22 December 2020

Yesterday’s winter solstice, and the rare alignment of Jupiter and Saturn both passed in a blanket of dense hill-fog, but Venus blazed cold and bright, low to the south-east in the pre-dawn sky, as I opened the gate this morning.

I stood admiring it for a couple of minutes, putting off the inevitable annual hell that is the Big Christmas Shop. As I did so, the silhouette of a barn owl quartered our farmer friend’s field beneath the so-called Morning Star. I hadn’t seen the local owl for several months, so an un-looked-for joy.

It’s little, unexpected wildlife encounters like these during the normal day that mean the most, I find.

By Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Website · Facebook · Twitter · Newsletter · Book

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On the Moor

Carter is an entertaining and well-read author. His work is filled with poetry, literature, history, and wider theoretical discussions and the humour is never forced upon the reader […] Bookshops are filled these days with books about nature. Few of them understand that nature is an interaction between human society and the wider world. Richard Carter’s walks and rumination remind us of the connectivity between all things, and they might lead you up a path, onto a moor and a walk to touch a trig point.
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