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)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

March 27th.





' Lines written in early spring'.- William Wordsworth.
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.


To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?


Still bitterly cold with little snow flurries in between patches of welcome sunshine. Along the steep banks of the old railway track the wild flowers were out in full, despite the cold; Primroses, celandines and even some early cowslips in flower. In the marshy areas the marsh marigold is in bud and looks like it too will be in bloom next week. I love these flowers, they’re like huge vibrant spring buttercups, a really cheerful flower!  The woodland floor is covered in lush green foliage of ramsons, which let off a delicious smell of garlic when crushed underfoot. A pair of goosanders in finest spring plumage swam hastily away from me on the river. They’re very shy birds and will dive under the water if you get too close and pop up down stream. Several pairs usually breed on the Usk river , and I saw a family of them last year even though many water birds' nests were destroyed by the unseasonal flooding. Hope we don’t have another year like that.

Illustration available here



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