The nights are drawing in and it’s midway through lockdown 2. It started to get dark at 4.30 today. Our hens are tootling off to bed around 4.30 instead of the 9.30 of mid summer. I have a real sense that it’s going to be a long old winter. How are things going for you?
I’m snuggled by our wood burner and have discovered a wonderful podcast from the nature writer and novelist Melissa Harrison, The Stubborn Light of Things . I’m trying to avoid the temptation to binge listen as they are so beautiful. Throughout the first lockdown and into autumn she documented her walks from her door into the surrounding Suffolk countryside. For anyone wanting to reconnect with the natural world they are a truly wonderful listen and reminder of just how much can be explored close to home.
Something she talked about in the first episode really resonated with me. I thought I’d do a quick share. She was listening to the sound of the ChiffChaff and talking a little about the bird. Having looked up some information about it here are a few snippets. It’s the first of the summer migrants we hear singing and is very small weighing 6-8grams and 10-11cm in length. It arrives from the Mediterranean and Western Africa and so has flown thousands of miles to get here.
The thing that caught my attention wasn’t so much the information about the bird but something she said …
just the thought of these tiny little feathered creatures all wings and heartbeat, aloft, particularly over the sea and in the dark just imagine it. A freezing cold ocean beneath them absolute blackness all around and on they go, into the unknown, they just keep going. I find that incredibly moving.
I sat with this for a while and really connected with the image. Can you imagine it? A teeny, tiny bird, in the dark just flying onwards, onwards over the ocean. Nowhere to land but an innate drive to keep going. I haven’t a clue what birds feel but in my mind this is a mammoth act of courage, grit and determination. The image felt so appropriate for the months ahead.
In this upside down tumultuous time I’m going to take my inspiration from the courage of the ChiffChaff
“On they go into the unknown and they just keep going”
If you wanted to find out a little more about the chiffchaff and hear it’s song you can do so here