Sunday, 26 January 2014

Holding ground


Between brief but powerful storms we walked in Ladies Coppice. I love this little patch, just a few acres that is a dormitory for the rooks, jackdaws, wood pigeons and tawny owls. Deer search for food here too, roe and muntjac. Of course there are the squirrels, and foxes and badgers who travel though it leaving deep paths through the undergrowth.

After the last couple of months the ground is sodden. Some of the trees, more than I'd expected, have been unable to hold their ground in the face of strong winds. There is clearing work being done and piles of wood lain to encourage wildlife.

I am always struck by the beauty of the ivy that climbs the tall ash trees. In it you can see the inspiration for virtually all Celtic art. I think the older, thicker plants help support the trees while they face this season's weather. I hope so anyway.

On cold but dry days, the jackdaws leave the trees and come to huddle up against our chimney pots where, in a couple of months, they'll start to build their nests. It's good to hear their voices again, echoing down the chimney and into the room. I'd take a picture, but the days haven't been cold and dry for a while. Cold yes, dry not so much.


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