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, 26 August 2013

August 26th.

The Usk valley this afternoon was basked in hot sun, one of those lazy, hazy days of late summer. The Olway brook is very low, as is normal this time of year and consequentially a kingfisher has returned, it was perched on a branch sticking out of the water with a large fish in its beak, skimming away down stream in a flash of turquoise when I disturbed it.Hopefully next year they will return to nest on this part of the brook.
 The dog roses climbing through the woods, that what only seems like weeks ago were in glorious flower, are now heavily laden with huge swollen rosehips, and a crab apple tree close by is similarly loaded with fruit. Lots of white and tortoiseshell butterflies about and a lovely little common blue fluttering in the long grass at the edge of the woods, and also found lots of cabbage white butterfly caterpillars on ( very aptly) my cabbages!
 Apart from some very large and noisy flocks of finches that were grouped together in the willows lining the brook it was a quiet, dreamy afternoon the like of which you only get in late August.
The Summer Sun Shone Round Me - Robert Louis Stevenson
The summer sun shone round me,
The folded valley lay
In a stream of sun and odour,
That sultry summer day.

The tall trees stood in the sunlight
As still as still could be,
But the deep grass sighed and rustled
And bowed and beckoned me.

The deep grass moved and whispered
And bowed and brushed my face.
It whispered in the sunshine:
"The winter comes apace."

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