A darkly overcast day with louring purple-stained clouds, and a storm brewing, until you read the context in which Lee coined this one.

‘This is an old stretch of land whose signs of occupation go back to the beginnings of man, with rich-painted caves scattered throughout the area – and some of them still inhabited. It is a grape-blue landscape saved from being a desert by the snow waters of the big sierras.’

Source: Laurie Lee, I Can’t Stay Long (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977 ((1975)), p. 116

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