Right now, I have a stunning view from my window. The tree across the road is wearing a badge of hawthorn blossom. It looks like a wedding guest, proud to show off some fresh blooms for the occasion.
I don’t remember seeing this particular blossom any other year and this is my sixth spring / summer in this countrified location. Perhaps, I never noticed it before, although I find that hard to believe. The more likely explanation is that this is a special occurence and I am blessed to witness it.
Of course, it’s not the only aspect of nature that I’m finding bewitching. I know I’ve spoken a lot about the birds in my garden, but bear with me, there is more to tell . . . Now, I’m no innocent when it comes to swallows. Although, I am fond of them (particularly since they nested outside our back door, last year) I know that they can be aggressive. But yesterday, I was still shocked to see a wagtail scared away by a determined swallow. There was the wagtail, bobbing along in that charming, jaunty way of his, when he was suddenly swooped upon. The swallow continued to repeat this attack until the poor wagtail flew down to the ground.
Needless to say, I scolded the swallow (as I leaned out of the bathroom window) but of course it didn’t make any difference, because he speaks bird and I don’t. He doesn’t even know the meaning of bullying. I suppose it’s just the way nature works sometimes. It isn’t always kind. At least the wagtail didn’t sustain any injuries. In that sense, ‘fight’ is too strong a word to describe this encounter. It was more of a power display, or defence of territory.
Swallows can be so fierce that they even swoop near me and my husband on occasion. Every time I go to check the mail box they appear, full of noise and energy. At other times, one or two swallows will happily perch on the telephone wire, incline their heads and chatter mildly, as if passing the time of day. Talk about mood swings!
Another creature which gave me a fright recently, was an enormous bumblebee. Apparently the queens emerge from hibernation at this time of year and are looking to start a new colony. A queen flew right into the house and having found herself enclosed, began bashing her head off the furniture. I followed her upstairs, hoping to snatch an opportunity to open the window. Instead, I found myself hovering in the bathroom doorway and slamming the door shut as her angry buzz grew and her huge stripy body turned in my direction! This happened several times before she eventually calmed down. I took my cue, opened the window and ran downstairs. What an exhausting experience!
Since then, all has been a little quiet on the wildlife front. I’ve seen my local riverside heron and found myself tortured by hogweed at the side of the road – I hate the scent and sheer bulk of it! If you read my recent post ‘The Fearless Mistle Thrush’, I did get around to writing a micropoem about him. Here it is:
I note the grace of his feathers,
white corners to fanned tail,
give words to his image,
make him again
K. S. Moore
I hope you enjoyed the poem and the post. Do let me know if you are inspired, scared or shocked by any wildlife sightings near you!