Dark Peak Storms – Peak District

Spring storm hitting Slippery Stones in the Upper Derwent Valley, Peak District National Park
Spring storm passing over Slippery Stones

Saturday’s small storm passing over Slippery Stones.

I like a nice summer storm when out, I find them exhilarating. Now I pay more attention to what is happening around me on a walk I notice the stuff that literally flew over my head as a young man.

I notice the air now as the storm comes in, it becomes charged with energy, electricity I guess.  The best bit is colour. As the storm clouds move on in front of me the sunlight hits them and it bounces back onto the landscape. The greens become incredibly  vivid against the dark indigo of the sky and seem to have been photoshopped.

I once watched the rain work its way towards me. Great sheets of steel grey moving across the landscape in a vertical curtain that had a defined edge.

As the storm hits sheep remain unconcerned throughout the tumult, which was interesting, not even looking around to see why the trees are suddenly swaying.

I like how the storm goes through its phases. Black sky on the horizon. Then the wind, trees swaying, the noise of the wind whirring around. Then the rain, the odd spot at first, so I’m unclear whether I felt it, then more, then the deluge. Thunder overhead now and with luck the lightning cracking down, bright flashes so quick I am never sure they happened. Then the quiet. No sound, all still. Sometimes there is a back edge where the storm has a final throw, other times not.

After the storm has passed, everything seems fresh, as though it has just put the landscape on a quick wash.

Experiencing a storm, sitting one out and watching the display is a real joy.

Author: Paul Besley

Writer I have spent most of my life escaping into the Peak District National Park, I have grown to love the solitude it can bring. I also have an interest in the growing field of psychogeography particularly, in post-industrial landscapes. I am the author of Dark Peak Walks published by Cicerone Press. I am also studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University.

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