The Sum of a Place: Gwent Levels

“They always say the best way to see the Gwent Levels is with a microscope or a helicopter.” I was walking through the stunning June meadows and dense willow copses of Magor Marsh Nature Reserve with Sorrel Jones, a conservation officer for the Gwent Wildlife Trust. The last relic fenland in south-east Wales, Magor Marsh … Continue reading The Sum of a Place: Gwent Levels

A Time of Turning

There are days that fall easily into two seasons, opening with a shimmer of spring heat before leaning back into winter-cold skies and bitter winds by their end, as if at the last moment a set of scales was tilted with the addition of a final, decisive weight. There’s little that is predictable about this … Continue reading A Time of Turning

More than Meets the Eye

“The least I can do is keep my eyes open. Attention is what I want to spend. I don’t ever want to feel inside me a whole storehouse of unused binoculars, magnifying glasses, telescopes.” ~ Barbara Hurd, 'Sea Stars,' Walking the Wrack Line Here in the mountains of northern Greece, we never know what kind … Continue reading More than Meets the Eye

What the Light Knows

The sky is a harbour all of a sudden. Wherever I look there are wings leaving a wake in the air. Having sailed northwards to reach here, swifts, swallows and housemartins dive through the teeming insect feast laid on for their arrival, swirling through pools of clouded blue. Golden orioles flare from the lakeside willows, brief … Continue reading What the Light Knows

Gathered Light

It reached me as an afterglow. We were walking on a cliff-edge path when a faint light glimmered at the corner of my eye. I stopped and looked down on the sea for a while, reluctantly accepting that it must have been the sparkling roll of a wave that I’d seen, a crest of bright … Continue reading Gathered Light