Our cottage stands atop a hill, where it is buffeted by the winds: the price to be paid for gazing out across fields and woods, hills and valleys. The garden slopes gently away from the house for a short distance, until a narrow and patchy strip of native hedge separates us from the field beyond. After this, the land falls steeply away towards the floor of the valley far below, where a narrow brook winds its way along the valley floor.
I often share here some of the ever-changing views from our hilltop, but seldom capture another of my favourite views; not taken from our hill, but rather of it.
I love these ridges that curve sinuously around the hillside, and the small neat hummocks which punctuate their contours, emphasised by shadows that lengthen as the sun slips around the hill. I sometimes wonder whether these wrinkles in the land have been sculpted by gravity alone, or with the help of the livestock that now graze this steep pasture?
Winter skeletons of trees and the glassy pond at the foot of the hill contrast with these textures in a pastoral scene that always sets my heart singing, as I follow the lane down the flank of the next hill into the centre of our village, or wend my way back up.