This article has really set me thinking again about my own flat garage roof, which could be home to more wild life. The bus shelter roof idea is really taking off and this is the way to go across the world !
Now that is what I call very very good news!
In the depth of lockdown, in the winter, we saw a wolf walk down our silent, deserted village street. We live near a forest so it wasn’t too many glasses of wine. It was proof.
: report on species recovery shows how effective legal protection, habitat restoration and reintroductions can be
— Read on www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/27/wolves-and-brown-bears-among-wildlife-make-exciting-comeback-in-europe-aoe
This tiny perfect sliver of life was under the bucket. At first it was coiled like a bracelet in a golden knot, but by the time the photo was taken it was warm and lithe, sliding over my fingers. The sight of one slow worm used to be astounding in our garden ten years ago, but as the garden has grown up and the wild spots and compost heaps have been cultivated, they are increasingly common.
It is heartening to think we must have done one small thing right in our little corner to visibly increase this bit of wildlife.
By the way my hands are not usually so dirty, but they are currently stained from picking up walnuts without any gloves on!
Happy Autumn !
After the heat of summer and the seemingly endless shout of sunshine, the turning of the season into autumn is a huge relief. Mornings are foggy, fires have been lit and smoke rises up to the stars, that glitter on into the dark of morning.
The cat is reluctant to venture out . He hates wet dew on his paws, but eventually the sun creeps up, the world wakes and slowly he slinks out to start the autumn day.
The great clouds of martins and swallows have thinned to just a few birds catching up on the reverse migration back to Africa. The starlings have remembered the uncollected apples in the orchard behind the house and are wheezing their anticipation of a feast. Jays have appeared and are raucous in the tall trees.
Days of rain are forecast, but today the sun has climbed into a peerlessly clear sky and the michaelmas daisies are star burst bright with bees. A hornet patrols ceaselessly looking for a bee to catch and the late gate keeper butterfly keeps far away from it. Hummingbird hawk moths feed on September nectar and the morning glory winds up and up to the end of every stick.
The news of Russian mobilization of reluctant and unreluctant men is chilling I think of the unharvested vegetables ripening in the gardens of destroyed Ukrainian homes.
On a warm September day it seems the very best of times, but Dickens could always balance his opening sentences to linger in the mind.
Evening will come, however determined the late afternoon,
Limes and oaks in their last green flush, pearled in September mist.
I have conjured a lily to light these hours, a token of thanks,
Zones and auras of soft glare framing the brilliant globes.
A promise made and kept for life – that was your gift –
Because of which, here is a gift in return, glovewort to some,
Each shining bonnet guarded by stern lance-like leaves.
The country loaded its whole self into your slender hands,
Hands that can rest, now, relieved of a century’s weight.
Evening has come. Rain on the black lochs and dark Munros.
Lily of the Valley, a namesake almost, a favourite flower
Interlaced with your famous bouquets, the restrained
Zeal and forceful grace of its lanterns, each inflorescence
A silent bell disguising a singular voice. A blurred new day
Breaks uncrowned on remote peaks and public parks, and
Everything turns on these luminous petals and deep roots,
This lily that thrives between spire and tree, whose brightness
Holds and glows beyond the life and border of its bloom.
I don’t have a photo of Lilly of the valley to illustrate this restrained poem by Simon Armitage, but I think this softer rose will do just as well .
A busy day.
The garden turning autumnal. Plenty to do and the migrant birds massing over head. Eventually I stopped. The late afternoon sun still hot in the sitting room and I slowly drank a glass of pastis and listened to Radio France .
It was a Shostakovich string quartet, that irresistible mixture of fear and beauty and for once I listened with all my heart.
The final movement ended and you could hear the needle coming to the end of the record in a delicious crackle . I sat still and waited in warm relaxation for the next piece of music, but it didn’t come. I sipped to the end of my drink, listened to the door bump in the breeze, the clock tick, the commuters driving home in the sunshine.
I imagined what was happening in the radio silence; had someone decided to kiss their lover in the store cupboard instead of changing the record? Had someone fallen asleep in the warm afternoon? Had the great idea finally struck and was it being scribbled down on the back of an envelope or noted on a phone? Had someone finally left and walked quietly down the stairs and out of the building?
The music never started again. The radio eventually took matters into its own hands and shut off. When I turned it back on there was something lively playing.
I think I preferred my unexpected moment of silence.