Yonder, in the corners of the mead, the purple darkness of the awakening wood beyond, the atmosphere is full of some ethereal vapour. The sunshine stays in the air here as if the greening hedges hold the wind from brushing it away. Low and plaintive comes the notes of a Lapwing – the arrival of spring – an early Chiffchaff: ‘ Chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff, chiff ! ‘ – the double notes hanging in the still air … After Richard Jefferies.
Charles F. Tunnicliffe, OBE, RA (1901-1979)
If you grew up in the fifties like me you probably read Ladybird nature books and collected Brooke Bond tea cards – all illustrated by Tunnicliffe. You might even have read the Puffin edition of Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter, with its cover and beautiful illustrations also by Tunnicliffe.
SIGNS OF SPRING
Jefferies’ field notebooks are full of references to the passing seasons. Each year he carefully noted the first signs of spring and summer and found happiness in the visible tokens of the seasons as they returned. As he wrote in The Open Air “I knew the very dates of them all—the reddening elm, the arum, the hawthorn leaf, the celandine, the may; the yellow iris of the waters, the heath of the hillside. The time of the nightingale—the place to hear the first note.”
via Signs of Spring
GORDON BENINGFIELD (1936-98) – Another post in the series of short biographies about artists and writers inspired by Nature and the Countryside and whose works have fostered my own love of the Countryside – especially Birds.
This post about David Morrison Reid-Henry (1919 – 1977) is one of a series of short biographies about artists and writers inspired by Nature and the Countryside and whose works have fostered my own love of the Countryside – especially Birds.
This post about the Artist, Writer and Explorer, Hugh Brandon-Cox (1917 – 2004), is one of a series of short biographies about artists and writers inspired by Nature and the Countryside and whose works have fostered my own love of the Countryside – especially Birds.
Julian Hughes Bird Notes columnist of RSPB Conwy wrote a while back about Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and Cirl Bunting, in the Daily Post I think, quoting an article from the Llandudno Advertiser sent to him by Adrian Hughes at Llandudno’s Home Front Museum.
Murder, Mischief and Murmurations
A Murder of Magpie
I am currently reading ‘Magpie Murders’ by Anthony Horowitz and was reminded of the childhood rhyme ….. one for sorrow two for joy …. and so on. I wonder what it would be for 200! For this was the number I counted, before it was too dark to see, coming to roost in willow scrub one winters evening near my home.
As an only child who grew up in the countryside I am used to open spaces and feel at home in the company and beauty of natural things. My favourite books as a child were those which engaged with the outdoors, and which seemed to hint towards an equally rich inner life or territory. As […]
(Composed during the snow-thaw of last month…) As I sit here, goldfinches glance across the skies outside the window, their ‘charms’ like the bounce of iambic pentameter written with wings. They turn towards our garden, and immediately, their syntax becomes jumbled by a shift and gather of chaffinches – with an adjunct of sparrows tumbling in like a hurried conclusion. […] See Also: Our Northen (Winter) Thrushes
Wagtail All …
I have spent countless hours watching wagtails: Pied Wagtail coming to roost in Cherry Trees in my local supermarkets car park, Yellows’ around cows in Somerset pastures; and my only ever Blue Headed on the concrete perimeter of Chew Valley Lake back in the mid ’60s.