Thursday, 12 December 2013


But first the old subject - Muck. Nothing to do with Scottish Islands - the manure heap never seems to get any smaller - but then life seems a bit like that sometimes, does it not.
Winter is here and, perched high above Morecambe Bay, we are into the season of sunrises as we face south south east - ish.

It is cold but not too cold. A southerly drift of air has kept things mild and damp for the last week or so.

A cock pheasant, known as Mr Pheas but probably a different one every year or so - one had a limp so not this one - is caught by the warm morning sun feeding from scraps dropped from the feeders. Soon he will be prancing around his mate with protective anxiety, getting her to lay eggs up in the shrubbery.

We regard our gardens primarily with sight, observing colour, colour changes, contrasts - shades of green, the predominate colour in the garden - as well as the rest of the spectrum. 
Light and shade create dappled areas especially in summer. 

We seek out the scent of flowers, warm grass, pine needles etc.

The beech hedge has clung tenaciously to its leaves but it is interesting to note that the flowering currant, one of the first to break in the spring, has its golden autumn foliage. The view below shows the house in December from the wood where debris still lies, uncollected, after the storm. 

Yet one of the overriding senses the garden stimulates is hearing.
Apart from the obvious birdsong there is the noise the water makes in the stream, dripping from the trees, as it falls as rain. 
There is the sound the wind creates in the trees and long grasses, from the falling of leaves and rattle of twigs.

Then there are the sounds created artificially by us. We have some wind chimes - I know, not everyone's choice - but they are up in a tree on the edge of the wood and are not intrusive. In some places the stream has small falls introduced - only a few inches high - but this adds to the harmony in the garden.
Feeding and attracting birds is another way of expanding the auditory experience, though the chirp of the sparrow can get monotonous. This is then completely overshadowed by a blackbird in the great sycamore singing at dusk.

And some times I can stand in the garden and listen to the silence. A sea fret may come in or a winter fog and it is so quiet. I can hear myself breathe.
When the gale howls through the branches, almost deafening at times, it dissipates emotion, blasts it away.


I walk into a hair-streaming wind,
lever lips back from the teeth of a gale
and watch leaves, marked by miner trails and old galls, 
splash and gather in the gutter.  

These pages of last year become brittle liquid, 
coagulate in flooded gullies, clog the roadside drain slots. 
Rivulets of surface water fill the farm road in the dip, 
slurry mud and dung.

Salt spray is blown six miles inland.
How trivial a sadness seems when the blast howls about me.
Cares taken to front the storm are scoured away.  
Who can see a tear in this rain?

1 comment:

  1. Sitting at my desk with a storm outside, quite near where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean (Ilwaco, Washington) and just a block from our little harbor, I am loving this entry in your blog.