16 May 2022

Location


From observational notes made at Elliott's Rock, Black Brook...

A warm spring day post noon. I descend hesitantly down a precipitous path into the secret dell. Thankfully, gnarled roots and hunks of angular base rock extrude. Otherwise, the plunging path would have the profile of a long children's slide in a woodland adventure park. Sensibly, I take my time. Somewhere, south of the trees, a golfer yells "Fore!" and a metal bar is distantly clanked to warn of pedestrians crossing Hallamshire golf course.

Reaching the bottom, I notice a pair of blue-tits flitting around a tree hollow. Perhaps they are nesting for it is that time of year. Just below them, Black Brook weaves amidst jumbled rocks. It is as if they were cast down in a giants' game of dice.

Mayflies dance above the bubbling surface of the little stream that leaks out of Lodge Moor - moving in unison like a scud of mist. Momentarily they are illuminated in a shaft of amber sunlight  - as delicate as floating dandelion seeds.

Fresh emerald grasses, unfurling ferns and mossy green cushions costume the scene beneath soaring trees that cling tenaciously to the rugged undercliff. They provide lofty perches for an unseen orchestra of avian musicians - blackbird and speckled song thrush.

I sit beside that  sussurating  water mesmerised by tiny bubbles that jostle  in their  tinkly descent Above me, a sail full of wind stirs the treetops then resurges like an ocean wave before subsiding - leaving pure silence, birdsong and reverie behind.

It was here that Ebenezer Elliott wrote "Ribbledin": I am sure of it.

16 comments:

  1. A peaceful scene nicely set.

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  2. Aaahhh... so soothing.

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  3. This is wonderful, Neil! You truly are gifted with words. I felt enchanted and very much "there".

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  4. Such a peaceful scene - balm for the troubled soul.

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    Replies
    1. Nice reaction. Thanks. We all need secret places.

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  5. It looks and sounds like Paradise.

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    1. A piece of paradise - just beyond the golf course.

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  6. I had a few secret paradises like that in my childhood. I've been searching for similar spots my whole adult life. Thank you for sharing one of yours.

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  7. A prettier spot I cannot imagine.

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  8. How lovely, Neil - the photos and your words. I learned a new word from you today - "sussurating". It fits perfectly as it sounds like what you describe and I could guess its meaning immediately! Well done!

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  9. That is a very soothing description. I feel like I'm there!

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  10. I had to google Ribbledin but it was well worth the effort.

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  11. A very poetic post.

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