Friday, 16 September 2016

sunbathing llamas


I watched two clouds solidify into what looked like long thin lenticulars, and took a picture of them because it was that sort of morning. They'd already lost some of their solidity by the time I took this, but it's a nice photo. 

Sometimes a photo I've taken makes me very happy because it manages to look even better than the actual moment I was in. Sometimes, you just can't capture that moment, real or imagined, with a photo, and you have to either draw a picture of it or accept that some things just have to be lived. There was a nice moment the other night when a low flying Hercules flew across the nearly-full moon. But I didn't have the camera at hand and anyway, it would have been a rubbish photo. You just had to be there. And, of course, you'd have to dig aeroplanes.

The leaves of the big willow by the swingbridge are turning yellow, and falling; not all at once, though; so that I looked up one morning and saw that the branches were becoming visible through the thinning foliage, and the bridge landing is carpeted with leaves. Warblers and long tailed tits hunt through it; in the morning the chiffchaffs sing, and the robins turn up the volume on their song. In the evening, the robins all along the canal begin singing at the same time, and you know that autumn is here.

Just up the hill is the herd of llamas that I put on my canal map. I got a message from Jo, whose herd it is; she'd seen the map and liked it. But they're not llamas, she tells me, they're alpacas. She knits their wool, and has started an Etsy shop. "If you see they're lying down, don't worry, they're just sunbathing," she said. I told her I'd noticed this habit of theirs, and sent her my poem. 

Alpacas, though. Not llamas.
Llamas have no self respect.
Horses always sleep erect
as do cows, and, I suspect
both elephants and camelopards.
Can it be so very hard?
It seems so. In that nearby field
they lie as though they're lately killed
or they were English holidayers
in Tunisia or Marbella.