quiet rain (15/March/18)

quiet rain… makes a change… rain nonetheless though… the jackdaws are picking their spots, it’s that time of year, prime real estate for their upcoming respective nests… they’ve not left all winter, never do, they’re always there tending their rookery, or jackery, although there are rooks there too but nevertheless it’s still called a rookery whether there are or not, much no doubt to the jackdaws chagrin… and here I am talking to the air as I do most mornings….
… the woodpeckers are drumming, being that time of year of course… rooks are carrying sticks too big for them in their bid also for the best the canopy can offer in position and height and prevailing wind… I bet they can’t wait for the leaves to burst through and give them some much-needed cover, but that won’t happen for couple of months yet… these are tall trees, tall deciduous broadleaved in the truest sense trees and in no rush to, as they say put-out… all in good time, they say, all in good time… that’s the nature, literally, of things…
… gulls are gulling, always made restless by an uncertain wind… there’s also always one, two, three maybe even four or so but it’s the wind, and sea mist sometimes so far out at sea as to not be visible from shore, that brings them forth in greater number and much more voluble… gulls don’t have a song, not being songbirds, or not as we would recognise as such, instead they have a call or cry, or more fittingly am explosion of discord, a cadence which defies any mimicry we might attempt…… in other words, you have to hear to hear it… though I do make a passing raven call and even a Manx Shearwater… oh yes, you have to hear a Manxie, as they’re affectionately known, to believe it, ideally a real one, and to stand among them in the dead of a new moon night not seeing but hearing their desperate, almost blood-curdling cries as they come to shore after having been at sea no doubt for days sometimes weeks on end with a gullet full of food for their single chick and some for their partner who has patiently waited all this time for their return and after which they swap, and the other then heads out into the great pelagic for days and maybe weeks before themselves returning which another bounty of fish… underground and overhead the earth and air come alive…
… around my head they’d fly unseen because of the darkness which is their strategy to avoid predators to flop hopelessly to earth as close as possible to their burrows (yes, they nest in burrows) and waddle uncomfortably, as they aren’t really designed for walking, to their still huddled other-half and offspring underground guided by his or her hopefully-recognised welcoming call of their partner… they also share nesting duties equally… not surprisingly they all sound the same to me so how they manage I do not know among the cacophony of hundreds of them doing it hours on end in the deepest dark…… suddenly finding myself surrounded by the woes of the dead in manic surround-sound…
… yes, it’s that time of the year…

© 2018 robert greig