On High

.

Gulls feast on ants’ flight

Wily crow, black spot of night

Blends into the light

~

n.b. On days as hot as these ants hatch and fly in millions, a boon to the scavangers of the coast and quick-witted corvids. How far they climb! How many are eaten? How many must be born and borne aloft to survive the insatiable gulls and crow?

CLP 17/07/2020

On High

Clouds form on warm air

Raptors spiralling upwards

Buzzards high as kites

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n.b. A wonderful scene. Two red kites circling up from the recently mowed field on an updraft. Far above, just visible to the naked eye, three buzzards on a carousel of rising warm air, their random calls of “ke-whee” carrying across the Glaven valley.

The photograph catches the light, not the graceful flight paths of these big birds, nor indeed the birds, but they were there.

The day clouded over and rain came later.

.

CLP 15/07/2020

Fingers and Thumbs

Three of us it took, and over an hour, to agree

That all the cows were where they ought be

How many could we see and count

Fifty six should have been the right amount

Browns and blacks and Devon Reds shifted

As we counted, those huge beasts drifted

Heavy silhouettes turned to solid shapes

They moved and merged, seemed to evaporate

What was one, then sprung two more cud dribbling heads

Then a brown one suddenly grew six legs

And stretched out long until it was two

And so we had to start the count anew

Up on the hillside we saw them clearly

And at last confirmed the tally

Each of us found fifty six

But wished we had known the farmer’s tricks

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n.b. To count the herd when there is no one about to help, organise the cattle to pass through a gate into the fresh pasture one at a time, counting them as they go

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Christopher Perry

21st April, 2020