The first week of November has come and gone with more dry days than wet. It’s a remarkable thing here in Connemara where the rain is never far away. We feel grateful when we get a whole day of dry weather, even more grateful when we get two in a row. I find an excuse to go outdoors when it’s like this, everything else can wait; housekeeping, book keeping, laundry, shopping, even painting is put on hold. If I’m really organised I’ll put some washing out to dry first thing, so that I can leave guilt free.
I took these photos out on the bog road between Clifden and Roundstone. October’s gold has deepened to these Wintry hues, it’s brown all over and under – russety, chocolatey, chestnut brown. The light is low, shining across rather than above and making the brighter grasses glint like shards of coloured glass or metal.
The water makes a silvery stripe against the bog and there’s an inky blackness at the edges where the grasses are reflected. It makes me think of a pool of mercury sliding through the landscape.
There’s a stark kind of drama about it all, a bareness from the flat grey light of the sky that seems to muffle colour like sound. I like to track down the words, sometimes a verse to match the way the land looks. That’s how I stumbled across these lines from the poem ‘November‘ by John Payne. I think they fit the mood well – the setting is an empty stage and there’s more than a hint of darkness in the shadowy figure of Winter, laying in wait.
The tale of wake is told; the stage is bare,
The curtain falls upon the ended play;
November’s fogs arise, to hide away
The withered wrack of that which was so fair.
Summer is gone to be with things that were.
The sun is fallen from his ancient sway;
The night primaeval trenches on the day:
Without, the Winter waits upon the stair.
taken from ‘November‘ by John Payne ( 1842 – 1916 )