'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A Most Unusual Occurrence

When we lived over in the lush, green, inland valley of the Waikato, many winter nights and mornings were filled with the ephemeral white swirls of mists and fog.
Once I decided to have a hot swim at a spa near Matamata after work.  By the time I emerged the fog had come down, and was so thick it took me two hours to travel the twenty-minute journey home in the car.  An unsettling experience in which I hugged the side of the road, and the only way I made it was to crawl up a number of household drives and back out again.

In the last eighteen years since we have been living here in the Bay of Plenty, a mere 2.7 km (1.7 miles) from the sea, I can recall only two other times when we haven't have crystal-clear air.  Any clear night the only thing stopping us seeing the full array of stars is the streetlights.

It wasn't until the sea fog rolled in last evening that I remembered how much fog can completely change the appearance of the environment.  Looking down the drive, there was no road to be seen, the traffic sounds were muted, and of course the inversion layer had trapped all the city's household chimney smoke which was adding to the fug.
It was strange that something to which I have been previously completely accustomed, could have become so rare, or feel so evocative and bring back so many memories.


  1. that is so weird
    I was thinking of mist and fog tonight as a sea mist flowed down the hills towards trelawnyd

  2. John, that's so spooky, possum!*


  3. We rarely have fog here on Lewis but occasionally we get the heavy summer mists which cause some problems for the air services. The most exciting, though, are the sea fogs on the ferry when all that one can hear is the eerie booming of the fog horns and even the slap of the waves as the ship ploughs through the water is muffled.

    1. I like your description Geeb. Sea fog sounds so exciting, although I suppose it's just a danger... I think I've watched too many Stephen King movies, or read too much Patrick O'Brian!

    2. The most exciting sea fog I can recall is in Hemmingway's To Have and Have Not made into that wonderful film with Dirk Boghart which suited black and white so well.

    3. I will have to see if I can obtain that Geeb.

  4. Even here in subtropical Brisbane we have lots of fogs during the Winter months if you live near the river. They roll in as the night air gets cooler and for us they usually mean a warm day ahead.

  5. Helsie... I think the mix of cold damp air and warm air causes fogs. What you said ties in with that.


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