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)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

May 26th.

Walked up the Usk river towards Llancayo; an absolutely stunning summers day. There were clouds of gnats and other insects on the water and so lots of fish were jumping, and the swallows were swooping low over the river scooping up mouthfulls of food. There are a few birds that have been conspicuous by their absence from the river and brook this year, but saw them all today; Kingfisher, dipper and grey wagtail. They're not about in their usual numbers as the flooding last year I think destroyed their nests, but it was lovely to see some today, the turquoise flash of the kingfishers feathers was a welcome sight. A pied wagtail was busy collecting food at the waters edge, and a few pairs of mallards with chicks were about.
Another bird that I hadn't seen until today on the river this year is the common sandpiper which is a usual summer resident, but saw a couple on the  small pebble beaches.
Also, was surprised to see a metre long grass snake swimming across the water from one bank to the other. I know they are good swimmers but this is the first time I've witnessed one doing it.
The red campions are out in beautiful bloom at the moment as are swathes of greater celandine.
Illustration available here

 The Windmill- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Behold! a giant am I!
Aloft here in my tower,
With my granite jaws I devour
The maize, and the wheat, and the rye,
And grind them into flour. 

I look down over the farms;
In the fields of grain I see
The harvest that is to be,
And I fling to the air my arms,
For I know it is all for me. 

I hear the sound of flails
Far off, from the threshing-floors
In barns, with their open doors,
And the wind, the wind in my sails,
Louder and louder roars. 

I stand here in my place,
With my foot on the rock below,
And whichever way it may blow,
I meet it face to face,
As a brave man meets his foe. 

And while we wrestle and strive,
My master, the miller, stands
And feeds me with his hands;
For he knows who makes him thrive,
Who makes him lord of lands. 

On Sundays I take my rest;
Church-going bells begin
Their low, melodious din;
I cross my arms on my breast,
And all is peace within. 

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