Pale carpets

north 054

The wind roars through the branches; the sound seeming to echo of a far–off sea. The trees are all clothed in green and ochre, though some have yet to unfurl their leaves. The joyous abandon of the cherry blossom floats on the wind like pastel snow and just as ephemeral. The earth at their feet is strewn with petals, a carpet of pink and white, a bright fantasy against the wet tarmac and vivid green of rain-washed grass. I wish I had the camera, but it isn’t really a morning for photography. The rain hammers down and the trees bend and bow in the wind that robs them of their fading glory, making way for the playful majesty of the chestnut flowers.


The weather here is a wonderful thing, constantly changing. It is something of a national preoccupation, largely because it is almost completely unpredictable. We complain about it all the time, yet it true that without the rain with which we are, like it or not, blessed, these isles would not be their many shades of green. Between the bursts of rain the sun peeks through the clouds. Patches of blue promise better days ahead and it seems that earth and sky together hold all the answers to how life dances, its turns and twists to a rhythm unseen, but not, perhaps, unfelt.

north 052

I think back to a week ago… the long drive south… I had risen to a beautiful dawn breaking at the bottom of the sloping road that leads away from the city. As I reached the first glimpse of the hills, small patches of white against the rusty heather made me wonder if there had been frost. Half a mile further up and a few snowflakes were falling. Most unexpected… I didn’t even have a coat handy.

river of the sun SE15 001

But I did have the camera… and there is a road that crests the top of the hill… and I could afford a few minutes detour… By the time I pulled over, two minutes later, the ground was dusted with snow and the shaggy little calves were exploring this new plaything that fell from the sky and made their world white. I managed a couple of shots, but by now the short-sleeves were proving inadequate as the wind rose. I retreated back to the car and turned around, heading for home, some three and a half hours away.

river of the sun SE15 006

I stopped again fifty yards later. The light had changed, the landscape looked completely different. You would not believe that ten minutes earlier there had been full sunshine and the promise of a glorious morning. The snow was coming down almost horizontally in big, serious looking flakes. This time, I wasn’t even prepared to get out of the car… but I wound the window down just long enough for one quick shot. My friend in the sunny city a couple of miles below would not have believed the change.

river of the sun SE15 010

Except, of course, he would. He lives in Yorkshire and knows its ways. The changeability of the weather is never a surprise. I grabbed the rug from the back seat, throwing it round my shivering shoulders and drove through the heavy snow, reprising my route homeward…. And within five minutes the world was bathed in the warmth of a spring morning, with no trace of snow. I stopped again, looking out over a land of gold and green, scattered with flowers and gambolling lambs. You would have thought snow a distant memory.

river of the sun SE15 004

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in England, Life, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Pale carpets

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Elevation sure can change things! We live in what are called the Hilltowns. One can drive from snow, to sleet to rain in 20-30 minutes. Microclimates abound. I loved your photo of the carpet of pink petals – such a gorgeous color set off by the vibrant green grass. Sad that the wind is taking them down so fast. I sometimes wish I could slo-mo spring so I could savor every single moment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You swept me away there. A delight 🙂


  3. ..yet another outstanding post… the photography never fails to astonish… superb, m’Lady, Sue 🙂


  4. jenanita01 says:

    Wonderful photography of Nature in all her glory, simply glorious!


  5. Mary Smith says:

    Lovely post, great photos.


  6. evelynralph says:

    Reblogged this on evelynralph and commented:
    Wonderful pictures.


  7. We too have patches of ‘pink snow’ from the wind-beaten cherry trees. I have to admit I prefer the blossom on the trees, and I wish the wind would leave it there for a while. These gales in May are bang out of order!


  8. TanGental says:

    my gran had this expression ‘don’t cast a clout till May is out’ and I’ve never known if that was May the month or May the blossom. Your pictures certainly prove it is still true! Keep warm, Sue!


  9. noelleg44 says:

    Amazing changes, Sue – sort of like what a friend told me about Scotland: Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes. Or in this case drive a few miles.
    We always have pink snow each spring when our weeping cherry sheds its blossoms. It’s quite an experience to stand under the tree and look up at the petals coming down.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      They say the same pretty much everywhere up north 🙂
      My son had never experienced the pink petals falling around him…or not that he could remember…. till the other day. Even a grown man can admit to wonder…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.