04 April 2015

D is For...


...DAWN MIST
I am taking part in the A-Z April Blog Challenge 
Join me every day (except Sundays) throughout April for the next letter in the alphabet

Ok I ‘fess up. I don’t see too many dawns. Those I do I occasionally notice through the bedroom window from beneath the cosy comfort of my duvet. 

Early morning in Top Field 
Usually I only see the night sky turning lighter because the twittering birds have woken me up. I always sleep with a window partially open, even on the coldest nights – the only time it gets shut is when there’s a raging westerly gale thundering in and storming straight into the room. Billowing curtains and a cold blast are not conducive to a good night’s sleep, I have discovered.

Sunrise
There are occasions, though, when I do see the dawn in. Usually because I can’t sleep, as is happening this very moment (I’m writing this at 4 a.m.) I tend to lay there a bit debating whether I really do need a wee or not, then wondering if a cup of tea would be in order; get up to attend both then turn the computer on to do half an hour of work. Which usually turns into at least two hours. I look up: “Oh, it’s got light!” So in fact, technically, I don’t see the dawn, it sort of sneaks up on me.
Taw Valley Mist from our orchard

Back in London I very rarely saw it getting lighter and the sun rising, except on specific days when I deliberately got up and watched and waited. Two days – Midsummer and Midwinter.

In London, you knew when it was dawn without having to open your eyes.
Birds singing?
No, we had a robin and a wren which sang through most of the night because of the street lighting. The sad thing was (apart from the poor birds getting no sleep) I became used to the sound and stopped hearing them.

Traffic.
We lived not far from the Crooked Billet, which used to be an old pub but is now a huge interchange for the A406 North Circular Road. Anyone who remembers the Walthamstow Dog Stadium will remember the Billet and the original roundabout.

I drove round that roundabout on my very first driving lesson if I recall. It’s a wonder I had the courage for a second lesson.

Anyway, I digress.
In Walthamstow the traffic woke me at most dawns. A lorry thundering by, a siren, car horns. Yes, like the birds I was used to it, but with the traffic there was always a different, annoying sound and that feeling of “hey ho, the day has started."
Here in Devon life is smoother, quieter, calmer.
Dawn meanders over the horizon, it doesn’t bustle in. And it is interesting.

Taw Valley Mist from Top Field
Look out the window as Dawn lifts her skirts to show her pink and gold petticoats and you see pheasants feeding in the garden (more about them in the letter F). In the meadow behind our orchard there are often deer – sometimes the big Exmoor Red Deer, not just the smaller Roe and Fallow. The Red Deer are a bit destructive when it comes to crops and trees, but they are gorgeous to watch – the stags are huge beasts, bigger than our Exmoor Ponies (I’ll be talking about them when we get to M.)

This view is directly opposite our 'front' gate
And the mist coming up the Taw Valley! Oh it is so lovely some mornings!
It rolls in along the small tributary valley that runs behind our house, sometimes tip-toeing slowly, sometimes trundling, sometimes at full burst charge; stops where the valley rises up to the Chittlehamholt Ridge, pauses then rolls back again, or slowly disappears, the trees and ridge opposite gradually being revealed. Some mornings the mist lays there like a blanket covering the valley but leaving the ridge above exposed - the sun rising to shine on top of it can be so beautiful.

A dragon in the valley?
And when you watch it creep in, it really does look like Dragon's Breath!

But back to D for Dawn.
I went for a walk one dawn the first year we lived here (2013). It was special because it was the first time I'd been up and out as the sun came up. It was just starting to climb higher in the sky, shooting colours out and turning the sky from purple to pink, then gold, and everywhere was so still. The air was like smelling nectar it was so rich and sweet.

the garden and the house mist-clad

On the grass in the middle field there were dozens of little spider’s nests – they looked just like minute fairy trampolines. 

Fairy Trampolines!
And as I walked up the hill the sun rose between the trees and showed exactly what I was feeling.

Look carefully at the picture...

Can you see the heart shape?








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24 comments:

  1. Worth getting up for!

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    1. Indeed it is - although many mornings all I can see is grey drizzle or pouring rain! :-)

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  2. Beautiful photos and a beautiful post. What a wonderful way to enjoy the morning.

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    1. It's even better when the mist has cleared to reveal a beautiful summer day! Thanks for leaving a comment

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  3. Gorgeous post Helen, I love the Dawn Mist, although it's something I'm more likely to see at the end of my day not the start of it.

    We live back in the city now but for 1 year we spent a glorious time in the middle of the countryside and your post reminded me so much of our time there, we had an orchard as well, absolutely adored it! Sadly had to move back to an urban area for practical as well as family reasons but I treasure that year so much!

    Will be back to visit again!
    Mars xx
    Curling Stones for Lego People

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    1. I couldn't move back to London now (or any city) my next place will be a quiet churchyard somewhere! Whether my daughter and son-in-law will always stay here is another matter, I hope they do stay.

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  4. These pics are so beautiful. Worth our sleep :)

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    1. Thanks - and thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. Much appreciated

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  5. What a wonderful post - the photos are amazing, and your narrative makes me feel like I'm there with you. I love the concept of the "fairy trampolines" - thanks for that great image!

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    1. Thank you - I haven't got up early enough yet to see any fairies actually using the trampolines.. :-)

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  6. Dawn is my favorite, plus we get gorgeous sunsets from our front windows. We sit up high and can see it coming over the mountain. Best of luck with the A-Z! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. thanks Joyce - we have it both ways, sunrise to the right side of the house (east) and sunset to the left (west)

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  7. I love dawn! Of course, here in the Pacific Northwest, we're getting into the season where it comes way too early for me to enjoy it. I like to get up just before sunrise and do my yoga. By the time I'm done, dawn is breaking. Ahhhh!!!

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    1. Dawn is getting earlier here too - I hate the winter when it doesn't come until much later!

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  8. A simply stunningly lovely post~ the photos are ethereal and so evocative. A pure joy to be able to share a bit of it and am full of envy . Surely the faeries are alive and flourishing (and perhaps a peace loving dragon as well) in your valley. Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your world.

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    1. Thank you. Dragons will feature again under K (not saying why or how LOL!) As for the fairies... as long as they behave they are welcome in my garden!

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  9. I've seen too many dawns of late. Still I love the misty ones. There's something magical and mysterious about them.

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    1. Isn't there just! (and I agree with you about the too many! LOL)

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  10. Beautiful photos! I also love sunrises, but my love for stargazing usually wins out and I miss the morning show. :) BTW, I loved your description of "fairy trampolines."

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    1. Thank you Chuck......Come back for N....

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  11. Lovely post for me to wake up to this morning with my cup of coffee :-) It's amazing how you learn to tune out everyday noises around you - like birds chirping each morning. Cheers - Ellen

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    1. Oh yes! If you actually listen it can be quite noisy. I also don't always hear the Tarka Line train going past (although that depends on the wind direction r how still it is - the sound echoes up the valley) I am aware of the sheep and the cattle in the fields and the occasional drone of a tractor - but how lovely to not hear constant traffic and police sirens!

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  12. what a great selection of photos

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    1. thanks for leaving a comment on my blog - apologies for any delay in replying, I'm trying to catch up with everything! :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment your interest is very much appreciated! It will be published as soon as possible - depending on whether I am at my computer or walking up the lane, or being chased by the goose or helping mend fences after the pony has broken through YET AGAIN.... :-)
Helen