1 June 2017
Birds are high and bright and gossiping of the doings of the creatures of the night. River is low and slow and sluggish; a blind man groping over stones and stream bed; a thin and tired man whispering between the rocks; the only sound he makes a shhh as if to quiet all so that he may listen to the birds.
2 June 2017
As in a confluence of many rivers green is settling to that rich deep summer sameness. There are still variations but the vivid acid of the spring has gone. The shades are subtler still stretching from off yellow to almost brown, from pale to deep, but the steps are less obvious; a togetherness of greens.
3 June 2017
Showers bring rare water but fail to show upon the dry ground which like a rock hard sponge just absorbs the liquid and then looks back at you to ask for more. The verdant green belies the lie the soil speaks for there is moistness down below, just less than the earth wants expects and considers its due.
4 June 2017
We who must walk, envy you who can fly; be you bugs, bees, butterflies or buzzards; not in all things for your hives and nests and stores of paralysed food do not appeal; but in that freedom to move whichever way you wish at the flick of a tail or the bend of a wing; to hover in a flower’s embrace, to climb on thermals high and view the vista, and to swoop and turn and mew to woo your mate.
5 June 2017
The spiders have all gone inside. No more the spring time morning strands stretching from bough to bramble. The only webs I see are in dusky corners where old wood sits and stares or clinging to manmade frames and structures, and most of those have the dust of time hanging from them.
6 June 2017
Not much night rain, just enough to moisten the earth; deeper in places under trees and bracken where journeys have been slowed, but not enough to penetrate and soften beneath the surface; in open areas it is as deep as a politician’s promise, and will evaporate with the morning’s sun leaving a dry and barren ground.
7 June 2017
The dogs are catching dragonflies and butterflies. Or not. Old dog stands strong and stable then snaps at anything that passes. As strategies go, this is not very successful. Young dog runs and jumps, twists and turns, switching from red admiral to deep blue mating dragonflies. As strategies go, this is not very successful.
8 June 2017
Butterflies abound in the flowerbeds flitting from bloom to bloom faster than the bees, whilst nettles that abound elsewhere and were supposed to attract them are largely vacant. Perhaps they have sold the pheromone or sprayed the plants in the short night to get a break.
9 June 2017
Storms do more than rain that clears the air of dust. Last night’s scrubbed the air to a cleanliness that would have made my mother proud. And now there is a freshness to the air; world breathing slowly in and out to live one other day; not in some magic harmony but at least with the rabid competition stilled.
10 June 2017
Sun light bright sharp and clear, focused on every leaf like a python upon its prey; each leaf gleaming turning to the sun and absorbing it. Like starving dogs they gobble up the light hold it have it and then turn it into sugar and circulate it around the plant like passing jugs of beer.
11 June 2017
Suddenly strands of spider silk are everywhere; not well-formed webs woven in the darkness designed to catch the unwary insect; but fine filaments that float in the merest hint of breathing in the air. Maybe young spiders are trying out their glands in a gleeful gossamer summer before settling into maturity and a sensible life of eating flies.
12 June 2017
Heat of the rising sun seeps under leaves and branches; shade is thin and offers little relief. And this is not the heat of full summer but a precursor, a dry heat that even so feels full of something that holds the weight of water wanting to fall, held back by a tension that has no substance but still is tangible.
13 June 2017
There is a quiet hanging in the air, a thickness that sits between the leaves. A solitary woodpecker tattoos with little interest against a trunk; other birds barely raise a whisper and flit dispiritedly from branch to branch. There is a waiting taking place, possibly just for another storm to clear the sultry air, but that feels insufficient to change the tension.
14 June 2017
Something passed through last night; not a storm for the hint of rain was no more than a dozen drops to the acre. The thunder may still be hovering in the distance, biding its time. The birds are out, not full-throated, but conversing gently and quietly communicating. The breeze is barely there, sitting and waiting more than stirring leaves.
you have been planning special trade deals with the lunatic in Washington and the war-mongers of Saudi Arabia. Neither will bring peace or co-operation. Both will do you a deal.
You seem prepared to deliver Northern Ireland's fragile peace back to the hard men, the men of violence, for the support of those whose beliefs are as fundamental as ISIS and Al-Queda.
Across the channel Macron and Merkel are offering much more than just a deal. Despite all you and the Conservative Party have done to damage those relationships they are still prepared to welcome the UK back with open arms. They do not offer perfection and an easy ride but they do provide a route back to community.
Please go and talk to them and give the British people an opportunity to make a genuine and fully informed choice about their future.
15 June 2017
Drying and dying, some ivy clad, they cling on to trunks in the under story of the wood; overshadowed by their younger higher brothers who still have leaves and sunlight in which to dance. Which creature ran along this branch, which bird alighted? These untold tales of life and hope and courage, tales we will never hear or tell are hanging by a thread in the last vestigial memories of these boughs, written in a language we do not understand.
