Showing posts from April, 2009

Fleeting Horrors

Right, the more delicate among you might want to pull up your skirts and run like hell at this point.

There was I waxing lyrical just the other day about the joys of nature, full of light and delight, life and movement. Well, as with all things, there is a yin and there is a yang. That was the yang, this is the yin: the silent horror of cat kill on the landing carpet. Perfect feline still life creation. Observe.

You can probably just make out the coily guts in the background. I thought the front bit was a bird with a beak until I got on my hands and knees, peered alarmingly closely, and realised I was connecting with the head of a mouse demolished right up until just behind the eyes.

Obliterating the medieval horror of the situation, I wondered idly what was wrong with the eyes? Do they taste nasty or was it simply just a ‘one more wafer thin mint…?’ kind of moment for the cat? I’m glad she knew her limits – for the sake of the carpet at least.

Fleeting Delights

[EILEEN SOPER, RMS SWLA (1905-1990)]

A mundane moment in my day can be transformed into a magical one by a shaft of sunlight suddenly and fleetingly illuminating the garden, or a pheasant glimpsed strolling across the lawn.

Today I had both these in quick succession as I sat at the kitchen table writing my shopping list. They were then immediately followed by a delightful dance performed in front of my eyes by two tiny little birds (long-tailed tits I subsequently found out): one flitting around the blades of grass, almost as big as he; the other hovering, hummingbird-like, before the dark column of the cypress tree, settling momentarily on the thick greenery waving in the wind before hovering once more, resting for a heartbeat and then both disappearing, as suddenly as they had arrived, on a gust of air.

The Big Picture

In the wake of the latest earthquake tragedy to hit Italy (and it's a problem that is not going away) I thought I would post two of the most moving pictures of man's fragility in the face of nature that I know.

They are not new, but they endure as a symbol of man's quiet and lonely suffering. For me, they act as a reminder of our need for humility and our need to love one another in the global context of an increasingly unstable world and fragile planet.

Easter, a time of death and rebirth. Let us learn from all our mistakes. Let us act now to secure the future of our civilisation and this planet for as long as is humanly possible.

Whatever your religious or secular standpoint, this is our moment to change our ways, to take responsibility, before we lose everything that is beautiful and sacred to humankind.

Life is fragile enough, without our collective stupidity.

Saying Goodbye to Winter

As the dark green gorse begins to clothe its spiky tips in gold and the daffodils wave their sunshine as we pass, it is time to say goodbye to Winter. She has been long and hard, the chill winds and frozen ground persevering and forbidding new life. The delicate heads of snowdrops dared not show their beauty until mid February and have only just allowed their white petals to shrivel and drop; the hedgerows have only just begun to be peppered with acid green specks, the hopeful sign of gentler things to come.

But though Winter was long, its frost and snow blanketed the hills and dales in monochrome memories and silent stillness. At times the views were sublime: dark lace trees etched against a setting sun, white fields strewn with golden hay to feed the hardy sheep; the laughter of sledging, the crunch of snow and ice under foot and tyre. And before we forget all this completely as the new season sheds its winter coat and new scents and sounds fill the softening air, I hope the picture…