I stood and watched the swallows fly

DSCF5608

 

Until all that remained was clarity – night walking in the Brecon Beacons

Until all that remained was clarity

Until all that remained was clarity

Last night I walked the Craig Cerrig-gleisiad ridgeline, following its glacial scars west and onto the summit of Fan Frynych 300 metres above the valley floor. Without moonlight and without torch the night enveloped me, until all that remained was clarity.

Hiking through cotton grass – Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Cotton grass in the Brecon Beacons, Wales

Cotton grass in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

We climbed away from the haggard forest and the deep-set country lanes, between grazing sheep and bounding rabbits, and on. Cotton grass began to appear; at first one or two shoots, but by the time we reached the lower crags of Fan y Big the ridgeline was awash with white. As pure as the foam of an Arctic wave, the cotton heads lit up the Beacons, monotone yet magnificent.

We sat – with our toes overhanging – on a diving board of sandstone. We were at the apex.

Fan y Big summit, Brecon Beacons, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

Fan y Big summit, Brecon Beacons, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

From the Craig Cwmoergwm spine we moved south, beyond tottering cairns and peat bogs the colour of the night. The Neuadd Reservoir deep in the valley had run dry.

Stopping to rest on our descent into the Caerfanell basin, Jake fell asleep amidst a bed of grassy tussocks. I tried, but was kept from my slumber by the chirrups of the skylarks overhead.

Cwm Cynwyn valley, Brecon Beacons, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

Cwm Cynwyn valley, Brecon Beacons, Wales (Jake Graham Photography)

Pen y Fan Adam

Brecon Beacons Adam, acrylic on canvas (Daniel Graham)

Brecon Beacons Adam, acrylic on canvas (Daniel Graham)

Adam turns towards my brother before ascending up the south-western face of Pen Y Fan, Brecon Beacons (Wales).