Monday, February 25, 2013
In all of this.
First light. The old farmer pushes a wobbly wheelbarrow across the lane . For some reason all transactions with the old farmer are conducted at first light. He's brought with him another 20 kilos of sunflower seeds . Food for the birds that throng the garden . At the rate we're going through it this will last less than a week . '' Ca va M'Ongoose ? Anything else you need ? Just let me know ". He disappears, whistling, with his ten Euros. Later this morning he'll drop off a bale of hay at the bottom of the cows field. Out of sight of the road and prying eyes.
Despite, or perhaps because of , the snow the garden is alive with squabbling blackcaps, twites, chiffchaffs and bullfinches. The proprietorial robin , chest puffed out, on the wellhead ; the inquisitive sparrow family foraging in the rose border. A huge Green Woodpecker dangles uncertainly from the bird feeder by the kitchen window. This is the first of these I've seen. It's size takes me by surprise. More like an exotic pigeon than the dainty black, white and red woodpeckers we usually see. The smaller birds line the branches waiting more or less patiently for this oversized visitor to go. There is something unspeakably joyous in all of this.