Monday, 27 September 2010

Cuddly nature

Yesterday, a group of us went for a walk along the railway.  As we came back across harvested fields, we disturbed yellowhammers and skylarks from their nests amongst the stubble. One yellowhammer alighted on a fence post, and observed us for a time, before flying away to join others of its flock. The skylarks also congregate at this time of year, preparing to migrate a little further south. I remember seeing them on Dartmoor in February. In one field there was an impressive array of reedmace, which has been misnamed bulrush since Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema painted 'The Finding of Moses' in 1904 - reedmace looks much more imposing.

My interest in nature tends to be in a more cuddly subset. Broad Marston is lavishly populated with spiders, and over a certain size, I have almost a phobia. The rain drops coalescing on the webs on the spiral stairs outside the front of the coach house were most beautiful, and spiders of course have their useful place in the web of nature. For example, I heard recently that they are among the first creatures to reclaim land covered with volcanic ash and lava. But Benedictine monks armed with yoghurt pots can come in handy sometimes!

No comments:

Post a Comment