Friday, 18 July 2014

In the green

The world - at least in the part where I live - seems to be bursting at the seams with Life. Beyond the usual even. I've spent a lot of time this week in the copse across the field from us. It's only about 10-12 acres I'd guess but it's surrounded by small hedged fields and Chalfield stream flows down the western border. Also, it's private property so I can head in there and not think about other people. The dogs get a great work out, climbing and tracking and swimming and running, and I get to sit by the stream and just be around this:

Yesterday was a magical day. Early morning brought a Great Spotted Woodpecker to our feeder. I've never seen one up close before and it was enchanting. Only a juvenile - you can tell by the fact they have a red flash on top of their heads that's replaced by black feathers as they mature - it was a real delight.

Later, as I was preparing dinner, I looked out of the kitchen window into the sun-trap of our back garden and saw what looked like a mini scene from The Battle of Britain. Hundreds and hundreds of flying ants taking off from three sites under the cobbled pathway. It must be a huge ant empire under there! The emergence took about 20 minutes and then another happened an hour or so later. With the sun glistening off their wings as they took off to found new colonies, these ant queens on their nuptial flight were a vision. The Swallows certainly thought so as the sky filled with them diving and swooping for a special treat.

As the sun dropped a little I took the dogs down to the stream and sat on the bank watching them swim and play while jewel-coloured damselflies (Beautiful Demoiselles) circled above them. Suddenly an even brighter flash of colour almost brushed my eyelashes: a Kingfisher flew right past my face and off down the stream.

The day was finished with a truly spectacular storm with lightning so bright I can't describe it.

I love the days, and there are so many of them, when I'm reminded that the human race is just a tiny aspect of All That Is, even if it's disproportionately powerful.

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