Lake Skadar’s Dragons

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Balkan Wildlife

The week has been grey and rain-filled with sullen views and damp seeping the bones. This morning was brighter and the view from the square window confirmed that although a deep grey, the light was trying hard to win, so I hurled out and up the hill in a strong, but not cold, easterly to see the shape of things.

The late dawn light from way across the lake and beyond the black mountains was fighting with everything; the rolls and pitches of cloud, the snow-made, sharp-pointed mountains and the cold-rippled lake. It was not spectacular, beautiful or calming; it was brutal and steel-riveted. It was Sibelius’ 5th with the horns in full majestic tilt pounding across the sky, not pure white swans but ancient black dragons, deafening and wild in the cold, morning silence.

skadar dragons 345

The black crescents of alpine swifts moved fast, twisting and turning, indifferent to the colour of the sky; these were the first of the year, arriving silently like a conquering army. Swallows shouted weakly below and looked the vanquished, slow and childish, more at home near the field and barn than over this vast empty air; these arrived no more than a week ago and bicker loudly with each other on the telegraph wires. Marsh harriers floated out across the reed, innocently wheeling and dealing in sudden death.

Down the road the subalpine warblers have started singing their scratchy hip-hop and blackcaps less of the angry tack-tacking and more fluting song. The honesty has emerged, bright purple and lady’s smock pure white.  Today was a Spring day that warmed and brightened to become safe and flat, and welcomed the well-pressed tourists that walked the town, and sat and drank, and the drama of the dawn was but a distant, dying dream.

One thought on “Lake Skadar’s Dragons”

  1. Jan dorling says:

    Wow Steve! Waxing lyrical …. rita is saying you take the most amazing photographs! The stormy sky is a cracker. Really enjoying the spring wildlife story and the way you tell it! Keep it coming. Jan

    Like

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