Monday, 5 June 2017

Roger Lever - This Earth is Precious

This Springtime has been one of the most lingering and exquisite that I can remember since coming to live in Dumfries and Galloway.

On my daily walk with my dog Rosie I am constantly in awe of the quiet inevitability of signs of the newly emerging season.

The dramatic change from the dormant hidden life during the wintertime to the vibrant colours and sounds of Spring is perhaps the most magnificent.

I watch the bluebells develop from the earlier signs of life reemerging way back in February to the sea of blue that carpets the whole wood during early May. Coupled with that the birds start singing and building pair bonds. They become less aware of my human presence and more aware of their mates and possible rivals impinging on there little patch of wood. There are at least half a dozen pairs of black birds, numerous pairs of blue and great tits.

The wren blasts out its shrill penetrating call. Amazing for such a small bird. The wood pigeons cooing constantly and doing there courtship display on some high branches of an old oak tree. The woodpeckers rattle away as they look for insect life in those high branches. I can never tell just where they are sometimes as the hammering sound against the bark seems echo and moves in all directions. They nest each year here and it can sometimes be quite difficult to spot just which tree they have decided to make their nest.

Sadly however the hole they have made in the tree seems to lead to its eventual demise once it becomes deserted and infected with fungus. After a few years it is easy to spot all the trees that have had woodpeckers nests in them because often the trunk snaps off during the autumn and winter gales. Meanwhile 6 Carrion Crows patrol the canopy every day 24/7 expressing their displeasure if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

What often comes to mind at this time of year with this splendour that nature provides is probably the most profound and beautiful statement ever made on the environment. Chief Seattle in 1854 made a reply to the GREAT WHITE CHIEF in Washington who made him an offer for a large area of Indian land.

Roger Lever

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