I think it's about time I explained the name of this blog.
It's damp here. Really, really damp. Do you remember learning about the water cycle at school? Water evaporates from the sea, gets blown inland, rising over hills and cooling as it goes, then when it gets cool enough, condensing into clouds and rain. Also trees, taking up water through their roots and releasing it through their leaves back into the atmosphere. Well, I'm at that point on the diagram, half way up the hill, just above the trees, where all the water returns to the ground.
The average humidity here is over 80% and 100% for days on end is not uncommon. I thought I was pretty familiar with varieties of wet weather before I moved here, but I'd never encountered wet air before. It's not raining, or even drizzling, nor is it misty or foggy, but when you walk around outside, the air feels wet.
It may be hard to dry laundry, but there are upsides to this humid environment. My house sits on the side of a steep, wooded valley. There's a stream running by that disappears over a lip of stone in a small waterfall as it heads down to join many similar streams in a river at the bottom of the gorge. As I sit at my breakfast table, I can look across this valley at the mountains beyond, but it's the woodlands* cloaking the valley below - a temperate rainforest - that give rise to the phenomenon I'm talking about today.
Known poetically as "Gwynt y ddraig" or "dragon's breath", in the humid, forested river gorge, respiration from the trees condenses, forming low-lying mist that flows and swirls around the valley. Sometimes, these swirls break free of the valley floor and drift upwards, to start a new life as clouds, floating free in the sky.
I could watch the swirling, rising mist for hours, and sometimes do. I've made numerous attempts to film it, some more successful than others. Here's one, recorded in the early morning, back in July last year:
If you like this, you might like to have a look at the new video series I've been working on (the reason I've been a bit quiet on the blog recently). Each on of these is ten-to-twelve minutes of a relaxing scene that could be used as a focus for meditation, or just to take a little time out. If you're on my email list (subscription button at the bottom of the page) I'll assume that you'd like to hear about both blog posts and new videos unless you tell me otherwise, which you can do by clicking the 'update your preferences' link at the bottom of the email.