The Beauty of Herons,

needs no explaining.. From their elegant elongated stance, to the beauty of what must be a more mature birds coat. The clothes designer in me stood and gasped as I pictured just how nice a heron’s asymmetrical cloak of greys, white, ermines and blacks, with layers and ripples and pleats, in silk, velvet and feathers would look as I swooshed my way up the town. It would be glorious.

Playing in the Woods.

I’ve always loved playing in the woods, since being knee high to a grasshopper I have enjoyed the smells of leaves gently decomposing and the crackle of dried twigs breaking underfoot, the acid fresh smell of growth in spring and the heat and dust of summer and that’s even before spotting any birds.  I don’t think children make very good bird watchers, but we did make very good tree climbers and swinging on old ropes over deep crevices whilst our mothers watched in horror, paddling in brooks trying not to get caught by the leeches and collecting leaves and nuts, seeds and berries and sometimes caterpillars and slow worms.  I’ve loved it all.

I especially love the tranquility of being on my own. Maybe that comes from being part of a large family but I know it feeds my soul more than anything else. So the other day I left hubby in a hide playing with the big lens, he seemed a happy boy and took off around the woods to play.  I played at photographing the small birds and had a little success when I came across the type of clearing that I had hoped to find.

Unpacking my 20 mm, my mini tripod and my remote control, I set to work. I managed to photograph what must be the ultimate selfie.. how I laughed when I saw it. 
Acid greens against blue skies, just beautiful.

I must make time to play in the woods some more.

First Cuckoo of Summer.

I have had one ear open for the last couple of weeks ready to hear the first calls of the Cuckoo. On Saturday while wandering through the woods I gave a little gasp of delight as I heard the Cuckoo’s distinctive calls.  It was a lovely sunshiny day and the Cuckoo called merrily away at some distance, never close and I wondered whether I would see it.

While playing in the woods a couple of fellas I was chatting to pointed out the Cuckoo as it flew past, but of course it was much too fast and through all those branches impossible to photograph.

At the end of the afternoon I was enjoying a lovely sit down in the sunshine, listening to the warblers and waiting for one or two to pop up out of the reeds whilst at the same time listening to the odd call from a Cuckoo, when a friend wandered by and stopped for a chat.

And as we chatted and waited for warblers he noticed at great distance a blob on the top of a dead tree and immediately said ‘that’s a Cuckoo’ I exclaimed with, ‘how do you even know at this distance!’.  So I took a snap and blew it up and sure enough there were the distinctive bars on the breast of a Cuckoo. Wow, even double Wow as it is my first ever Cuckoo photograph.

The next day, gossip was rife with the boys at the nature reserve and they merrily ribbed me about my blob of a Cuckoo, even casting aspersions as to the calibre of my accomplice who had pointed it out…  How I laughed, as I recognised the lightest twinge of envy that the newbie had snapped the first Cuckoo of the season.

My first Cuckoo, it was a thing of beauty.