Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Images and ink (40)

Image: Alpine flowers in the Haut Val de Bagnes, Valaisian Alps, Switzerland

Ink: Slightly abridged from W E Bowman's The Ascent of Rum Doodle (1956), republished in 2001 by Vintage, with an introduction by Bill Bryson:

The journey to the Rum Doodle massif was uneventful ..The steepness of the valleys was such that the vegetation ranged from tropical to arctic within the distance of a mile, and our botanists were in their element. I am no naturalist myself, but I tried to show·an intelligent interest in the work of the others, encouraging them to come to me with their discoveries. I am indebted to them for what small knowledge I possess in this field. 

The lower slopes were gay with Facetia and Persiflage, just then at their best, and the nostrils were continually assailed with the disturbing smell of Rodentia. Nostalgia, which flourishes everywhere but at home, was plentiful, as was the universal Wantonia. Higher up, dark belts of Suspicia and Melancholia gave place to the last grassy slopes below the snow line, where nothing was seen growing but an occasional solitary Excentricular, or old-fashioned Manspride.

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