stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Feathered friends

Spring is on its way. It’s March. Birds are flying around with beaks full of twigs for nest making; crocuses are flowering; a few brave daffodils are braving the wind; – and it’s snowing!

Nothing is ever cut and dried with the English weather. Much like life – you think you’ve got it cracked, but up comes another little “challenge” on cue to test you. I am talking management-speak here, where problems are known as “challenges” Hrumph.

But the birds don’t seem to care, they come flocking around the peanut feeder I hang from the rowan tree. Twenty six years that rowan tree has been there. I know, I planted it as a protest, when I was strongly discouraged from calling the youngest daughter Rowan. Well, I didn’t know that a comedian and an Archbishop of Canterbury would make it a well known male name, so perhaps it was as well.

Oh yes, the birds :- greenfinches, blue tits, long tailed tits, great tits, chaffinches, but the clever robin (who can’t cling on like the others and hangs around underneath for the bits that fall to the floor). Underneath grow snowdrops, cyclamen and a hellebore, very springlike when the snow has melted in the sun! I grew up in London where the only birds in the back garden were sparrows or pigeons, so I love all the colours and the variety. And all to be seen from the comfort of leaning against a radiator, just as well when the forecast is more days of bitterly cold winds and snow showers.

I am not a birdwatcher, but I do enjoy feathery encounters. When we were on holiday in Sinai back in January, the gardens of the hotel provided a literal oasis for the local birds. I had to buy a book from Amazon when I got back to try to recognize them (which is going off the Nile with some friends in a couple of days).

There were yellow vented bulbuls, white wagtails, a Palestinian sunbird (what a jewel of irridescent blues and greens) and in the desert we found white crowned wheatears the friend who is off to the Nile says it’s a corruption of white arse, which indeed they had! And while having a stroll by the sea while watching the sun rise, I saw a little sand plover.

I didn’t spot a spoonbill there. However, when I got back to work there were photos of one – taken just down the road at the local bird reserve!


At 5:29 am, Blogger vishwa said...

Val....It's one of my dreams to experience the English springtime. Have heard and read quite a bit about it and your lovely description awakens that hidden desire.
Trees and plants do have a personality, just like places--don't they. Sometimes i feel like touching them,(something like shaking hands). Once i turned back and smiled at a grand old peepul tree and it vigorously shook itself. Maybe the wind blew, you may say but for me, it was the tree responding.


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