On February

Fierce frosts bite morning

Noon sky wears Marian blue

Sun brings butterflies

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n.b. This arid track, these browned brambles and dry ivy leaves, the dessicated litter and parched grasses are the backdrop for a vivid yellow, medium sized butterfly. The brilliance of the colour was breath-taking. It is in the picture somewhere towards the right. I saw another, larger dark brown butterfly a few moments before.

A bee was exploring some early flowering plants too. The concern is that the burst of unseasonable sunshine draws bees from their nests, or hives early and they then perish from hunger due to the insufficiency of food, that is if the frost doesn’t get them.

Soon after the yellow butterfly I was surprised and thrilled to see a small group of bright birds also flashing yellow. They dashed from the field edge to the top of the trackside hawthorns and settled long enough for me to catch up, before they flitted briskly on again. Eventually, realising my route was persistently pursuing the path, they turned into the safety of the middle of the adjacent field. These were highly likely to have been yellowhammers. Their chirpy song a welcome relief to the unremitting tedium of the Great Tit call that provided a backing track from Bognor to Bloxwich for me today, (apart from when I was on the train).

A little later, between Ford and Arundel, seven deer stood gawping at the passing train trundling atop the Arun Valley railway embankment.

February sunshine, welcomed by all, even if a little mystifying to explain.

Incidently, Marian blue is the light, bright, blue used to colour the dress of Holy Mary, Mother of God in medieval European religious paintings. This February’s sky has often been such a hue.

CLP 24/02/2019

Published by

Christopher Perry

Liberté, Equalité, Humanité