1 May 2018
There is a waiting in the cool of dawn; a chill that reminds us all of winter; we know despite the hint of frost that her aching cold has passed this year and warmth will come. The first burst of green and colour of bird song and wing beat has happened and now there is a pause of anticipation as the world breathes out its last almost icy breath and prepares for summer to arrive.
2 May 2018
It is the trees that make this space. The spaces we have made by cutting trees are made by trees that stand. Planting trees has shaped and changed this space we steward. Whether rooted and embedded by our hands, self-sown saplings amongst their siblings in the wood or venerable and ancient before we saw the light of day they are our companions and fellow travellers in and upon this space.
3 May 2018
Birdsong richer than imagination comes in flavours: thick dark chocolate laced with bitterness; sharp sweet and almost syrup laden orange; shrill with the occasional cut of acid lemon; strange exotic tastes trembling on the air; and high above the buzzard crane and heron add their varied silent savours; an unplanned recipe of relishes.
4 May 2018
Lime and roughcast doth present wall, that vile rendered wall that keeps the bumblebee from the nooks and crannies of the stones pulled from fields that lie at the heart of that self-same wall that might provide a summer home for that same bumblebee; and cobwebs climb the wall and deceive the bumblebee into seeing chinks where there are none.
5 May 2018
Gliding on still air against an azure sky a crane passes from tree line to tree line with not a twitch of feather nor movement of a wing. World hangs upon the moment of that disappearance until the bird reappears rising above the trees in a long lazy loop back across our patch of sky; a mighty arc that sculpts our vista before a second vanishing. Earth stops spinning – and then again she floats into view thermalled high describes a smaller curve and leaves. We hold our gaze and clamp our breath hoping for an encore that is not to be.
6 May 2018
Tranquillity as sleep begins to pass from others; almost all are in their campers and their tents a living barely moving mass through which we three walk in quiet harmony. Sniffing is the order of the day; new scents of growing things and better scents of decomposing ones. Then smelling is abandoned as young dog sees young rabbit and hurtles off at almost almost break neck speed to be abruptly stopped by lead and harness.
7 May 2018
Stepping out with a pair of dogs, not twins; step into this little wood where dogs search out doubled smells beneath two trees leaning like twins into the wind before a bifurcating sibling whose trunks are doppelgangers; skirting twinned beds of thistle each stem holding one or two pink and purple lookalikes; past braces of fir cones which are clones and watch in unison a twinned pair of butterflies flutter doubly by.
8 May 2018
Triple faced iris always looks all ways; pale throat shaped faces centred on a deep yellow tongue on a pure white ground – a tongue that speaks from dawn till dusk; dark purple petal forms a hat to shade that tongue; and fragile being being largely natural it will look and listen and then speak truth to power.
9 May 2018
Broken branches rest on the river bottom low of water moving but not much insufficient strength to shift them on their journey. From above their living cousins are reflected in still pools; and between the branches there is a grey thinly clouded sky; not English leaden but pale and thin, an elephant grey, awaiting sunshine.
10 May 2018
Robin pecks at stone slab it thinks is earth; some spots are seeds thrown as diversionary food for pigeons, one of whom is sitting on the fence surveying this scene with the head bobbing glare that only an angry pigeon can offer; rising and swooping and landing almost on the robin secures the seeds. Robin shrugs his wings flicks out his feathers and ascends to the bird table heavily littered with far better food for little birds.
11 May 2018
Sharks descend from trees in the pale light of dawn, three grey bodies swishing their bushy tails and bouncing over the grass; the prize of bird seed and fat balls lies ahead and nothing will hold back these squirrels. From the distance small specks appear in the sky and slowly expand; jetting in two pigeons tumble into the space. Stand off holds as each moves about scrabbling for scraps.
12 May 2018
In the presence of the young focus moves from outside world to their apparently small one. And the chatter of a child holds worlds as they wander from subject to subject and their focus holds for moments upon a person or a sense. And then the world grows huge in wonder as they smile.
13 May 2018
Ground underfoot moves from slab and tarmac to grass and earth; the former fails flatness but without the gentle rolling change that true ground gives. Nature’s ground can build trips and sink holes but in a different way to stone and asphalt; muscles change in how they work and gravity has a different flavour.
14 May 2018
Faces walk a suburban street; an odd look from the one I greet; as others appear I remember the rules and merely note the variations: earbuds hold attention keeping the world at bay; a few phones distract from all around; babies and toddlers necessarily hold everything within a small world; groups of school children see dragons and lovers and awesome futures; some see me and eyes skim over me; some see me clock me assess me and move on deciding I am not a major risk.
14 May 2018
We are not meant to fly; to queue and queue and queue for this and queue for that; and sometimes there is no choice. And we were meant to walk and hold the earth to stand and stare. And now we fly far higher than the earth; we fly higher than I have stood and I have stood high.
