise, Robert.

You're doing one of my favorite things, which is to take a closer look at what might seem plain at first glance. When lined up on this edge, these images looking straight on down the line are quite evocative. They draw me in and on, and they are worth clicking on and enlarging for a bigger view. (Might you consider a wider template so your photo landscapes can be seen in their glory?) The poppy shot is glorious, and that tunnel!

Again, your catalog of plants and birds is pure poetry, both linguistically, and 'livingly.'

The Weaver of Grass said...

Happy Days eh Robert?

I remember us camping on that green lane - just overnight when Dom was a toddler. I am not a camping fan but we had a lovely time I remember.

Malcolm used to talk about playing in this area a lot when they were kids. I passed by it recently and it brought back such memories.

Grace said...

That's it, I'm packing my bags for England and not coming back until my feet fall off from hiking!

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Ruth, for your generous comment. Will try to improve the photos, but quite honestly I'm worried they might look worse, more grainy etc. I don't really understand how you get pin-sharp images (like you and so many other bloggers manage to) up on the blog. I know I'm naive about this. Perhaps someone could help? My camera is only a small, automatic digital.

Yes, good memories, Weaver Pat ...

... and Grace: see you on the edge!

Ruth said...

Robert, I clicked on the poppy photo, and it enlarged about four times as big. It is gorgeous, and sharp and perfect. You could try clicking on large, or extra large, in blogger edit, and see what you think. If you're happy with them being in a bigger format like that, you might expand to a wider template. I think you can go wider in one of the 'simple' templates. But as I say, try just clicking on one of the larger sizes when you load your photos and see if it fits here. I don't know if extra large or original size will fit, but you could experiment. I'd be happy to help more. Feel free to email me at ruth.mowry@gmail.com.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Ruth - I may experiment a little with this. Though I'm not sure I want them so big that they over-dominate the text. If I keep them smaller, people can have the option whether to click and enlarge, or not? Anyhow, I'll have a think, and perhaps try a few things - and may even do a post about it! Thanks again.

More Than Meets the I said...

Everything is poetry here. Thank you, Robert :)