Showing posts from October, 2021


                           this life whole under my hands T found a raven’s nest upended on the track under tall trees – a marvellous springy cradle of interlocking eucalypt and coprosma twigs. Newly or perhaps partly completed and certainly unused, with just a couple of grey underfeathers caught in the clean fine grass of its lining, it must have blown from a fork in the canopy during one of the storms we’ve had. I think of the life that begins in a nest such as this, up in the whipping sway. The ravens are furiously watchful just now, flying sorties high and fast to get above – and so gain tactical advantage over – the eagles whose hunting territory this is, and who pass over the ravens’ nest sites. Drawn-out aoouuourrr aarruuooor  alarm calls sound throughout the days. The eagles respond by beating away out of range with something close to haste, occasionally turning talons-upward to warn off pairs of dive-bombing birds. I’ve never seen an eagle hunt a raven or go near a nest but th


I lokid thereupon with eye of my understondyng and thowte, What may this be?                                            Julian of Norwich. The Shewings, 1: 149–50 Promptly, at the start of the month the swallows arrive and begin to fly in and out of the sheds, checking old nest sites and looking for new ones. We have one warm day and I prepare for the turn to fire-vigilance, though I know we still have a time of grace because the ground is so wet. A prickle of green appears on some of the hawthorns. Then for weeks it rains and rains; squalls pass over on the hour and in between the sun shines briefly, hot. The ground is sodden underfoot in a miraculous reversal of recent years when fires were already well under way at this time. They’ll be back, but any reprieve is welcome. The wind blows bitterly cold off heavy snow on the peaks across the river and newborn animals that have been tipped headfirst into it hop about, bellies full of the fire of their mothers’ milk. I’m making sauerkraut