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, 4 March 2013

March 4th

Illustration available here

 A cold grey start soon blossomed in to another beautiful, blue-skied sunny Spring day. I walked up the Olway brook and on to Factory Lane, carrying on in to Evan’s wood and the hills beyond. There were several pairs of mallards on the brook. They’ve split up from their larger winter groups now, and paired off, looking for nesting sites. The banks of the lane are bursting into life with celandines and primroses poking through the new greenery, the hedges full of bird-song. A beautiful pair of bull-finches flew out, the male in full bright spring plumage. 

Up on the hill the ravens were out in force, their barking croaks echoing across the valley, and  six buzzards were gliding around together mewing loudly. I wandered to the top of the hill to see if there was any movement in the heronry in the wood, and sure enough a heron eyed me suspiciously from a big messy pile of sticks high up in the branches, so I left before it took fright and flew off. I followed the woodland stream back to the lane accompanied by the ‘yaffling’ of a green woodpecker. On a bank of crocuses I saw the first bumble-bee of the year, busy collecting pollen with an assortment of other little wasps and hover flies.

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