Monday, 17 August 2015

Robin song

On Friday morning I arrived at work a little earlier than usual. It was 8am, the morning was cool and the ground damp. Sunshine glinted through the lower branches of the linden tree beside my parking space. Ceasing the chatter of the radio and the heavy breathing of the car's engine with a turn of the key in the ignition, I sat for a moment gazing at this sunlight and searching for the peace and serenity I know it can bring. 
I still had twenty minutes or so before I had to go into work and I decided a short walk would set me up well for the busy day ahead. Crossing the road, through the end of the children's playground, and over the wooden stile steps, I entered the end of a historic avenue known as The Race. Grand old chestnut trees, twisted, gnarled and fissured, stand in line at regular spacing along the path-side. I have grown to love these veteran trees after many walks beneath them, and find it easy to imagine their history and even associate personalities with them. Sometimes out of the corner of my eye I think I see their creased and creviced bark almost seeming to twist and contort as their trunks turn to watch me go by, each ancient tree gently collecting me and passing me onto its neighbour. 
I walked for about ten minutes, at first on automatic pilot but finding with each step I became more aware of my surroundings, raising my eyes from the ground, feeling my stride lengthen and muscles stretch gently as morning stiffness and end of week tension eased. 
Glancing over my shoulder, the gate and its stile by the road, and the cottage beyond with its yellow painted window frames seemed distant, shrunk to insignificance, framed by the trees like a view through a child's toy telescope. 
I stood, hands in pockets, breathing deeply and taking in the scene around me. It was nothing special, or unusual; a simple hedgerow of holly and hazel, a moss covered tree stump, the limbs of a chestnut tree against the sky, but for a brief while it was mine alone and simply lovely. 
Two young squirrels ran through the branches with dare-devil attitudes. Jackdaws chattered and discussed their plans for the day. A flock of blackbirds populated the hedgerow, popping out here and there, waiting for the holly berries to ripen.  
Then the robin sang. A sweet song, hesitant and quiet, from deep within the holly bush, and it was only as I heard those first few muttered notes I realised how much I had missed this voice on my summer walks. Now the moult is over, the robin along with many other birds, is returning to the forefront, and learning to sing once more. Chirps and squeaks of parties of tits and finches fill the quiet spaces in the higher branches. 
The robin song held me enthralled, for just a few moments, completing the effect the cool air and low sun had begun. As I turned back towards work, a single brown leaf floated down, spiralling and dancing to the ground. 




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Hello! Thank you for viewing my blogs and profile. I am passionate about the countryside and british wildlife and I hope that this comes through in my blog. I am a nature writer and have been pursuing photography since early teenage years, whilst building a career in conservation. Helping people to reconnect with the natural world is very important to me, whether through direct hands on interaction, education or literature. Please also visit my website www.sophieco.co.uk, for more information, my current CV, and further examples of writing and photography. You can contact me or keep up to date with new blog posts via Twitter @SophiEcoWild and/or Facebook.com/SophiEcoWild Feedback, comments and audience participation are always welcome! Sophie May Lewis