It’s been a few days since I wrote a blog post but I wanted to share with you the experiences I have had with a variety of birds in the last few days. On Friday, erroneously thinking that if I went to Waitrose fairly early it would be quieter, I set out to drive around the lanes to the main road. My journey takes me down a road that crosses the wide drainage channel that links the Military Canal to the sea for purposes of drainage when the water is too high in the canal. As I began to drive on to the bridge I spotted a squadron skein of geese flying low and heading away across the Marsh. This is the first occasion in all my time of living here that I have had the pleasure of seeing this amazing sight. Then as I crossed the bridge I glanced to the right at the wide sunlit water and there floating in balletic splendour were around about a dozen swans. Making a mental note to stop in the lay by near the bridge on my way home to take some pictures. Although today has not been such a sunny day as those that have gone before it has, in the main, stayed dry although somewhat chillier. But back to my trip to Waitrose. I got on to the main road easily and feeling rather pleased with myself headed towards Hythe. My optimism was soon destroyed. There is a new development being built on a disused gravel extraction area and before there are any housers built it looks as though the developers are putting in the road entrance to the site. In consequence there are road works traffic lights, massive queues of vehicles and a totally inexplicable series of traffic islands and roundabouts under construction. Heading into Hythe proper I was continually held up by traffic snarl ups – strangely enough not with petrol queues but because traders were setting up for a food festival. Nothing ventured I crept on and eventually got my groceries – incidentally I noticed that as a mask wearer I was rather in the minority. Stuff back in the car and I needed to go around the one way system to get to the local Sainsbury’s Waitrose had failed me on a couple of items and as an added incentive Sainsbury’s have cheap tulips and I wanted to get some. If I thought the snarl up of traffic had been bad on the way in it was ten times worse on the way out. I, eventually, got the items and most especially the tulips and then slowly made my way out of Hythe. By this time the word was out about petrol shortages – the petrol station on the edge of the town had a massive queue that stretched back beyond my turn off to the Marsh. It wended its way off into the distance along the coast road apparently making very slow head way.
On my homeward journey I did, indeed, stop at the bridge. I managed to get some good pictures of the swans and others across the stubble fields. Today and everyday I try to do the exercises that the physio has given me. Some of them make the back less comfortable whilst others seem to help. Whilst I was laying on my back this afternoon looking up through the conservatory roof a gull scythed, at some speed, across the sky below the dense cloud cover, catching a hint of a weak sunlight glinting from those scimitar sharp wings. Others followed, each cutting its own swathe across the domed scudding cloud. Then a flock of rooks whirled around above – seemingly with no discernible purpose but eventually disappearing about their business. Then a lone pigeon, ungainly and flapping, with great effort made its way towards the churchyard. Recently there have been trails of feathers – almost all pigeon’s – strewn across the lawn, blown by errant breezes into bushes, while a few have ended up caught in the Autumn cobwebs that stretch across dew soaked grass or the diamond encrusted webs held fast on the windows of the conservatory. Delicate, fluffy, downy milk white breast plumage dances as the wind wafts across it – never released from the iron grip of the web but fluttering like an anchored butterfly. Talking of butterflies – we have still have a plethora of the larger white ones that bounce from one flower to another in dancing swarms looking for all the world like tissue paper scraps as they float and twirl. Since the apples have rotted we are not visited by the Blackbirds so often. Although I haven’t seen them recently I have certainly heard the Magpies, no doubt perching in the foliage of the yard trees, and leaving the occasional blue/black iridescent shot silk feather on the drive.
The table legs are painted as is the chair, I have started to make a patchwork cushion for the chair and tomorrow I must finish the top of the table with some oil – I am hoping that it will not change the light colour too radically. Bulbs need planting up in pots but before that can happen the geraniums etc must be decanted, new compost needs adding and a general tidy up is required. The hops that were growing on the fence have been cut down and only a few still languish on the well head – they must go soon. All jobs for tomorrow but we are promised rain at least in the morning and so I shall have to start the patchwork throw I am going to make. We could do with some petrol but I am hoping if I hold off until later in the week I will be able to get some at Jempsons. Maybe combine a visit with a little shopping and a cup of coffee or even lunch.
I didn’t get round to posting this yesterday when I actually wrote it and now this morning the weather has changed quite dramatically. The wind is blowing a gale, the trees in the yard opposite my study window are lashing too and fro, bending at somewhat violent angles and the leaves are being ripped from the twigs and branches. The window panes are, quite unusually, bespattered with rain drops and the sky is a dirty grey blanket of heavy cloud. All in all I think autumn has arrived with something of a vengeance. Quite annoying in some ways although the rain is welcome if it doesn’t continue for too long – I need damp soil to be able to do the proper autumn tidy up. Good news – I have just spotted a chink of blue sky over towards the hills and of course it was rain before seven so if the old adage is right it will be fine by eleven. Here’s hoping!