In 1906 Edith Holden started a Diary, now known as ‘The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady’. In it, she observed Natures cycle through the months of the year, writing simply about the weather, the birds, the flowers and the natural world around her. All the pages are beautifully ornamented with her original artwork and favourite poems. In this Blog, I’m going to try to emulate her Diary in a modern way. For a start, this is a blog on a computer, not pen and ink lovingly written on paper! However, I hope that the end result will have some similarities, in that I want to capture day by day, month by month the steady rhythm of Nature through the year. For although our 21st century lives are hectic, chaotic, noisy and deafened by electronics, the beat of the natural world, which is the backdrop to all our lives whether we notice it or not, remains ever the same. So take a sedate, gentle and steady-paced journey with me through the next year, observing the natural world. Our way of life may have changed almost beyond recognition since 1906, but nature is doing what it always has done, the cycle of nature remains constant and reassuringly predictable. In that respect, nothing has changed. ‘ No Winter lasts forever; no Spring skips its turn.’ (Hal Borland)

Monday, 18 March 2013

March 18th.

Went down the Olway valley and through the woods early in the morning. It was very frosty with a heavy dew, the water on the fields from the recent rain was iced over, but the sun was shining and it looked like it was going to be a lovely day. The birds were in full chorus, their dawn singing is getting louder each week. They started at 5.30 this morning and that will get earlier over the coming weeks. Being woken by the blackbird and robin singing melodically, and the wood pigeon cooing softly isn’t so bad, but I have a pair of magpies that cackle harshly right outside my window which doesn’t have the same pleasant effect!
In the woods the birdsong was deafening; crows, rooks ravens, tits, finches, woodpeckers, blackbirds, robins, dunnocks and a tiny wren in full voice were welcoming the morning sun.
Some of the trees are coming in to bud, I noticed an Ash ready to burst in to leaf. Fortunately the ash trees here don’t seem to be suffering from ‘ ash dieback’, the disease that has decimated the population elsewhere. Hope it remains that way.

           THE WREN- John Clare. 1825
  Why is the cuckoos melody preferred
And nightingales rich song so madly praised
In poets rhymes?   Is there no other bird
Of natures minstrelsy that oft hath raised
Ones heart to exstacy and mirth as well
I judge not how anothers taste is caught
With mine theres other birds that bear the bell
Whose song hath crowds of happy memories brought
Such the wood Robin singing in the dell
And little Wren that many a time hath sought
Shelter from showers in huts where I did dwell
In early spring the tennant of the plain
Tenting my sheep and still they come to tell
The happy stories of the past again.

Illustration available here

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