Friday 10 May 2024

Jan Woolf's 'The Rhythms of Mount Velež

The Rhythms of Moun Velež, Bosnia Herzegovina' - collage, acrylic and watercolour on card.

"I loved doing this one. It came together suspiciously quickly. Thanks to David Wilson for the original photo." JAN WOOLF

Writer and artist Jan Woolf is a friend of mine, living and working in London. After I had sent her a photo of Mount Velež she decided to work on this collage This is the photo Jan worked from. Taken on a bad weather day

This is the mountain on a good weather day

On a good weather day and sitting in a garden below Mount Velež I wrote these words.

  I was in Počitelj, 30 kilometres south west of Mostar. It is a small town and, as you can see, an example of how mankind can impress additional beauty on that already provided by landscape and nature. But this is not written about Počitelj nor about Mostar.

I have been staying in Bijelo Polje, a few kilometres to the north east of Mostar and I am writing this soon after dawn and two days before I return to London. The human world is silent, broken only by the scraping of my chair as I change position and my fingers tapping on this keyboard. The only other sound which connects me to other humans is the distant barking of a dog, bred by humans and many, as I suspect of this troubled barker, abandoned by them. The family dog here doesn’t bark, is as content as I am, and is still asleep on her blanket. 

It is getting lighter and the sun appears from behind Mount Velež. As it does so birds get louder with their dawn chorus. They seem to be expressing their delight at this new day. I have no idea what birds I am hearing as there are different chirps, songs and calls from, and in, every direction. I have read that there are more than 150 species in the Mostar area, not all here at one time, but I have counted about 10 different birdsongs this morning. 

The sunlight moves across the fields and woods like an incoming tide, adding sunlit patches and tree shadows as it advances. It reaches me and I move my laptop into shade. Dew on the wet grass sparkles like fairy lights and look as though they jump from one spot to another. I can hear a rooster. Two butterflies flutter by. The dog wakes, moves into the morning sun, stretches her legs, yawns and flops down with a sigh. It’s time to make coffee.