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Beyond the Lone Islands

http://dawntreader-island2.blogspot.com

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Leisure

Earlier this week, GB at Eagleton Notes had a post about making time to "stop and stare". He also referred back to an earlier post in which he included in full the poem from which that expression comes - Leisure, by W H Davies. I liked that poem so much that I printed it out. I'd also like to repeat it here:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.


No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.


No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.


No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.


No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.


No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.


A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

This morning, I went for a walk. My plan was to go for a stroll first, and on the way back pop in at the supermarket to pick up a few things. I'm a town girl, and going to the supermarket on a Sunday doesn't usually bother me, if it happens to be practical...

But today, Nature overwhelmed me with the most spectacular show I think I ever saw. I had to stop and stare!!! I'll pay my respects to the supermarket another day. Today, by the time I got as far as that place on my walk, I could no longer bring myself to break the atmosphere of tranquility and beauty by going in there. It would actually have felt like a sacrilege...

First, there was the morning mist on the river, lifting gently...





... revealing the whole bridge railing full of spiderwebs, a long row of them, one after the other, dew drops making them look like jewellery in the low morning sunlight...








So I passed the supermarket, without going in.

Instead I turned around, and went back again along the river...

Then, under the high alder trees, suddenly there was the song and dance of hundreds of birds, high up among the branches and leaves...



They were much too high up to let me identify them properly, or catch them with the camera... They were quite small. The ones I caught a glimpse of looked like great tits. This surprised me though, because those usually stay here for the winter. At least we see some of them then, too. But I've never, at any time of the year, seen like a hundred or more of them together before, behaving like this.The overwhelming impression was a concert of praise and excitement, like a last gathering and rejoicing over the autumn colours, before leaving to go south for the winter. I have never seen anything like it. I have never heard anything like it. They were fluttering about all the time. At the same time, leaves were dropping from the trees. Sometimes, you could not distinguish whether that yellowish thing headed towards the ground was a leaf or a bird.

Again, I stopped for a long, long time and just stared!
Finally I went home, because my feet were getting cold from all the standing still...



At home, I looked up the great tit  (Parus major) in my bird book. It says most of them stay here over winter. But some do leave, "especially certain years"... because of lack of food. Made me wonder if it was that slush-attack the day before yesterday that made them decide to leave! Or if they can sense in other ways that it is going to be a bad winter...? Anyway, it was a really impressive farewell-concert...

More pictures from today's walk in my Picture Book. I took I-know-not-how-many photos of the spider webs, because it was hard to determine how they would actually come out...! More might be coming up in future posts...

5 comments:

Scriptor Senex said...

What a wonderful morning. It's great not to be restricted to the number of photos one takes as we were in the pre-digital days.

NPT said...

Hi DawnTreader...
Nice pics i really like it....

Rebecca said...

Wonderful post! I look forward to seeing more of those web photos. I haven't caught one yet.

rae said...

Oh my gosh! Another set of amazing pictures.

Rose-Anne said...

These photos are spectacular.I could feel the atmosphere surrounding these places.

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