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, 21 June 2013

June 21st. Summer Solstice.

Longest day today, and a lovely day it's been. 
Walked up along the Usk river towards Abergavenny, passing the beautiful windmill at Llancayo standing in fields of wheat. The lush and tangled undergrowth along the banks of the river provide an ideal home for insects galore, there were many cabbage white butterflies and a brimstone which is a fairly rare sight these days. Damsel flies in a myriad of colours,were chasing each other through the bracken and wheat fields that
are lined with delicate vibrantly red poppies.
The mallards were lazing on the rocks and the females hiding with chicks under the overhanging willows. A lovely radiant day, one which I always feel bittersweet about as from now on the days start to get shorter again.

June- Francis Ledwidge.
Broom out the floor now, lay the fender by, 
And plant this bee-sucked bough of woodbine there, 
And let the window down. The butterfly 
Floats in upon the sunbeam, and the fair 
Tanned face of June, the nomad gipsy, laughs 
Above her widespread wares, the while she tells 
The farmers' fortunes in the fields, and quaffs 
The water from the spider-peopled wells. 

The hedges are all drowned in green grass seas, 
And bobbing poppies flare like Elmo's light, 
While siren-like the pollen-staind bees 
Drone in the clover depths. And up the height 
The cuckoo's voice is hoarse and broke with joy. 
And on the lowland crops the crows make raid, 
Nor fear the clappers of the farmer's boy, 
Who sleeps, like drunken Noah, in the shade. 

And loop this red rose in that hazel ring 
That snares your little ear, for June is short 
And we must joy in it and dance and sing, 
And from her bounty draw her rosy worth. 
Ay! soon the swallows will be flying south, 
The wind wheel north to gather in the snow, 
Even the roses spilt on youth's red mouth 
Will soon blow down the road all roses go.

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