Rookworms

Clouds of oily birds

Floated down from the pine clump

Shadowed the low field

~

Cows and calves bemused

At pasture blackened with crows

Jackdaws and bleak rooks

~

Settled frozen still

Hundreds came and stood alert

For movement of soil

~

The gloomy flock stirred

Disturbed by wind-blown phantom

Hung on breaths of wind

~

Returned as a shroud

For emergent May Bug grubs

From rain-soaked soil

~

CLP 04/07/2020

Day 44

The sunlight of recent weeks has been a boon, but these darker days are more in tune with the current mood. Are they reflective of it, or the cause of the recent shift in humour?

I realise that the lowering clouds, the loss of the greater space beyond, is matched by the thickening of leaves on the trees. Beautifully green and full as they are, for example, the hawthorn bowed with May blossom, the filling out of trees also narrows any available perspective.

When the rain comes, it comes hard and heavy. It is sharp on the window, almost a clattering, almost icy. In the lane loose stones, previously strung out in long trails by the occasional passing vehicle, are swept up and driven downhill. The dust coagulates into mud, collects at the bottom of the fast-formed puddles, is left in sticky heaps when the rainwater has drained.

A female blackbird, (a lively brown creature) lowers itself into the centre of a puddle and uses its wings to splash water droplets on its back, ducks forward and scoops up water onto the back of its head. When the burst of rain has passed the songs of blackbirds are the first heard. The rain is welcome.

April has passed in a blur of statistics and official announcements that announce no material change from the previous official announcements. The government graph does not describe some Swiss mountain to tunnel through to sunny uplands, as the Blonde Buffoon blusters, but represents a wave of accumulating lost lives. Each passing life sends out ripples that will eventually touch us all.

.

Christopher Perry

30th April, 2020

Day 43

Light levels are lowered by the thick cloud cover. All the bright colours of spring flowers are needed now to attract pollen carriers. The warmth of the past week coaxed a greater variety of bees outside. They are most welcome.

This morning along the coast road the marshes are witness to a fierce exchange between a peewit and a crow. The crow will not move away from the nesting area, despite the mobbing from the ground-nesting bird. It is more determined to pursue this target, rather than move on, as a buzzard might.

On the sea side of the reed beds I can see the shadow of a marsh harrier sweeping and turning just a few metres above the ground, always flying close to the top of the reeds. This flight pattern means it will come across potential prey suddenly, giving it a good chance of capturing food, without having to drop too far to catch anything it finds. 

The three greylag geese are still by the raised bank watching over the flightless goslings. 

The showers have played havoc with a cherry tree heavy with blossom. There is a drift of pink petals piled in the gutter, but my eye is caught by a light blue, speckled egg from which a chick has hatched. I am surprised that this pale blue is so easily seen. Why are some birds’ eggs so brightly coloured, so easy to see?

Further on there are six, or seven woolly calves wandering in a small paddock with their mothers. That is not a field one should enter carelessly. I am reminded of a walker, out with his family, killed in Sussex last year by a cow protecting her calf.

My son in China is working long hours teaching on-line, so it is lovely to hear from him as he ponders what to get his brother for his forthcoming birthday. Before I have had a thought on the matter he resolves the problem himself. 

Christopher Perry

29th April, 2020