The problem with spring is it crept up on us so quickly and before you know it spring isn't spring anymore it's summer. All those great spring themed photos are suddenly out of date. I don't think it matters though. You can read a poem that invokes spring and still enjoy it, even in the depths of winter, so why should photographs be any different. I like this one because the lamb looks like it is drinking in the fine spring day right through its skin. It's scenting spring on the air like the promise of life ahead, which considering the fate of much of its kind is a little sad and bittersweet.
This is just a little update on the family of ducks I featured not too long ago - see here. In the beginning there were about eleven ducklings. Although in most of these shots you can see only five ducklings there were actually about seven knocking about. They are getting more adventurous at this age so there might also be an intrepid adventurer duckling just out of sight of the main group. I like the one who seems to have spotted something in the water - or is he just admiring his own reflection?
I'm sure I've mentioned the horses in the back field that range down from Bunker Hill many times over the past year. When I'm grasping for something poetic to colour a post the horses never let me down. Even though they aren't wild hoses they still have something of the wild spirit about them. They are a solid and reassuring presence most days, going about their business, snorting and breathing, running and browsing. They are just wonderful creatures to share the afternoon with. They take very little notice of me, maybe I'm reading or watching the bees or the birds. They take no notice of anybody in our back gardens. They only have time for each other and what tasties they can find growing near the fence.
Well at least they did until sister of mine decided, whilst eating an apple back there, that she might share one with one of the horses. Sure the horse loved that. Do horses count? I doubt they bother with the number one. One is just not enough to bother counting.
So now the horse knows that in a certain back garden apples appear as if by magic. Here you can see he is looking for sister of mine in the certain knowledge that, if he could count, one apple would surely be not enough. So now we are hiding from the horse. We are hiding from a horse in our own back garden. Visions of the horse deciding to cross the fence crash disastrously to mind. We've had fence jumpers before. We remember the bunny that jumped the fence and didn't leave for several fun flowerchomping days. And all the Kamikaze sheep who stumble over of course. But a horse? If he comes over we may have a problem. We have visions of leading him through the house, maybe getting stuck in a doorway, equine devastation left behind in his wake and red faces all round. So yes, we are hiding, in our own back garden. Has he gone yet?
Ducks almost seem to be born with a smile on their face. Their bills have that little curve that always suggests a smile. So that curve is only there because it is the perfect design for sifting small bits of food from the water. To me the ducks are always smiling. And I'm sure the mother ducks trailing a Badelynge of little bobbling dabs of glowing life are smiling the happiest and most contented smiles of all. But I know it is tough being a duck and toughest of all being a little snack-sized duck. She keeps smiling though as the eleven becomes ten, and the ten becomes seven, the seven becomes five. Some will make it won't they? Of course they will. These happy smiling balls of eating frenzy have conquered the world already.
I didn't really expect to be still writing this blog one year later but here we are. Last year on this very date I had just finished a book review of a book called The Blue Handbag that I'd won from the author in a competition. It was a fairly self indulgent review with several little personal segueways including some stuff about a woodpecker. When I'd finished I reread and thought, "Right, now edit all the personal stuff out and it will be a usable review". So I did. But I still liked the original so I decided I would start a blog of my own so that I could still post the unedited review without feeling guilty for any personal bits or whimsy I'd included. Maybe I would write a few more reviews.Before I knew it I'd introduced Harry, Mofo, the garden and a host of ducks and wildlife. During the year I would write 168 posts, inspire my sister to start her own blog, get her hooked on nature photography and I would also meet lots of fellow bloggers and their blogs along the way. At the end of that first post I wondered whether I would see the woodpecker again. Over the months we caught brief glimpses of them, we heard their drumming, we saw their empty holes but it was only this last fortnight that we would track the wonderful Greater Spotted Woodpecker back to its current home, rearing the little ones.Camera Critters
Debbie says I should make up a knock knock joke because apparently woodpeckers and knock-knock jokes go together. I hereby apologise in advance. "Knock-knock." "Who's there?" "Woody." "Woody? You mean Woody Woodpecker. Wow I'm your biggest fan. I've seen all your shows." "No no. This tree. It's very.... woody. Listen....."
This is the hill behind my house. The silver light transforms the everyday landscape into something quite mystical. You can just see the faint smudge of a horse grazing still in the darkness, or is it a unicorn. Before I start waxing poetic again I'll just leave you with some words from the master. Take it away Walt:
When I heard the learn'd astronomer, When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me, When I was shown the charts, the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them, When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room, How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick, Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself, In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
You could be forgiven for thinking Harry was our only resident pet because I don't mention Mofo that often, mainly because Harry doesn't like him. I didn't name him by the way. Here is how I originally introduced the guy: "This little guy originally arrived with his own entourage and moved into the close. His followers soon realised they weren't good enough for him. They moved out and left him to fend for himself. That phrase about cats landing on their feet seems to be true as he promptly acquired new followers and moved into my sister's house. Originally we didn't know he was called Kenny so now he has two names. He has piercing green eyes. Harry and Mofo are not friends. Mofo likes tripping folk up. He likes tidying up after Harry - especially his dinner. When he hears Debbie's car he spreads himself on the drive so that he can be worshipped with all due haste. Maybe he should do this after she parks the car."