Sunday, 25 May 2014

Country Dog Goes to Town

The Boss-man had some business in the big city yesterday morning; he said he would take me with him. 
It was a bumping rolling road but I slept, snoozed or dozed, most of the way, waking up stretching, yawning.
We arrived in the town, a strange smelling place (I resisted the urge to pull a face!). The rain was falling and no birds were calling. The traffic was close, whooshing and rushing, the noise was unnerving, through the traffic were motorbikes swerving. There were trees along the pavement edge, long lost cousins of the country hedge. 
The rain was running down my nose, I shook my fur and droplets flew.
 I could smell the river and hear big bells chime, as we passed a grey memorial stone, and the trailing, winding, tourist queue. 
Big red buses huffed and sighed, and blue lights rushed past with sirens loud, we wove our way between the crowd.
I am told I was very good, coping with the noise and crush. I didn't flinch and I didn't rush, and sat at the crossings looking up. 
But I think I'm truly a country pup, and all in all, I'd rather run in big green fields, retrieving my favourite tennis ball!

This is me, Tate, posing in front of Big Ben during my first trip to London; it was a rather soggy day!

Friday, 16 May 2014

The Nature of May

A wander along the green lanes, an idle through buttercup fields, and a dawdle under song-bird filled canopy, seeking inspiration and peace of mind from the trees, basking beneath the blue sky. May blossom droops on laden branches, whitethroats and blackcaps sing their scratchy tunes in the hedgerows and flit across gateways softened by a white froth of cow parsley. Lambs graze with their lumbering mothers or shelter beneath the shade of nettles. Wild garlic scents the air from deep, damp shade. The heart beats faster with the overhead-thrill of zooming, screaming swifts, attention brought back to earth by a rustle in the undergrowth and a bumble-buzz between the grasses and pink campion flowers. Dandelion puffs take flight on childhood wishes.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Under the Eye of the Falcon

This weekend, Medieval minstrels, pedlars and traders came to Midhurst's market square. With them came the Falconers and their birds. The birds of prey in these photographs include a Harris Hawk, a tri-cross Saker-Gyr-Peregrine Falcon, and a beautiful Barn Owl.


Friday, 2 May 2014

Nightingales and Bells of Blue

  • In the silvery morning the woodland air glows with the scent of may blossom, bluebells & fresh rain, & quivers under the force of birdsong.
  • The woodland, hedgerows, waysides and fields are frothing with life; the soft foliage of wild wood sage, the drooping stacks of bells of blue, the filtered limelight in the canopy, the effervescent spill of cow parsley, the laden sweetly scented blossom boughs,  the campion's pink petal whirls, the dandelion's silver clocks. 

It is mayday weekend, spring is in its full voluptuous blossoming and the sun grows stronger with each passing noon. 
If Spring were a person you could almost say you could see the fields greening where her blessed footsteps pass and where her cloak of dew drops lays.

April and May are the months of bird song, and although it has been said before, and undoubtedly will be said again, surely the king of all the songsters is the Nightingale.
His heartfelt out pouring of song has stirred the cynical heart of many a poet over the centuries, although the bird's increasing scarcity now adds a different level of thrill when a volley of his notes catch you unaware, halting your walks and compelling you to simply stand and breathless listen. At times he is joined in his chorus by blackcap and whitethroat, willow warbler and chiffchaff, blackbird and song thrush, soft coos of wood pigeon, deliberate phrasing of robin, explosions of wren and that two-note call of summer cuckoo.
(From SophiEco Wild YouTube Channel - Photography & Sound recording by Sophie-May Lewis, copyright 2014)