A lovely autumn day

The sky above Swanage today at 6.15 p.m.


This morning, walking over to All Saints’ Church for Morning Prayer, I passed a number of people with cameras looking out to sea, enjoying the sight of the light on the water. The sun was rising behind thin layers of distant cloud, but all around there was a brightness, such as we are accustomed to see frequently in this sunny corner of the south coast. The glow of the sun rising, seemingly far out at sea; a glow behind and beside the Isle of Wight.

Tonight it will be fine again, but the other side of the town; the sun declining behind the downs and catching the cliffs and high buildings as its angle changes and the colours are changing as the light fades, through striking oranges and pinks and reds with the pale blue and dove grey of the clouds; and darkness falls upon Swanage once again.

There have been hummingbird hawkmoths about today in the sunshine on the autumnal flowers, outside the URC Church and hovering around a sunny bush on Queen’s Road. They are a not uncommon migrant to much of Britain and Ireland, but I recall from last autumn, they seem especially easy to spot here along the coast. I expect that the cold weather forecast towards the end of this week will finish our courgettes, but the runner beans are still coming, and tender stem broccoli is ready for picking.

Our little grandson is one year old today. How quickly a year passes and life changes. I carried him around the garden just before he left for home last Sunday afternoon. He was taking it all in, stroking the leaves of the runner beans, reaching out to touch a fallen apple or feel a flower. The sun glinting on the church clock face caught his attention and his smile broadened in wonder.

As I finish this blog my prediction in the first few lines that it would be a fine sunset has proven to be true. I took the photograph above at 6.15 p.m. from our landing window. It wasn’t as dark as it appears, but the light has gone now as I sign off for another day in sunny Swanage…..!

John Mann