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Reimagining Richard Jefferies

Walking in the footsteps of Richard Jefferies ... “I was not more than eighteen when an inner and esoteric meaning began to come to me from all the visible universe, and indefinable aspira­tions filled me. I found them in the grass fields, under the trees, on the hill-tops, at sunrise, and in the night. There was a deeper meaning every­where. The sun burned with it, the broad front of morning beamed with it; a deep feeling entered me while gazing at the sky in the azure noon, and in the star-lit evening —' The Story of my Heart’.”

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Bumbarrel, MumRuffin and Poke Pudding

Bumbarrel, MumRuffin and Poke Pudding

At the edge of the wood early catkins - lambs tails - tremble and dance, sprinkling yellow gold-dust over the snowy branches. A small party of Long Tailed Tit tinkle through the delicate filigree of branches outlined against the winter sky. I count three, then from nowhere there were five, then seven, then twelve. It was mid-January - still Winter; yet on this rose coloured morning, the pink sun mirrored by their feathers, it was Spring.

It was Clive Bennett who got me traveling down this particular track. He's a real birder and maintains a wonderful blog - Art in Nature - where he writes of his adventures in the hedgerows and fields and where he celebrates birds and the artists who paint them.

In a comment on a post about kennings he listed some wonderful dialect and obscure bird names then quoted from a poem by John Clare about the bumbarrel - the long-tailed titmouse or bushtit.

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A Year in Haiku

A Year in Haiku - In the evening light the hills glow golden brown; a Barn Owl hunts the woodland edge, picked out in the last rays of the setting sun - the sky to the west a faint wash of blue tinged with orange-pink. Yet it is still not-quite-dark. The Super Moon, rising over the hedgerow trees, splinters in their branches; throwing short spooky shadows across silver-washed fields; a shooting star - fizzes - a firework across the winter-spring sky ...

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Musical Interlude – Sounds of Summer

Songs of Wild Birds

How better to start this post than with a quote from the writings of Richard Jefferies:

The fervour of the sunbeams descending in a tidal flood rings on the strung harp of earth. It is this exquisite undertone, heard and yet unheard, which brings the mind into sweet accordance with the wonderful instrument of nature.—' The Life of the Fields': The Pageant of Summer.

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The Dipper, Water Colley or Water Ousel


‘Peep Peep’ - a black and white bird rounds a bend in the river and alights, bobbing and winking, on a rock midstream - a Water Ousel, Colley or Dipper - typically a bird of fast tumbling mountain and moorland streams and lakes. But I knew it best on a little lowland brook - the Cam - meandering through a pastoral landscape near Bath ...

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The Art of the Postcard

Chaffinch by David Morrison Reid-Henry

The Art of the Postcard .....

The art card is probably the most important category in antique postcards. Think of these cards as 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" original high quality prints, which they are, instead of as postcards. Artists could make extra income by selling postcard prints of their work. This booming market drew the very best artists, creating a wealth of quality material unmatched in the art world.

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Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) …. Autumn

Autumn by Hugh Brandon-Cox

As Summer Leaves Fall ....

September

The thing I notice most at the beginning of Autumn is that it is still dark when I get up in the mornings to let the dogs out. With mist over the meadows and dewy morns. Rowan berries aplenty; Blackberry too. Red hips and haws colour the hedges a rusty red. And Rosebay Willowherb their tall spikes lit by the evening sunshine, followed soon by clouds of gossamer-soft seeds, floating like fairies on the balmy wind: The end of summer.

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A Deceit of Lapwing – The Seven Whistlers

Lapwing by R B Talbot Kelly


Suddenly! Some chance movement has been noticed by the nearest Lapwing, and away they go at once as if with the same wings, sweeping overhead, then to the right, then to the left, and then back again, a ‘flickering chequerboard’. Wee-ah-wee! The notes immediately repeated by another - Wee-ah-wee! Finally they settle again ...

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Our Northern (Winter) Thrushes – Redwing and Fieldfare

Fieldfare (Winter Thrush) by A W Seaby

Our Northern (Winter) Thrushes - Redwing and Fieldfare

It’s Autumn: the time of year when the ‘chakking’ calls of Fieldfare in the hedgerows in the frosty early morning, preceded by the ‘seep seep’ night-time calls of migrating Redwing announce the arrival of our Winter Thrushes. They arrive anytime from late September but it’s not until the frosts of October and November that we begin to see them en-mass in the fields and hedgerows.

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Variations on a Theme – Yellow, Grey, White (Pied) – Wagtail All

Wagtail by Tracy Hall

Walking upstream from the bridge the stream ceases to be tidal, and turns into a lovely clear running stream with a gravel bed. A flash of yellow; a beautiful male Grey Wagtail bounds away to alight on a boulder under the bank, the reflection of its brilliant yellow plumage in the pool beneath more evident than the bird itself. Another flies to join it at the waters edge - a female - less yellow and without the black bib - their pendulum swings of the tail in ceaseless unison ...

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