15 May 2018
Bluebells gone for another year; seeds fallen or blown to grow in another season; some eaten feeding woodland creatures. Self-sown seeds will spread the patch whilst the centre fades; the edges will extend the want and need and hope stretching into new realms to meet new companions in the yearly round.
16 May 2018
Blossom fades; the little death; flowers that graced our trees and hedgerows fail and die; their duty hopefully done; they called the bees and those the bees found best were answered; and for many pollen moved from flower to flower and plant to plant; and now the fruit begins to set; once set the kernel is protected from late frosts and the harvest of the work of those bees and flowers now rests in the trunks and branches of trees and bushes that must pump the sap and survive summer storms.
17 May 2018
Buzzard curls through the air high and mighty; hangs and hovers on the wind as if t’were morning’s minion; prepares to stoop and hurtle down upon some luckless prey talons to crush and beak to rip; and in a moment in the fabric something changes and the drop becomes a plummet all for speed and wings beat up and down in frantic rhythm to escape this space and time as if predator had become prey.
18 May 2018
Water moves with the tides drawn by the moon and sun backwards and forwards against the earth and shore; crashes on rock; spits and spumes; softens the edges and rounds these stones slowly over millennia; not rushing but leisurely grinding them into the sand on which they sit.
19 May 2018
Gull lifts from rocks struggling against buffeting wind; wings beating shoulders aching feathers fluttering and jangling. Moment in between the gusts; few seconds stillness in the air around it whilst other airs are wave whipped into a frenzy; and in that twinkling of tranquillity the bird finds its stride and grips the air cuts through and flies.
20 May 2018
Sea mist rolls in blotting out the sun. At ground the air is still but birds rising twenty feet are tumbled by the gusts. Pale white becomes the world a shawl that drops across the landscape; strange silence settles on the world; sits holds waits then thins dissipates and disappears as if it had never existed.
21 May 2018
Land mist rolls down; not the wet sea mist of yesterday that oozed in to the shore dripping from the edges of it chin but a dry thin cloud that moves silently across the land and sits over the shoreline as it thins and spreads out across the water. Movement happens but is not seen; time thins it from above and unfolds it from below until the passage of its journey to the Western Isles is slighter than a whispered kiss.
22 May 2018
A rise of ragondin earth gives space for an acorn to embed and germinate. A minature oak a handsbreath high offers half a dozen distinctive leaves Fibonacciing around the slender stem seeking the light. This might be the one in a million that survives and in a century or two will provide shade for others to sit beneath and wonder at the saplings that spring nearby and wonder if they will survive to ripe old age.
23 May 2018
On silken threads they dangle; larvae, grubs, maggots, caterpillars that hang from trees and writhe about to occupy more space; waiting for some passing animal to catch them in their fur and transport them to another tree to eat the leaves; parasites, politicians and princes, all determined to take more than their share from the common pot.
24 May 2018
Mist shrouds the ground; thin translucent; and as the sun a reluctant teenager struggles out of bed the haze runs away like a scoundrel friend that slept over and then overslept leaving tell-tale remnants on tree and leaf and blade. Then sun finds all the strength of day and climbs into the sky and burns away the last marks of vapour of the little fog.
25 May 2018
Sounds appear multi-layered in the woodland; the sharp and sudden leaf crashing of a startled animal; the birdsong rising and falling in discordant harmony; the buzz of the insect layer lifting from the earth and fluttering between the leaves; the quietness of the river barely heard as volume shrinks and only rocks create reverberation; the almost noiseless creatures living underground; and the varied silent cries of plants and trees.
26 May 2018
There is a gentleness to sun and air; even bird song is less strident, not quieter but not so forceful not so wild. The river murmurs and this morning we can hear it as it slips between the banks and tumbles gently over rocks. A cuckoo almost whispers into the air uncut by other birds.
27 May 2018
As important as trees and plants and dogs and ground, people play different strings within my heart. Long day’s journey into family hit by storm that delays three arrivals. Phones and laptops buzz like bees.
28 May 2018
Hope revived with new departure; airport waiting for the worn and tired; sleeping beds for most; finally all are here.
29 May 2018
And now we meet all to all; four generations in a single place; and place is pink which soothes the soul and rings with happy laughter.
30 May 2018
Strange city, fraught driving, reach destination. A tank of shark and ray and water that’s bigger than a house intrigues the youngest; and smaller spaces with sea otters penguins crabs and an octopus we understand answers to the name of Dave complete the picture.
31 May 2018
Swimming pool attracts us all with varying degrees of immersion; but all is peaceful if we ignore the occasional cry from happy child or saddened adult as they fail to make the grade at the pool table.