Wednesday, 30 April 2014

May Eve on Port Meadow

Some pictures taken this evening in Oxford's Port Meadow, on the eve of May.

Pictures can't show you the sounds of the meadow: the twittering of all the different kinds of birds in the trees; the occasional honk of a goose or low of a cow; the shouts of the rowers going up and down the river; the distant thud of horses' hooves as now and then they take to running; the rustle in the bushes which reveals the presence of invisible rabbits; the swish of the wings of the ducks as they fly overhead.

The neighbouring fields were full of rabbits, enjoying the evening light. May Eve is supposed to be a night for fairies, but none were in evidence tonight - only the rabbits.

That tower in the distance belongs to what was once the church of St Philip and St James. May 1 is the feast of these saints, so tonight was their Eve too.

The last sun of winter began to set behind the ruins of Godstow Abbey:

Some legends say the dead walk on May Eve, but I didn't wait at the abbey to test this for myself.

By sunset, I could see in the distance a small group of people gathering to build a bonfire, to welcome summer in. You can just about spot them in this picture, dwarfed by the water and the sky.

And so the sun sets until May Morning.


Enrique de la Riva said...

Again you have transported us with delightful simplicity into another time and space. You have also captured so well the sunset's penumbra with the awkward farewell of a shy and youthful Summer day. Thank you!

Clerk of Oxford said...