16 September 2019

A sure sign autumn is approaching: a spectacular cloud-sea filled the valley bottom first thing this morning. Well, more of a fog-sea, I suppose. They’re pretty common around here this time of year. We have the steep-sided upper Calder Valley to thank. In calm conditions, cool air sinks into the valley bottom overnight, lowering the temperature sufficiently to produce fog. As the sun rises above the valley sides, the air is warmed, and the fog slowly dissipates. The best views are usually from Height Road.

Cloud-sea
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Spotted a couple of jays flying through the woods above Booth. They’re less secretive this time of year, busily caching acorns for the winter. Not all the acorns will be retrieved, of course. I wonder what percentage of mighty oaks owe their existence to the hard work of jays.

A walk around the lanes with Jen in the evening. Rooks and jackdaws convened raucously in their hundreds in the trees at Ibbot Royd, arriving from all directions in loose formations, silhouetted against the sunset. A pair of swallows scudded past. Once again, I wondered whether they would be the last of the year. Over towards Stoodley Pike, a line of lenticular clouds graced the horizon.

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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