Nature Notes (water meadows, Stratton, West Dorset)

snail poem5.30am – flawless blue sky and the dawn chorus weaving a tapestry of sound over the silent village. I remember as a child being startled by the way the birds sang their hearts out early in the morning  – like children having fun with no adults around. Today, as soon as the kettle started singing, the dawn chorus subsided.

At the allotment, huge bulbous snails hiding under the carpet mulch, sliding off when the sun shines on their shells.

Walking past the water meadows – a black and white jigsaw of cows. Didn’t see the kingfisher, but several pairs of mallards sitting close together on the banks of the stream,– ying and yang.

Clear chalk-stream water – the occasional flash of a trout like a passing shadow

Along the lanes – sweet and sour smell of cow parsley and pungent wild garlic

So much white – small white downy feather on a leaf, white deadnettles, white cow parsley, white seeding heads of dandelion, white sheep and drifts of pale pussy willow on the path. White cloudy sky and tiny tight white buds of hawthorn.

Swifts swooping over the river where a miasma of gnats is hovering above the water. I sat on the bridge watching their fluid arcing flight – like an aerial ballet on an infinite stage.

At home, newly plastered nests of house martins cupped under the eaves.

Rain came as the sun set – I hope our wildflower seeds will show soon.Snails

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