There is nothing in the sky above our house. Every day I look up but cannot see any swallows or house martins. They should be here by now from Africa circling above our woodland were there are plenty of flying insects for them to eat on the wing. They are not here, not in the sky and not sitting on our electricity wires, a pair usually rests here surveying the old shed where they often nest.
the butterflies have made a good start. As I sit on my bench outside, I can see
three types of ‘whites’. There is the small white with black markings, the orange
tip butterfly just hatched from its triangular chrysalis and the rarer
brimstone out from hibernation. The brimstone is quite a shock to see with its
sharply outlined wings looking like leaf like edges in a bright citrous colour.
shock for me this week was the arrival of a friend. We do not have many
visitors to the house, post COVID, but here was Brenda from my school days in
Yorkshire. I first met her over 70 years ago when I started school. We remember
meeting in 1950 when neither of us knew anyone else in the reception class. We were
put together because we both lived on farms and have kept in touch ever since
even when we went our separate ways, she to Southampton and me to Shropshire.
told me about her first journey to school on the public service bus. She had
never seen the school before. She stood at the top of her long lane on the main
road waiting for the bus. Brenda said that her mother took her to the lane end and
waited with her that first time. The big double decker came and she got on then
suddenly realising that she did not know where she was going she shouted.
do I get off?”
you see other kids standing up, get off with them and follow.” Her mother called
as the bus went on its way again.
would never happen these days we said and wondered if it was safer then or simply
that we know more now.
days ago, Mr T and I went for a visit to a nature reserve in Wales. We packed a
picnic but when we arrived at the reserve the gates were firmly closed. I got
out to read the notice which said that they had detected bird flu in some of
the birds. The public were not allowed in to stop further spread.
home the sky is still devoid of swallows. Is bird flu the culprit?
(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)