31 July 2022


 And the living is easy?

It is the end of July.  Last night it rained here, a satisfying drench for the parched land, though far from enough.  Today is cloudy, and there may be more water to fall, though it is impossible to second guess the vagaries of this summer.

We haven't had real rain for weeks - possibly months, I haven't been counting.  It could be worse, perhaps.  Not everything is dead:

And this Chiffchaff found some caterpillars to feed to its young:

But this baby Stonechat is going to find its youth cut out with endless searching for grubs:

In the hedgerows there are already signs of autumn.  Hazel nuts begin to ripen:

Crab apples are showing colour on their skins:

The blackberries that have not already shrivelled to nothing are ready to pick:

And sloes are almost ready for the gin:

I shouldn't anthropomorphise but this Sedge Warbler has a worried look....  It knows things aren't right:

And this Yellowhammer pleads for at least a little bit of bread (with no cheese) from a dead twig:

While these Sparrows risk sleepless nights by shredding the unripe elderberries:

It may be all right for Goldfinches - they like thistle down!

But even that may be in short supply after the recent fires:

Which were mercifully controlled by the local brigades (without air support):

But which have exposed the mindless littering of those who come in their droves here to 'enjoy nature!'

It is a wasteland:

Beautiful walks destroyed in the drop of a spark:

Yes, life will go on, perhaps.  This young Robin may grow up to have young of its own:

This Turtle Dove may return next summer to a green and pleasant land:

The plague of Ladybirds, which reminds me of 1976, may not reappear for another 45 years.... perhaps?

The declining populations of butterflies may somehow turn a corner, though, judging by my very recent visit to Holt Country Park, where trees are withering, their leaves crisp and falling, everything is parched to probable death:

African skies are now commonplace:

And high above me a seagull listlessly chases a Buzzard in circles (two dots in the bottom centre), neither of them bothering to scavenge as there is precious little life to eat:

Though they both missed this mole, unable to bury itself in the rock hard ground where no worms survive:

At home our cats wilt in the heat, wasting water needlessly:

And Amanda sleeps uncomfortably on, fortunately unaware of the state we have brought ourselves to:

In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth
Which is already flesh, fur and faeces,
Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf.

T S Eliot
East Coker

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful bird pics as ever. How do you get them so sharp with all the feathers fully detailed? Magic!