The National Trust property, Croft Castle, is one of my favourite places to visit. Today found me sheltering in the cafe from a heavy rain shower and being inspired to draw the colourful drinks cabinet. The place was empty mid-morning, but at lunchtime it was packed out with visitors and I had to join a long queue to buy a BLT sandwich (which was worth the wait). I sat in the walled garden for a while and sketched the apple trees and then climbed up though Fishpool Valley up through the woods and onto the top of Croft Ambrey. The conifers have started to be felled here and a forestry machine was making short work of felling, cleaning and slicing the long tall trunks into shorter sections. The earlier mist of the morning had completely dissipated and there were magnificent views all over the Welsh borderland. As I walked back down to the castle the sunlight was spectacular. It was now late afternoon and the light was taking a golden turn beneath a clear sky. As the trees are well into turning colour, the scenery around me was spectacular. There was hardly any breeze and, with the sun low in the sky all colours, shapes and changes of light seemed to be accentuated to give a breathtaking beauty to everything.
If ever there could be a day in which Nature (God?) was saying "Look at Me" then today must be one of those days. It was day that brought a sea of mist, dramatic clouds and showers and a golden evening's sun. It showed me lots of wildlife from woodpeckers to deer. It showed me numerous different trees from the apple trees in the walled garden to the colourful hornbeams that I sketched. It showed me a landscape of hills and valleys. This was a reminder that we live on a planet where by the forces of nature will always continue to do their own thing. Mankind will, seemingly, never cease to evolve into a species that alienates itself from the natural world and seeks a selfish "I can do whatever I want" attitude with disregard for one another, other cultures and civilisations. We seem intent on destabilising communities and countries by greed, fundamentalism and selfish ideologies with no regard for a bigger Earthen picture or philosophy.