Love List: May
romantic possibility | metamorphosis | garden gates
In the cool of an early May morning, a snail is making its slow way across the path. As I step around it, my fingers are tickled by cow parsley. The pompom tail of a rabbit, hopping for the hill, bobs along ahead of me; it passes under a stile and away through the hedge. Crows startle out from amongst cowslips in the long grass. Up here, the sun can touch me, but down in the valley is a thin veil of mist, hazy and soft. The grass is damp with dewdrops and a string of spiderwebs glitter. In the crevices of the hills, dense patches of fog move like smoke.
During the autumn and winter months, I regularly chase fog through woods and along river valleys, but in spring, fog is more elusive. Winter fog is chill and dense, immersing everything in a heavy silver blanket, whilst spring mist is an adornment—a wispy cloak of cloud draping prettily across the countryside. This year, a fellow fog photographer has introduced me to a live fog map, and the reward so far for my obsessive weather-watching has been a couple of utterly perfect misty May mornings.
I walk down into the valley, where clouds of cow parsley glow white, shining dreamlike through the mist. I inadvertently startle a kite—it flies out of a tree just ahead of me, massive on silent wings, and glides off, dimmed to disappearing. At the edge of my vision a hare lollops across a faded field, legs gathering pace. Behind the dew-sprinkled, star-twinkled cow parsley, the sun has started breaking though: rays of light reach down between the trees, fingers of gold spread wide. I turn back into the morning, making my return.
When I see the snail again, it has almost reached the other side, passage marked by a silvery trail. At the end of the path I stumble upon a complete circle of blown dandelion seeds on the mud. Not scattered, but placed—pale and almost invisible, except for when the light catches them—a strange symbol, a mystery, a message from the mist.
Here’s what I’ve been reading & loving this month:
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