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)

Friday, 1 March 2013

March 1st

Illustration available here

St. David’s Day, and lovely to see all the little children dressed in traditional costume on their way to school.
A calm but grey day and the most mild it’s been for several weeks, but an easterly wind has picked up so I don’t think it will last!
Went for a long walk along the Olway brook and  through the woods that border it. Robin’s song filled the air in the alders, willows and hazels that line the banks; warbling loudly, then waiting for a reply from a neighbouring tree before answering with another glorious burst of song. The woods too were alive with flocks of tits, all noisily calling to each other. A heron flew up, and a woodpecker was loudly beating on the trunk of one of the wild cherry trees that grow in this part of the wood. 
I heard from a reliable source that an otter had been spotted on 24th February on this stretch of the brook. I’ve seen them several times but not for many months. It was bitter sweet news though, as although it’s great that they’re back, The Environment Agency moved in with their diggers and chainsaws a couple of days after this sighting and have completely destroyed the habitat, so safe to say that there will be no more sightings of them this year at least, if not much longer. Hopefully they’ve gone upstream a little onto unspoilt areas, where I’ve also seen them before.
The hedgerows are starting to come to life with a lovely display this year of catkins of every colour it seems! The celandines are trying their hardest to open their flowers, but the weather is still a bit too harsh; a day of sunshine should see them out in full.

Illustration available here
I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud – William Wordsworth.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such jocund company:
I gazed –and gazed- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And when my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Daffodowndilly - A. A. Milne

She wore her yellow Sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour;
‘ Winter is dead’.

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