Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Autumn colour

After a long break! (Complicated summer!) A walk round the Trail found a variety of autumn colours. Although it was mid-morning the hoar frost had not yet burnt off and the moon was still visible. The hazel in the historic hedge near Point no. 10 was already coloured but the hazel in the landscaping was still green. Robins and goldfinches were calling. There was a real sense of early winter. Winter comes in all our lives, so we need to understand that it is a necessary season. God made the whole year for us, and us for the whole year!  - George

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Easter newness

There was a new feel about the Trail today, of things waiting to surprise. A Sparrowhawk soaring in bold circles high directly over Waitrose was a surprise, for a start. Greater Celandine and Henbit were nice sightings along the trail. The Polypody fern in Church Street is now in three places. The Kingcups at the Pond were a fine show. Five Chiffchaffs and one Blackcap were in song along the route. But the nicest was just the freshness of everything, of new life, of spring, Easter, resurrection and the handiwork of Him who threw the stars into space.  - George

Monday, 6 February 2012

Cold birds

At the traffic lights, a Grey Wagtail flickered delicately over the stream, showing its yellow rump then perching cheekily, with eponymous vigour. Church Street was loud with Great Tits and Robins. As I passed Dingle Lane, a pair of Long-tailed Tits eyed me beadily. Then another Dunnock sang boldly within four feet of my eyes. Then in the Park, half a dozen wintering Redwing shrilled at me and a Greenfinch trilled softly. A Blue Tit was singing from the very tree top, showing that no Sparrowhawk had passed that way recently. By the Park Pond, the resident Goldfinch flock was too cold to do more than make little squeals to each other from their perches, instead of their usual tinkling call flights - as was I, as I abandoned my course and headed back through the frozen Park toward a fire - George.

Watcher watched

Starting from by the Sandbach Crosses, a Dunnock was singing shrilly in a silver birch behind the Black Bear, its song as keen and metallic as the weather. Armed with a pair of binoculars and a warm smile from the multi-layered Big Issue man, I walked down the path past the Waitrose car park, listening to many birds singing as keenly as (perhaps even partly because of?) the weather. At the by-pass roundabout, the stream was full and the wood quiet. I paused holding my binoculars there, wondering if just one or two drivers might not just notice me, but also think for a moment as they passed. For they, themselves, are watched! Yards from the roundabout, I halted, on realising that a large, healthy-looking Buzzard was sitting on a nearby branch, staring at me. It stood out in the bare winter wood as did little else, for the golden carpet of Celandines is nearly two months away. Yet probably not one in a thousand drivers noticed it, even when their queue paused directly opposite.