An indescribably hot and oppressive day yesterday, made a hundred times worse by ‘Boris’ Johnson becoming Prime Minister unelect.
The indescribably hot and oppressive day was followed by an indescribably hot and oppressive night. I was woken at 02:45 by a violent thunderstorm. Sheet lightning on all sides, with driving rain. It lasted for over an hour. The sky gods were clearly venting their displeasure at our having allowed such a self-serving, lying oaf to become our leader.
Today was only slightly less hot and oppressive. En route to Dad’s, I managed to do some work in an air-conditioned coffee shop, then headed off to the Dee Marshes, where I failed to do any work at all on account of the heat. I soon gave up and drove to a shady roadside pond near Raby, where I sat and watched dragonflies for an hour.
There was one particular blue dragonfly patrolling above the lily pads that instantly repelled any others wandering near its domain. Every so often, it would glide for a second or two before resuming its frantic wing-beats. I suppose this was to preserve strength, but the glides were so brief and infrequent, they hardly seemed worth the trouble. The dragonfly also made occasional, sudden diversions from its flight-path, presumably to snap minuscule insect victims from the air.
I like dragonflies. I like their attitude. And anything that preys on midges and mosquitos has to be a good thing in my book.
“…wonderfully droll, witty and entertaining… At their best Carter’s moorland walks and his meandering intellectual talk are part of a single, deeply coherent enterprise: a restless inquiry into the meaning of place and the nature of self.”
—Mark Cocker, author and naturalist
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