Saturday, 21 July 2012

July afternoon in the garden

I have a new favourite spot in the garden. On a cushion amongst the tall grass, in front of a clump of red valerian, I am perfectly placed to see through a gap in the neighbouring hedge. Framed within this gap, two gardens away, hangs a wire, nut-filled, bird-feeder, on which mini avian dramas occur.

As I first discover this charming view, the feeder's sole occupant is a red-capped woodpecker, drumming away at the wire. As other birds try to approach he lunges at them, swiftly frighting them away, and then swings around the feeder to knock off any that dare to stand up to him. Eventually, satisfied, he leaves, and a nuthatch takes his place, soon to be joined by several tits. For a few minutes they enjoy their bounty, and then the woodpecker returns, scattering them across the gardens.

A wood pigeon wades through the longish grass next door, putting me in mind of an elderly tweeded gentleman, grumpily surveying his estate. A flutter of young birds alight and take wing around me as I watch, and then The Bear returns from a stroll, pleasantly surprised to find so many fluttering things to vainly stalk.

A small golden spider throws strands of silk across the garden. I am fascinated by the colours of insects in the sunlight. Yesterday I found a moth, trapped indoors and playing dead. I released her into the garden, and as the sunlight touched her I realised that her wings were golden, her scales flashing with reflected light. She was beautiful, and I was too much in awe to even consider taking a picture.

It is quiet here today. The quality of quiet that I recall from my childhood. The sounds - birdsong, bees on flowers, the soft scuff of leather on stone, the crowing of a cockerel, - are thick here, and the noise of road and rail seem distant and muted, do not penetrate.

Music drifts, vaguely, from the Park, swirling amongst the other sounds.

I listen, I watch, and I am content.

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