21 May 2014

Twenty-nine pink elephants...

I've been woken up in the very early hours the past few days by nature's peculiarities.
Sunday morning, dawn, literally just before sunrise. I was awoken by the birds making more noise than usual. Suddenly worried I blinked a few times. Was there something wrong with my sight? The sky was green. Definitely a dull greyish sort of green. It took me a while to realise that it was the green of the Devon Countryside reflecting on very low cloud and rolling mist. As I watched the sky turned to a bruise-like purple. It really looked as if someone had given the sky an enormous black eye.

storm brewing over our Middle Bank Field
Within a few minutes the sun had risen over the eastern horizon and shafts of red and gold and purple light spread outward and upward, and the heavens turned bright, bright blue.

I must add, the air smelt delicious because the day before the farmer in the nearby fields had been cutting his silage and the entire valley was bathed in the perfume of new-cut grass. (Deep breath, soak in the gorgeous aroma - although not so gorgeous for hay-fever sufferers.)

Monday, about 2.30 a.m a flashing light woke me up. At first, half asleep still, I thought the security lamp up in the stable yard was coming on and off. No, wrong colour, and besides, when it does come on it reflects on my bedroom wall (I've woken up in the past thinking that someone had put another window in while I've been asleep, only to realise its the projected shadow from the window in the opposite wall.) 

I had that problem with my Mum. She was 90 and getting very confused. I had to calm her down because she was convinced someone had changed the windows in her bedroom - taken one away - and she was furious because she hadn't given permission. Turned out she hadn't realised one of the windows was behind the curtain. Also turned out that she'd had a serious bladder infection, which can affect the mental state.

But I digress...
Was it a torch flashing? A torch up in the yard? Thieves!
I was instantly awake and at the window peering out into the not-quite-dawn morning. The sky was clear, lit by a brilliant three-quarter waning moon not-quite high in the sky. 

There it was again! A flickering light.
Ah. Lightning!

Compared to my old location of London we have some peculiar lightning  displays here in this part of Devon. I think it is because there are very very few streetlights, so there is nothing reflecting on the clouds - or the atmosphere. So we see the reflection of a storm that could be over 30 miles away.
Which is most peculiar when the entire sky lights up at 3 o'clock in the morning and you start counting the seconds for that following rumble of thunder: 'One elephant, two elephants, three elephants....twenty-nine elephants, thirty elephants...'
And pink elephants at that, because of the pink lightning....

Still, it did mean I could go back to bed because with the storm that far away I didn't have to come downstairs to turn the wi-fi hub off. (Which you should always do rather than risk a lightning strike power-surging into your computer. Phut bang - end of computer. )

This morning I was awake at 6.30 because I needed a wee. I couldn't decide whether to go straight back to bed or go down and make myself a cup of tea. I looked out the window.

Believe me, the promise of a glorious day in Devon is stunningly beautiful. 
Too beautiful to miss by going back to sleep.

Apart from one, all photos are of the orchard - our back garden

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