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)
Thursday, 21 November 2013
The weather has turned much colder in the last few days, and the icy blasts have brought the Fieldfares with them, another winter migrant to join the Redwings in the fields and hedges. Large flocks of them were gathered in the trees along the Olway Brook, and the food is plentiful for them. There is a glut of berries of every kind for them this year, the Spindle berries are particularly vivid in the hedges.
There is some lovely late Autumn sunshine at the moment though, which bathes the countryside in a beautiful clear golden light, illuminating the lovely colours of the dying leaves which are very rapidly falling now. Saw several Jays this morning along the lanes screeching in their harsh voices, they tend to stay deep in the woods through Spring and Summer, but venture out into the open in the Winter, and also a couple of pretty coal tits have returned to feed in the garden again, they also stay away in the summer months and return when it gets cold.
To my surprise I saw another dormouse today when I peered into a round nest in the hedge which has now become exposed with the dying back of the leaves. I wasn't expecting anything to be in there, but a pretty golden dormouse was in it. Perhaps they've had a successful year too as it's quite unusual to see them this easily in the wild and this is the second I've seen in a matter of weeks- very lucky!
Autumn Birds-John Clare.
The wild duck startles like a sudden thought,
And heron slow as if it might be caught.
The flopping crows on weary wings go by
And grey beard jackdaws noising as they fly.
The crowds of starnels whizz and hurry by,
And darken like a clod the evening sky.
The larks like thunder rise and suthy round,
Then drop and nestle in the stubble ground.
The wild swan hurries hight and noises loud
With white neck peering to the evening clowd.
The weary rooks to distant woods are gone.
With lengths of tail the magpie winnows on
To neighbouring tree, and leaves the distant crow
While small birds nestle in the edge below.