A rabbit hopped onto the verge, out of the path of an oncoming car. The A38 is an inhospitable place for wildlife.
My father would have recounted the wildlife he saw each morning, he always left home early and rolled along gently on his twelve mile journey to work.
Sometimes descending from our village would have mean being engulfed in a thick greyness. On Sedgemoor, there is a dampness that never quite retreats, those who lived in low-lying cottages in former times would have talked of moistness filling the walls of their houses all the year round. The high moisture content of the walls of farmhouses tended to make the houses cool places, unfriendly to small boys with asthma.
Such mist in childhood days might have been something unwelcome, or it might have been the sign of great things to come.
Mist here in November is mist of the unpleasant variety, it is a mist that wets you, that chills you, that fills your lungs with an unpleasant coldness. It is a mist that clings and lingers, strong winds and falling rain are preferable to the grey blanket that holds the smoke of fires and every other pollutant in the air
On summer days, though, particularly during the warm days of August when summer is at its height, the mist of the early mornings is something altogether different. August morning mists are the harbinger of warm and bright days and blue skies. Misty mornings are always more welcome than cloudy mornings when the blanket of grey overhead becomes heavier and heavier until a sudden flash of lightning announces and heavy raindrops announce that the weather has broken.
Drive along the road here, descend Stembridge hill on the road to Somerton, along lanes too narrow for two cars to pass, and the summer mists will break and disperse to reveal lush green meadows, or fields of grain, or orchards that have again appeared in our cider-drinking county.
Going through the mist, there will be glimpses with which my father was familiar, the rabbits and pheasants running for cover from the oncoming car – and, along our road, even occasional glimpses of deer.
For a child, those mists were always fascinating. They could make familiar roads mysterious. Shapes could change; houses that were passed every day had a different air about them. Attention could be drawn to things that had been previously slipped by unnoticed.