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, 17 July 2013

July 17th.

Another stunningly hot summers day, with temperatures in the high twenties, unsurprisingly the hay has been cut in nearly every meadow. Some of the meadows along the Olway brook are waiting for a later cut and so are tall and thick, full of thistles, purple loose-strife and knapweed.Walking through them, clouds of meadow brown, marbled white and tortoiseshell butterflies rose in the air, a beautiful sight! The tall grass is full of young crows and jackdaws too, who also rise up  into the air in a black flurry of feathers, squawking in surprise. A young buzzard has taken residency in one of the willows along the brook and sits there whingeing loudly all day to its parents for food, and as I watched a blackbird trying to get its fledgling to eat independently, patiently showing it how to peck at the food it had brought instead of popping it straight into its open beak, I thought it funny that all animals, including us, have the same challenges when trying to rear their young!

Illustration available here

Summer- Christina Rossetti.
Winter is cold-hearted
  Spring is yea and nay,
Autumn is a weather-cock
  Blown every way:
Summer days for me
When every leaf is on its tree;
When Robin's not a beggar,
  And Jenny Wren's a bride,
And larks hang singing, singing, singing,
  Over the wheat-fields wide,
  And anchored lilies ride,
And the pendulum spider
  Swings from side to side,
And blue-black beetles transact business,
  And gnats fly in a host,
And furry caterpillars hasten
  That no time be lost,
And moths grow fat and thrive,
And ladybirds arrive.
Before green apples blush,
  Before green nuts embrown,
Why, one day in the country
  Is worth a month in town;
  Is worth a day and a year
Of the dusty, musty, lag-last fashion
  That days drone elsewhere.

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