A rare mini hay whirlwind was captured on video in a field in Minsterley, Shropshire. You can view the story below.
Ominously, Minsterley is home to the parish church of Holy Trinity, built at the end of the 17th Century, by the Thynne family of Longleat and houses an internationally famous collection of Maiden’s Garlands. The exterior of the west end of the Church is notable for the stonework memento mori, which include skull and crossbones and hourglasses.
Memento mori is Latin for “remember that you have to die”. It is the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. Memento mori has been an important part of ascetic disciplines as a means of perfecting the character by cultivating detachment and other virtues, and by turning the attention towards the immortality of the soul and the afterlife.
The magician in The Earth Emperor’s Eye uses an hourglass to demonstrate his power over time and the futility and transient nature of our short lives on Earth. A skull also features in the tale to remind us of our mortality. Perhaps the Hay Whirlwind is another warning about the future of humanity as it continues to gamble wantonly with Mother Nature and her creatures. Let us not forget that in the tale Mother Nature is personified.