Night the Second

“Night, her sable dome scattered with diamonds”

I arose from my Couch of Death just before seven. A good nights’ sleep. The oystercatchers were as noisy as usual come chucking out time but there was little else to trouble my fleeing consciousness. 

There was a hungry wind as dawn broke, but by the time I escaped my mundane shell of a tent the wind had subsided and a pleasant hour was spent mooching about. A common spotted orchid, which was close to an access track had its flower head removed by rabbits I presume. It was close to an active burrow which is currently a stranger to the noise of slaughter. Hopefully we can remedy that this next winter. 

I checked a couple of nest boxes. The occupants long gone. I couldn’t tell what kind of female bird had once reared her brood here. Time has taken her away and hid her from my sight. I’ll keep a closer eye next spring.

Odd place to build a nest.

A few yards away I heard a soft ‘suuueet’ repeated at intervals. A flitting bird in an alder settled for a moment and revealed itself as a willow warbler. It was carrying insects to feed to its nearby brood. I couldn’t see the nest and left what was now two birds, busied in their families. I left the wood and stood looking up towards Fremington Edge, where no doubt in times long past, strong winged eagles would have held territory. Only a couple of jackdaw were seen. Suddenly my phone awoke and I realised I was back in coverage. Now here I could bemoan modern technology etc, but I choose to use it. There were emails to do with today’s big ‘kick-off’ meeting. They’d been travelling in silent majesty along their ordered ways to me and all arrived in a cacophony of buzzes and pings. A good job I read them, a couple of things still to clear up. I walked on.

Our ancient crab apple has small fruits on, I’ll try and remember to taste them when they’re ‘ripe’. No doubt my face will try and turn itself inside out, but it has to be done. Further on I notice another couple of common spotted orchids. Not seen them here before. They do have a habit of popping up in unexpected places…thankfully. 

Common Spotted Orchid

I return to the tent and with direful hunger craving had some breakfast, before wife and I set off to meet our partners for the last time before work starts on our big renaturing scheme on our bit of Fremington Edge, which I’ll tell you all about in the next blog (which will be a Blake free piece).

Martin WW

ps…If anyone is a tad confused by some of the language contained within this blog entry, I’ve slipped in quite a few references from ‘Night the Second’ by William Blake. As it was the second night we’d spent in a tent on The Cluster it seemed rather apt…if a tad silly, but enjoyable to write (sat here in the sun on The Cluster). I promise it won’t happen again…well not in the near future anyway. The italicised quote is not Blake btw.

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