One of my greatest pleasures this springtime has been watching the birds on the peanut feeder which hangs from the washing line outside the kitchen window. I've blogged about this before and included several blurry photos of rarer visitors such as the nuthatch and the woodpecker. The one above was taken on the 20th May. But when I returned from my trip to Ireland at the beginning of June, these birds seemed to have disappeared and now there are just a few blue tits.
I was a bit fed up about this and had various theories, blaming husband who hadn't refilled the feeder when we were away or poorer quality peanuts. Or a particularly vicious magpie.. I googled it too and apparently it's common for birds to visit feeders less often in June. Something to do with them moulting or needing to find food with a higher moisture content for chicks or the availability of other sources of food - the slugs are rampant this year.
Whatever - they have gone. And this has added to my general feeling of melancholy at present. Looking back I can see this is obvious from my last few blog posts. I think my readers may be getting fed up with my rather self-indulgent and nostalgic blog posts too as, after a spate of increased activity, comments are drying up again. They too have flown away.
In Northern Ireland as children we'd go the lough to watch the swans. In Ballyronan, even before the marina was built, we'd go to The Quay, a dilapidated landing point on the lough, to watch the swans. I still do, though am wary of them remembering tales my granda told about how they can break an arm with their wings. I cringe when I see children feed the swans up close these days at the marina, preferring to view them from a safe distance.
|Swans in Ballyronan. Photo by Kate.|
The Wild Swans at Coole
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
Update This morning as I was writing, I glanced out of the window and the woodpecker was back. Very symbolic!!! Need to get over myself: the longest day may have passed but it's still summer.