When I was a very new mother I left Harry in his pram outside the newsagent as I bought my daily paper. I left Fred, our family dog on guard. Lost in my chat to the sales lady who had just lost her husband to a sudden heart attack I left the shop, took Fred’s lead in hand and set off home. 200 yards later I felt something was missing!
As I sat by the lake yesterday evening two birds passed overhead. A mother bird enjoying the sunlit evening flew smoothly across to the trees on the far shore. Her baby supposedly following in her wake fluttered frantically behind, ran out of ‘lift’ and crash landed amidst the Canada geese family. Even at a distance I could see his red faced embarrassment as he struggled into the air again. Totally disorientated he flew back towards me and landed on the deck railing just two metres away. This fluffy, bedraggled little kingfisher then bemoaned his mother’s negligence. So I told him my story of forgetting my son. After he had recovered his composure and dried out he thanked me and managed to fly to a higher branch some yards away where he called forgivingly for his mum who then arrived to hug her offspring after first giving him a feathered clip round the earhole.
And now this morning as I fed the fish, a cobalt blue dragonfly joined me on my hand and together we watched the other dragonflies dance over the water. I so so love this Nature business.
I am feeling a little hoarse as I have spent half the morning in Jack Russell mode yapping at the grey squirrel. Just as garlic is the bully of the food world, overwhelming all other flavours, so these aggressive furry pests are the bullies in our forest garden. The blue jays sit in the tree two metres from our deck greeting us with their ‘please and thank you’ calls. In reply we toss them peanuts carefully cracked open to make it easier for them to excise the nuts. Chipmunk husbands toil up and down the deck collecting and then storing their families’ food supplies. They happily take the nuts from our fingers now, precisely storing each nut in their pouches. They all have fitting names; One Nut (BF says I will give him a complex), NotchBack, FourEyes, Snatchy and our champion Olympian who can carry five nuts at a time. As I feed these adorable little people with one hand the nuthatch perches on my other outstretched palm and gently takes his nut. The titmouse prefers to take his nuts from BF’s slippered toes. This morning one particularly pesky squirrel kept pinching the blue jays’ breakfasts, chasing our chipmunks and generally upsetting everyone. Charged and found guilty of disturbing our peace, I launched my inner Amazonian, hurling spears at him. Little grey bastard totally ignored me. After trying out various different barks and growls I discovered the Jack Russell was the most effective. Amazingly as I was mid yap the nuthatch still felt safe on my hand and continued to take his time selecting the most tasty of the nuts on offer. It is such as honour that even at our most fierce these precious creatures are still able to trust. Now I am off to squish that effing squirrel ….