16 June 2017
Morning thoughts of love and loss and hope are shattered by a snake, sliding slithering and speeding through the door. Goddess, perhaps? With thought and care, with resolution and respect, I kill animals for my supper. But this killing has no time for reason or consideration. This creature I slaughter without regard for work in rodent management nor for her place in the changing world we share.
17 June 2017
Morning wind is hardly that, more a breeze that comes and goes, no strength or purpose. It has all the feel of me half-awake struggling to stay asleep but turning in the sheets. ‘Tis looking for a lazy day, having not the power or motivation to offer any coolness the world will want as the sun rises high to look down and hold all things still.
18 June 2017
Sun and wind compete for mastery and sun will win; wind will wobble branches and bend twigs but insufficient effort is being expended to take the focus from a sun that climbs step by steady step toward its zenith; sun knows the wind cannot compete but will sit in sumptuous splendour and let it struggle desperately until it blows itself away.
19 June 2017
Wind is silent, unbreathing; the nearest to a breath of air is the birdsong glorying in the morning. Wind has abandoned its unequal struggle with a sun that climbs from sleep refreshed and ready to dominate; a gladiator stepping from the shadow of the stone and entering onto an arena where none other dares to stand.
20 June 2017
Like the school yard bully who gets there first to stake out the ground, the sun arrived early, scared away the clouds that had thought about a wander and glared down upon the world. Like a terrier, the wind would like to play but there will be no games today so he slinks away. The dogs reluctant to take our morning walk; the birds limp in sound and flight; even insects gather in the shadows not knowing what to do.
21 June 2017
The river cannot be said to run, it barely crawls; I know in shallow places when stones disturb the flow and where the early sun is broken by the leaves, still it sparkles. But wherever there is depth the slowness has accelerated to a degree of movement almost unfathomable; the surface oiled and dusty with cobwebs growing from old twigs, like rooms in great houses left unopened in the months that follow someone’s death.
22 June 2017
The dew, a beggar crouched in a damp passageway, hides under any shade that it can find; and awaits the harsh light of a righteous sun that will enter surrounded by his hot imperial guard to rant and roar and burn it out. No place, no shelter for today, begone, you must not disfigure the places where the great and good do walk.
23 June 2017
Cloud holds back the sun that has blasted earth for days and left us over-heated nights. In one short walk the dogs sense that there is more than cloud above. Unseen, the sun is rising and pumping heat that penetrates in part the cloud and ratchets up the day. Dogs look up, then at each other and agree to lie on cool stones floors today. The breeze that brought the cloud in overnight is smirking whilst it tickles treetops.
24 June 2017
The sun has run out of brag and bellow and collapsed to warm and soft, allowing dappled shade to wander in and lay some cooler spaces for the wind to wander through. Meanwhile, rain, still miffed at not being allowed to play with anyone for days, has gone off in a huff.
25 June 2017
Gentle breeze murmurs in the greenery; just enough to move the smallest leaves, those standing on this year’s fresh twigs; foliage forged in summer. Spring leaves look down upon these newcomers who have not known cold or storm, not knowing that it is these young blades that will be the multi-coloured blaze of autumn.
26 June 2017
Stillness, nothing moves. The river runs at a walking pace, water oozing more than flowing. The sun is there but gently; clouds hang lazily in the sky; the air hardly shifts, warm but not heated. The birds hold silent for a moment then begin their songs softly one note at a time.
27 June 2017
The birds sing and twitter their morning songs of longing love and life. The volume sounds the same; yet the chirrups calls and cries are somehow quieter as if an unseen dimension of the sound had changed. Conceivably cooler air carries the vibrations in such a way that mine eardrum reacts contrarily.
28 June 2017
After heat and dry, rain comes in many levels; from gravity pulling down the merest hint of humidity, to the thunderstorm that overflows the gutters and washes water down in waves. And now there is the relentless rhythm as of long held back tears of angels flooding out from heaven. You know the day is damp when dogs decline their morning promenade.
29 June 2017
You have ignored me week on week, barely spitting from your high rise towers; and now you dump your rain and hurl your storms and expect me to feed your streams and fill your rivers. I am no passage for your wishes, no thoroughfare for you to come and go. I am land and when I’ve drunk my fill and sponged up all you have to offer, I may feed a little to your brooks and tributaries.
30 June 2017
Land you lie low and levelled lost in your longing. I am the storm warden, lord of the winds, master of the rain and I will shower you with my tears until you are sated. And then I will fill the streams and rivers. Listen and you can hear the runs over rocks and the swirls as they twist and turn; you are not alone but a friend, one of an us that only flourishes in a together.