It was over in an instant. It felt like a lifetime.
A sparrowhawk is sitting on the balcony railings. A large bird, a female. Facing us as we watch through the window, I can see she is brownish-grey and without the beautiful rufous colourings of the male. Her eyes, bright yellow and steely, are alert and watching.
Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: the hawk comes a-calling”
Forgive me for anthropomorphising, but I immediately thought of outraged teenagers.
When we first met, Bernie had no interest in garden birds. He professes never to have noticed a single bird. These days he takes on the task of cleaning out and siting our bird boxes and earlier this year he devoted significant time to constructing and trialling protection for last year’s swallows’ nest in which, very sadly, the three babies drowned during a downpour. (We have swallows nesting again now. We’re hoping for a happier ending this year.) Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: undesirable nest box for occupation”
There is something in the air on this final February Saturday. The light is bright; the sky is clear. There’s a strength to the sun that belies this shortest of months. There is birdsong on the wing and between the leafless branches. Into the blue falls the sharp mewl of buzzards, too high to be easily spotted but proclaiming their presence with haunting calls which shred the air like darts and remind me of my small place against this wide empty sky. Continue reading “Who Killed Cock Robin?”
I had accepted that for the moment I can’t write – nothing publishable at least. It will pass. But snippets, fragments, jottings coalesced without my noticing… into what I would be writing about if I could.
Earlier today I accepted that, for whatever reason, at the moment I can’t write. I have the ideas but not the capacity to create anything from them. I was explaining this in a reply to Margaret at From Pyrenees to Pennines.
Margaret, thankfully, is much more prolific and consistent than I am. Among other posts on her blog, she provides a one-word stimulus every Tuesday here at Ragtag Daily Prompts. She has provided three so far, each one chiming absolutely with things I want to capture. Every week I want to respond – it just doesn’t happen. And I was explaining this to Margaret in a comment on her latest post. Until I realised that without thinking about it, I was writing what’s been eluding me these past weeks. Continue reading “The View from Here: when the words don’t come”
The view from here on this soft and mellow April afternoon has been filled with small and simple joys
We have sunshine. I took a longer walk than usual, striding along the top road with the warm wind in my hair, skylarks singing in the heavens and solitary seagulls hanging at jaunty angles against the clear blue sky. I checked the wires for newcomers. The wires were empty. Soon, I thought.
Soon. Continue reading “The View from Here: on an afternoon in April”
They were displaying all day: soaring on the updrafts above the fields across the valley. But now comes something quite different. Continue reading “The View from Here: Buzzards in March”
Swallows gathering in a group for a gossip is new to me. It makes me smile.
September has gone and with it go the swallows. I last saw them on September 15th, strung along the telephone wires, motionless against the wind and the rain. With windscreen wipers beating a steady rhythm under sullen skies, I drove beside chains of swallow-shaped silhouettes hung like cut-out paper dolls. Continue reading “Hirundine Diaries”
What will be the colour of April that I’ll remember when this month wanes?
“Oh to be in England now that April’s there… “
I think Browning would have yearned particularly for April in England year: in this corner of England at least. Continue reading “The View from Here: the rhythms of life”
When we were first talking about moving to Cornwall I made it quite clear that I didn’t want seagulls in my airspace
The balcony is awash with babies. A plethora of fluffy fledglings, often with soft grey down still competing with new adult feathers. They make me think of cuckoos, these innocent babes, for invariably they are larger than their industrious parents: puffed up by their motley mix of feathers, with their wings fluttering and their gapes wide and demanding. Life is so precarious for these infants in their first few days of life in the big wide world. Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: babies, buzzards and soaring seagulls”
it is on the sailing cloud and in the invisible wind
With the run of warm dry weather broken, we moved from gentle rain to heavy rain to thick cloud. A brooding, oppressive sort of day. The colour of this day was gunmetal grey. Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: silhouettes in symphony”