More landscape and language

cloud shadows small

Thanks to Robert MacFarlane and his attempts to keep the vocabulary of nature vital and accessible to all (see previous blog post), I’ve been learning new words that describe succinctly some of the wonders of the valley. My favourite has to be rionnach maoim, an old Gaelic expression meaning the fleeting shadows of the clouds as they scud across moorland. It’s such a precise distillation of something so beautiful, but there is huge pleasure to be had in knowing that the moving picture show I see playing across the sides of the valley has been loved enough by others to have been given its own name.

What follows is my (wobbly) attempt at capturing rionnach maoim marbling the pretty slopes at Grindsbrook. I love how the light rushes into the valley as the cloud breaks and moves overhead.

Music: Interlude by Hollow Coves

Robert MacFarlane’s book Landmarks is a vivid celebration of the language of landscape, both ancient and modern, used and lost. He talks of using words to “sing the world back into being”, a sentiment as beautiful as clouds sloping across the sky. Recommended.

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