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)

Saturday, 12 October 2013

October 11th and 12th.

The first touch of Winter has arrived in the last few days with cold East winds and dark grey skies this morning.

However, yesterday morning there were glorious blue skies and fantastic clear views from the top of The Sugarloaf, right across the valley and out to the Bristol Channel. The Ravens were croaking loudly and launching themselves off the peak of the hill to soar and swoop in the air currents. Lots of shiny, black dung beetles in the bracken and an amazing array of fungi.
Walked up the Usk River valley today. Some of the fields are replanted with crops already and are an almost luminous green, the others are stubbly and full of crows and rooks. There are some huge bunches of white Michaelmas daisies growing in amongst the bushes along the river bank, giving some lovely fresh colour to the autumnal colours elsewhere, and the spindle trees too are covered in bright pink pods, that later will reveal even brighter orange seeds.

Autumn- John Clare. (lines from).
The summer-flower has run to seed,
And yellow is the woodland bough;
And every leaf of bush and weed
Is tipt with autumn’s pencil now.

And I do love the varied hue,
And I do love the browning plain;
And I do love each scene to view,
That’s mark’d with beauties of her reign.

The woodbine-trees red berries bear,
That clustering hang upon the bower;
While, fondly lingering here and there,
Peeps out a dwindling sickly flower.

The trees’ gay leaves are turned brown,
By every little wind undress’d;
And as they flap and whistle down,
We see the birds’ deserted nest.

No thrush or blackbird meets the eye,
Or fills the ear with summer’s strain;
They but dart out for worm and fly,
Then silent seek their rest again.

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