As I wander out into the local landscape I’m always excited to feel my senses tuning in to the different (and familiar) smells, sounds, sights and feelings.
I have spent half a century wandering beaches, shorelines and marshlands so in some ways the land at Baer is very familiar and reminds me of many shorelines from my past. But it’s unique and has its own special character – its Genius loci.
The first thing I noticed was of course the light. I understood in my mind how the sun would move, but it’s not the same as seeing it and feeling it. Seeing how the light changes through the day and the shadows and colors and contrast shift constantly. Feeling that extended twilight. In my experience dusk and dawn are separated in time – opposite moments of the diurnal cycle.
The dusk is warm and glowing and golden, dust filled and tired, tending towards the night, cooling, sleeping.
The dawn is damp and cool and pink and quiet with everything waking up and getting started for the bright day ahead.
Here those two are one, they merge seamlessly into one another with no night in between. It’s as if the summer is the day and the winter is the night and the twilight is a hint of the season to come imbedded in the season that is here.
Twilight is a derivation from ‘two lights’ and here those lights are the dusk and the dawn.
I have become crepuscular here – a creature of the twilight. The light of the day is so clean and bright and penetrating. The duskydawn is the time when the light is more subtle and indefinable. When the fading sun seems to be of the earth rather than something distant.
I’m used to the sun moving ACROSS the sky. From east to west. Or as my friend Richard La Trobe Bateman first pointed out to me – from left to right in the northern hemisphere and from right to left in the southern. But here the sun moves AROUND the sky. In the duskydawn it’s due North coming throughout my bedroom windows. Now, in the middle of the day, it’s coming from due South. It moves obliquely at all times, painting different shadows and contrasts on the landscape as it moves.