Well you can’t really can you? You can only photograph what it does. But today as I set off I decide I’m going to try and get inside the wind, be a part of it. See what that’s like.
In much of Britain today this would be simply foolish. Even as close as New Brighton across the river and the Formby coast to the north are being battered by high winds and stormy seas, and to get inside the wind would be to risk being blown away. But here in south Liverpool, protected from the Irish Sea by the gentle curve of the Mersey, it’s windier than usual certainly, but I think that gentle phrase ‘being buffeted’ would be the strongest way of describing what the wind is doing to us around here.
The trees have not had an easy night.
And on Smithdown even the puddles have got waves.
The wind in the rushes on the lake in Greenbank Park.
Part of the fence down at Mere Bank, the tower block being turned into student flats.
And in Sefton Park you can more hear the wind than see it in the trees.
Bending and swaying in the grasses.
Getting sprayed by the wind in the fountain.
Gentle waves in the big lake.
The gulls are all excited by the wind, but the young swan stares at me serenely.
This is one of the four surviving cygnets from the seven born to a pair of swans on the lake last spring. The cygnets are all still here but are no longer being watched over by the adults now and will, apparently, soon leave and join another flock of swans.
One of the grown ups, feathers only slightly ruffled by the wind.
I cross Aigburth Road through the windy subway.
And while I’m here decide to have a look at Fulwood Park. Haven’t been in here this century.
This is one of several Victorian ‘park’ developments built on private roads in Liverpool. This one is built close to the southern edge of the medieval Toxteth Park I recently wrote about.
Many grand houses.
And more new ones than I remember.
Just branches on the ground here left by the wind in the night.
At the far end of the park is a gate giving residents access to Otterspool and the river. I’m not a resident so have to turn back.
And photograph more of the houses.
I remember these being built in the 1980s. I’d come and walk here when I lived further along Aigburth Road.
Many of the big houses seem to be split into apartments now, but there’s still a feel of wealth and privilege about. Large cars with shaded windows and long drives with locked gates.
I’m not sorry to leave.
And entering the wooded valley of Otterspool Park I feel hot and overdressed in my thermals and fleeces. Hardly a breath of wind down here.
Closer to the river though the quiet sighing of the trees becomes a steady roar.
I have found the wind.
Leaning into the wind to stay upright and take these pictures I feel it pushing and pulling on my legs, attempting to flip me over. I jam myself hard against the river railings for one last photograph of what the wind is doing.
Then I back away and leave. I don’t want to go in there.
And by the time I get home my legs feel as if they have been on a very long walk today. Walking in the wind.