Heavy rain this weekend. On Sunday morning, early, I extended my walk to take a look at the stream and the pond. The stream, which is usually no more than a trickle, was turbulent and milky-coloured. The pond was also opaque, which made the reflections of the trees look even more like a drawing on the surface of the water. I enjoyed the visual trickery - I could see the real branches hanging low over the water, the reflection of the branches above and stray leaves and twigs just below the surface. Above, below and beneath. And then to complete this game of perceptions, a duck would glide across the reflection, which would shatter and then re-form as the water became still again.
This pond is on ex-farmland, on heavy clay soil and may therefore be man-made. A solution to the need to water livestock in the days before mains-fed drinking troughs. It's deep. The stream runs in one end and out the other. The pond is actually two connected ponds - one packed with bulrushes and lined with willows, the other larger one more open. It's one of the more interesting features in an otherwise rather featureless country park.
Many of the landscapes I'm drawn to are those where the land and water meet. Marshes, estuaries, coast. And the interaction between the land and the water at the edges is what interests me. The way one shapes and influences the other. There's this constant dialogue between the two elements. In tidal areas, this occurs before your eyes over the course of just a few hours. According to Chinese thinking, these are very yin - female - landscapes. Soft, watery, dark, life-giving, flowing, shape-shifting. But of course the point of that thinking is that it is the continuous interaction of yin and yang that drives the shaping of these landscapes, even if it seems that water dominates.