Tuesday, 16 June 2009

We are taking off for a few days ostensibly to celebrate the Summer Solstice, actually for a break, a rest, a change of scenery etc.

My lovely partner hates flying, loathes it in fact. As for me, I once worked on the design of Concorde for five years, the portholes are all that is visible of my efforts on that great plane, the other bits & pieces are hidden within the airframe.

During my working years I was never a full time aircraft person, even though that type of work on the A320 Airbus & the small two seater Tucano kept the wolf from the door on a few occasions. My actual training was in ship design - naval architecture. So in knowing a tiny bit about aircraft I feel so much more safer on boats, or even trains as I had input on some of those too !

Our journey then will be via cars, trains and a ship (built like an aircraft) to an exotic part of Europe.

My Summer

I like to see Rabbits

in the field scampering

And going about their habits.

I like to see the Barn Owl

swooping through the air

A low, slow cream soul.

I like to see the cricket

being played on the green

All in white and all alike.

I like to see the swifts winging

on summer days at dusk

And hear Blackbirds singing

I like to see the mists

rise up from the rheen

To gently surround the trees

I like to see a sunset flood

blue heavens tinted pink

Atop a hill and silhouette a wood.

I like to sit and dream

on dark winter nights

of summers gone

and of those yet to come.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Simple pleasures

Several metres on the other side of the copse (Where Heron nests) our road makes a tee junction with an only slightly wider mainish road. Here we turn right and walk to a modern concrete and steel river bridge (the old stone one was washed away twenty years ago in a storm). Here we have a short break to lean on the safety rails and observe the activities going on by the river. About twenty-five metres up river from the bridge there is a cut-away watering place in the bank with wooden posts and rails for the cattle to drink. The water here is deeper than it is under the bridge, because about ten metres downstream from the cut away is a weir made of large boulders which limits the amount of water let off to flow sea wards.

A few mornings ago I saw fish jumping to catch insects, some were only coming to the surface to make ripples on the surface. After a while I saw hundreds of small circles moving closer to the weir the migration of the pinkies or tiddlers was taking place.

So putting my gaze on to the weir I saw that the small fish were travelling sideways, in a gushing flow that streamed over the rocks to the turbulence on the lower side. In my mind I tried to visualise what this must be like for the poor fish, very frightening I imagine and I wondered if they all survived.

This morning, the water levels were much lower and out from the rails of the cut-away a small smooth boulder now protruded from the water, where once I saw several fish jump. No jumping fish this morning and hardly any rippled circles to be seen, as I stood gazing down enjoying the warmth of the sun on my back; there came a flash of bright malachite blue ! A Kingfisher had flown under the bridge and was swooping from bank to bank and all to soon was lost to my view as he swiftly flew up river.

It was a wonderful experience and a magnificent sight. I will always treasure the vision of his bright blue back, shiny red beak with his under body glowing orange in the sunlight, the perfect gift on our pre-breakfast walk and a memory that will live on in my mind for years to come.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The pre breakfast health walk of generally 3.4 kilometres, is done at a reasonable pace that seems to get slightly faster each week, not a bad thing as it is sign of increasing fitness. Though I do tend to puff on occasions, especially when I attempt to breathe through my broken nose; with its narrow canals, the right side in particular is now more decorative than useful, as for the other 'tis only slightly better. Fortunately the mouth works wonderfully well, except it is hard to talk when going for a greater amount of air. Silence then is the answer: to walk in companionable quietness listening to the sounds of nature.

The sights of Nature though change with every bend in the road. High hedges on the margins and here our eyesight is thrown to a distant field gate, where the ground gleams cream after having its grass closely mown for silage, then rapidly drawn to the home farm and clamped.

Turning the bend the hedges are lower giving greater visibility, safer now for walkers. In a field on the right is a stick with a profile that looks for all the world to be a black Heron, easy to be fooled without the aid of binoculars. On the other hand, on the hills which form the northern horizon, are a group of trees that look like a large, chicken, those I named long ago as 'The Chicken on the Hill'

Just after the third bend the road rises to meet us with a gradual slope, on the left are the fields where the Hares can be occasionally seen with their long quivering ears risen above the long grass. Further along on the left is Bunny land, where timorous Rabbits of all sizes and ages, can be seen running for cover as they become aware of our approach. Two white mares with brown foals standing on long skinny legs, graze on land higher than the road. One thing I have noticed is the Horse likes a hill to stand on, just as the Goat likes a rock or even a barrel to raise himself above ground level. The silhouette of a horse on a hill is to my mind a fine sight and one that I greatly appreciate.

Our Road now drops away, a short nip of a hill to where the road and land levels out into a large plain, subdivided into several large fields, the vista is broken only by a small copse here and there.Our walk passes through a copse and it is here at the top of a tall tree that the Herons have a nest. Chicks have hatched and at feeding time they make a noise that sounds like bricks being slapped together.

All was very quiet when we walked through the copse today - I guess they were having a nap!

to be cont'd

Monday, 8 June 2009

A Dream


A dream,

Is an early morning tide

Softly gentle waves caress

the slopes of a slumbering mind

As rolling pebbles call

memories ashore.


I cannot think of a better way to launch this blog out onto cosmic space, than with this favourite poem written by a close friend of mine who wishes to remain anon.