The children looking at gulls on ice. I’m thinking of children behind bars.
Thought I would share this from last year’s New Year’s Day. I started this year much as I did in 2016: having a brew stood on the step, watching the rain and a gliding gull overhead. But last year I went on to make a sad discovery in the local woods.
I sat outside in the back garden with a hot cup of tea, coat fastened, watching the milky coming of dawn. I can do this as I don’t drink these days, my New Year’s Day vigil no longer debilitated by the night before.
All of the neighbouring houses were in darkness, the windows dark, sightless eyes. There was no sign of life at all. Human life, that is.
The morning was scored by the constant rattle of a magpie, hidden from view. They nest in a huge tree beyond one of the houses, but the tree appeared bare, empty both of leaves and birds.
The call went on. Perhaps the chatter-rattle was bird-talk for come on-it’s morning!
In the spring and summer I plant flowers for the birds and bees, then switch my allegiance to the birds in autumn and winter, putting out food at dawn and dusk. I hadn’t…
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I had so much that I intended to do today, but in the midst of such busyness and bluster, as Kahlil Gibran put it:
I meant to do my work today but,a brown bird sang in the apple tree..
Kittiwakes Kittiwakes on iron girders, man-made cliff edges to which they return to breed away from the tumult of the North Sea, settling upon this industrial, rusting enclave, still singing of the waves at two in the morning. ©Andrew James Murray
In honour of Dylan’s recently bestowed honour, I thought I’d repost this from the summer just passed.
I’m behind with my Springwatch. So much so that it is now summer. I watched one of the episodes I recorded yesterday, and learned an amazing fact about the nightingale.
This bird, in an attempt to woo a female mate, chooses around 600 notes, and then combines them into about 250 phrases. From these it produces its song, and every time it sings, its song is different every single time.
Think about that: from the combination and variants open to them, every time these birds sing, they never repeat the same song. Each time they come up with something original.
The latest research seems to indicate that females select males on the quality of his song, because the nightingales that sing the best are the best providers of food for chicks. Ready to pull, they clear their throat and give it there all.
Never worked for me on Karaoke night.
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Crow chasing Jackdaw
across the sky.
Cluster of clouds,
©Andrew James Murray