I wonder where dem boidies iz…
While the debate continues about how long lockdown needs to be in place and we continue our social distancing, one positive thing that is clear around here is that the seasonal timing of this could not have been more convenient. When one is legally obliged to remain on one’s property for hours – and days – on end, domestic tasks are the unavoidable priority.
The Midlife Garden has never looked so trim and tidy. The grass is trim and the edges are sharp. Borders have been weeded and the seedlings are all in the greenhouse or potted on and hardening off. Green shoots are everywhere which give some feeling of hope in otherwise desperate times.
Also noticeable in the air is the sound of birdsong. Someone said that birds are singing more loudly, but that is not it. Ambient noise from planes, trains and automobiles, has reduced dramatically while birds continue to sing at the same levels. We can all just hear them more clearly now. I am not sure how much of a difference this makes in a small village, but we have been sleeping with a window open and have woken to the sound of birdsong every morning these past few weeks. Sometimes it is the cawing of a crow that has disturbed our slumber, but thankfully it has more often been a blackbird, blue tit or chiffchaff, or, for the last two weeks it has been the lilting song of the blackcap. The blackcap’s is my favourite birdsong at the moment, which makes me sound a bit geeky. But hey, I’ve said it now.
The sound of the blackcap is not only enjoyable, it is also a sure sign that spring is in full swing. I finally saw a couple of swallows, too, near the Old Place on Monday, and in the back garden we have a pair of blackbirds sitting on eggs. It has meant plans to trim the honeysuckle have been put on hold. Likewise, any thoughts of stripping the dead leaves off the Cabbage Palm were cancelled as we watched a pair of wrens building their nest there instead. The decibell levels have risen dramatically in the garden with the wrens, by turns, singing to each other and chitting their alarm at our presence.
It was an alarm call that stopped Mrs B and me the other morning while on the regulation dog walk. We attempted to locate the orgin of the noise and saw a pair of wrens. Suddenly, there was the flapping of larger wings and out of the hedge tumbled a sparrowhawk which sat on the grass, looking a little dazed, with its wings outstretched, peering over its shoulder at us. The bird fixed us with its beady yellow eye before realising social distancing measures were being contravened and flew off. The wrens survived the assault.
It was enjoyable to witness, but we don’t need to leave our home to be able to appreciate the vigour of the spring birds whether they are on their little wings or not.