Gazing across tree tops

Cloud mist in wafts rising across
tree tops, sentinels under a grey sky
late morning and still.
Forest walkers below,
hushed by branches of needles,
unaware of the watcher above,
track-bound, receding now,
around to the next stream bridge.

Blue sky opens a small window to the North,
otherwise grey. Pottering away,
listing species from a chalk lined plot,
pencil busy on notebook, clinometer out,
bark slope taken, camera shot.
Leader bark with a few needles attached,
stem spines prickle the skin
below my hand holding fist.

The tree flexes as one moves,
a step up to a new branch,
swing around to the other side,
to do the North plot next.
A new vista across the hills
with hedge-rowed fields for miles away.
The day is improving and
the cloud base is rising,
bluer now, greener too,
air washed by rain saturates colours.
My eye rests on a white-washed farm yard,
with red-roofed sheds, among winter brown hedges,
and wet grass fields.

Another push and the list is complete,
notebook packed away, with some time to one-self.
Unfurl a teabag string, douse in the flask,
the hot liquid greens, ready for reverie,
tree top tea, with a stray spruce needle
floater, for the lips to avoid.
A grey tractor moves in the farm yard,
damp soft sounds in a lower landscape,
from the hill forest,
gazing across tree tops.

Howard Fox (C) 2015