I hadn’t been able to visit Bredon Hill the previous morning – the day of the beautiful hoar frost, so I was hoping for the same conditions again this day. Whilst it was almost as cold, sadly there was no sign of the hoar frost …
During the 15 minutes or so before sunrise a beautiful sun pillar was on display – see photograph below. A sun pillar will appear directly above where the sun will rise (or after it has set) whenever there are ice crystals of the appropriate shape and orientation in the upper atmosphere. The crystals refract and reflect the sun’s light causing the appearance of a column of light. Soon after the sun breaks the horizon, and usually before, the sun pillar will have disappeared.
The afternoon started with a fine sky and light that bode well for an excellent sunset. But the cloud steadily built and eliminated such a prospect. I took many photographs of the sky and clouds, but none turned out to be worth the effort.
The early frost was most welcome, as was the hour of sun immediately following sunrise at 7:17. The low sunlight shone warmly under the shield of cloud which advanced steadily from the west until 8:15 when the cloud won. The first two photographs below show just how quickly cloud colours change before sunrise. The first shows the magenta-pink which within less than six minutes had warmed into orange and yellow (the second) immediately before the sun rose.
I’ve just been reminded of something I read 3 or 4 years ago in Mark Forsyth’s “Etymologicon” – indicating the likely etymology of Bredon. Celtic for hill is ‘bre’, Old English for hill is ‘don’ (or down) and hill is Modern English … so Bredon Hill is really Hill-hill Hill. So good the named it thrice.
Throughout my long morning hike Bredon Hill was “head in the clouds” with a constant but very light misty drizzle (mizzle?). Contrary to what many believe – that you can only do photography in the sun – these conditions are perfect for finding a refreshing perspective on the familiar.
I think that (without checking back) today is the first on which I’ve posted a Bredon Hill photograph with people in it – except for the bonfire on 21st April (Day 21) when there were over 100!
The magnificent autumn colours are at their best at present, but I find it interesting that Bredon Hill is much less of a spectacle than the surrounding villages and countryside. It’s probably because the trees planted in gardens and villages are selected at least in part for their autumn colour. Our native trees are mostly less demonstrative, and these are what predominate on the hill. But the beeches do stand out.
The skies over Bredon Hill were a pleasure to behold throughout the afternoon. The early autumn conditions were perfect for walking – as the many people out enjoying the afternoon seemed to agree. I saw far more people walking on Bredon Hill than I’ve seen before – except for the bonfire celebration on the Queen’s 90th birthday. But that may be because I’m more often out with my camera around dawn or dusk.