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Birds in Music

Music for a Summer Night

For many musicians and composers birdsong is the ultimate musical composition - yet is it music: Birds use variations of rhythm, relationships of musical pitch, and combinations of notes that resembles music, but without fixed musical intervals, as on a scale, there is a chaotic randomness to their singing.
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The Magic of Birdsong

Magic: Mistle Thrush

The Magic of Birdsong: A fine fresh morning - the sun streaming through the bedroom window - slightly open, the red and white gingham curtains moving gently in the morning air - dust motes caught for a moment - faerie dust, shining like tiny golden stars; the incessant chatter of House Sparrow and the garbled chuckling, whistling and mimicry of Starling from the cottage eaves and chimney pots; Green Woodpecker laughing from the nearby Ash; And Cuckoo calling from the copse across the fields - a Messiaen symphony. The scent of early spring - apple blossom and garden flowers in the warming sun. A heady romance. A childhood memory as real now as it was then - For this moment at least I am transported - there in the trees and fields around - what is that if not magic ... the magic of birdsong.

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Songs from the Wood

A Spring Wood Near Midhurst - by S R Badmin RWS RE AIA FSIA (1906-1989)


A pale cerulean-blue sky – crisscrossed with misty white vapour trails of planes - a modern art canvas; paint casually, thrown from the artists brush; white clouds tinged salmon-pink hanging over the blue-grey mountains; just before sunrise – white wreaths of mist lingering over the fields and valley wood mirroring the vapour trails above. A lone Buzzard calls ...

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Moments of Place

Moments of Place: The Wittenham Clumpsvia Belonging and Landscape – when I first read Richard Jefferies — Moments of Place by Rebecca Welshman Moments of Place
[…] There were grass-grown tumuli on the hills to which of old I used to walk, sit down at the foot of one of them, and think. Some warrior had been interred there in the ante-historic times. The sun of the summer morning shone on the dome of sward, and the air came softly up from the wheat below, the tips of the grasses swayed as it passed sighing faintly, it ceased, and the bees hummed by to the thyme and heathbells. I became absorbed in the glory of the day, the sunshine, the sweet air, the yellowing corn turning from its sappy green to summer’s noon of gold, the lark’s song like a waterfall in the sky. I felt at that moment that I was like the spirit of the man whose body was interred in the tumulus; I could understand and feel his existence the same as my own. He was as real to me two thousand years after interment as those I had seen in the body. The abstract personality of the dead seemed as existent as thought. As my thought could slip back the twenty centuries in a moment to the forest-days when he hurled the spear, or shot with the bow, hunting the deer, and could return again as swiftly to this moment, so his spirit could endure from then till now, and the time was nothing […]

grasses sway
over ancient mounds and hills -
the clash of steel

The Story of My Heart 1883

Artist Credit The Featured Image is of ‘The Wittenham Clumps’ by Paul Nash. He was passionately drawn to places in the landscape with ancient, mystical connections such as the Avebury stone circle and The Wittenham Clumps, and painted them many times
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Spring in the Country

Spring in the Dales

What better introduction to Spring than this quotation from the writings of Richard Jefferies.

"The bird upon the tree utters the meaning of the wind—a voice of the grass and wild-flower, words of the green leaf; they speak through that slender tone. Sweet­ness of dew and rifts of sunshine, the dark hawthorn touched with breadths of open bud, the odour of the air, the colour of the daffodil—all that is de­licious and beloved of springtime are expressed in his song. Genius is nature and his lay, like the sap in the bough from which he sings, rises without thought". —’ Field and Hedgerow’: Hours of Spring. Richard Jefferies

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Painting in Words

Painting in Words: Goldfinch

Painting in Words - I was once asked if I wrote from experience or from imagination - I replied both: my writing is inspired by nature, art, and memories of real events, times and places, coloured by imagination - vivid pictures painted in words - sometimes somewhat hesitantly expressed as ekphrastic prose, poems or as haiku ...

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A Song for May

The Hawthorn (or May Tree) by Margaret W. Tarrant (1888-1959)

A Song for May - This post is a mashup of anecdote, memoir, and selected prose from Richard Jefferies and W H Hudson, illustrated with seasonal atmospheric soundscapes. Join me for a day, if you will in a celebration of nature’s symphony ...

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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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Artists Inspired by Nature – Eric Ennion

Waxwing by Eric Ennion

Eric Ennion (1900 — 1981) was born on 7th June 1900 at Kettering in Northamptonshire, the son of a country doctor. In 1904 the family moved to Burwell on the edge of the Cambridgeshire fens where, after studying medicine at Caius College and St Mary's Hospital, he joined his father's practice in 1926.

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By a Brook in Winter

Brook: a snowy stream by Ann Mortimer

By a Brook in Winter - A fresh fall of snow overnight. I walk in a winter landscape: the green fields mantled white; the blackish branches of willow and ash, edged white, starkly outlined, against the morning light; mirrored in the dark brown-grey of the brook; the distant woods a purple haze against the blue-grey snow clouds above. My footsteps the only sound. 

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