There was an ominous light over River Zazere

Be the first to favourite this. Dornes, Portugal

In 2019 the Castelo Branco region of Portugal sustained horrific forest fires https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2019/07/wildfires-rage-in-central-portugal-photos/594565/

The first day in Dornes was windy. The smell of burning was alarming, not for myself on the opposite side of the river, but for the trees and people over the hillside in Castelo Branco.
The light was eerie. An ominous plume of smoke, orange grey and thick, was rising and slowly it filled the sky, obliterating the sun. The talk was of despair at how nature was responding to our greedy behaviour.
The water was murky, the wind was rallying in the eucalyptus woods, and black ash fell on me as I swam
I watched the endless toing and froing of emergency services - noisy, yellow bi-planes circling, landing on the lake and, air bound again, leaving to release their wet loads onto the flaming undergrowth (or so I guessed, for I couldn’t see them doing it).
And then there was rain overnight, most gratefully received. Isn’t it always the way after watering your garden! The next morning the sky was clear.
High above, I spotted a pair of birds, glimpsing their white under-carriages, and was impressed by their jet black, square-ended wings. Not long after, they were joined by others. They made a few flaps to raise themselves, but then lazed on the air, way above, around and around so that I could feel their pleasure. When they landed on the water, they splashed like happy dogs!
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Tamsin Grainger

United Kingdom

I am a walker, writer, collector of images and sounds and Shiatsu practitioner. I live in Edinburgh, Scotland for half the year and travel for the other 6 months. My first sound installation is in the Trinity Tunnel of the Edinburgh cycle path network. I p...

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Near Dornes, Portugal

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