Friday, 5 May 2017
A quiet hammock-nap
Having had a busy morning, I opted for a nap in the hammock after lunch. Tucked between a lilac and a large mahonia bush, and overlooked by climbing roses not yet in flower, but grasping thin air for more support, I lie there, sheltered from the cruel North-Easterly and it's wicked attempts to nullify Phoebe's yellow heat, my eyes are drawn to the tattered rags of the low cloud scudding across the cyan space, and am mesmerised. A small bird alights in the naked ash tree above my head, silhouetted, and mouth full of feed, impatient for me to remove myself, so it can feed its young. Far too impatient, and trying not to expose the nest site it decides to attempt a route from another direction, flits, and is hidden.
A small procession of swallows appears from the south, wheeling and churning, picking flies out of the sky as ever they do, before disappearing as rapidly as they came.
My gaze returns once more to the clouds, where my eye is captured by a movement - a buzzard, soaring, with a slow gyration, quartering the local grasslands for a lame or injured rabbit. Such eyes they have! he is so far up that his markings are indistinguishable, though I know him as a regular visitor. As he passes out of view, I spot his mate, following a similar route, and being somewhat bigger, her markings are a little more obvious. How many more people have spotted them, I wonder? Few in number, I'm sure.
A commotion! A lone sparrowhawk fleetingly scythes the air across the garden, mobbed by several smaller birds, attempting to distract the express predator from the naive fledglings whose only thoughts are food, regardless of safety first.
Everything settles down again. The clouds unerringly drift and scud South-Westward on the breath of the cold wind.
I close my eyes, and think how lucky am I, to have seen so much in the space of so few minutes.