Ode to Autumn; ‘Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness’…John Keats.
September’s colour is orange which is very appropriate for those of us in the Northern hemisphere as the trees will soon start their yearly change of clothes before flinging them off altogether.
The blackberries are ripening in the hedgerow in Essex so last Saturday we took the grand-daughters to the nature reserve to go blackberry picking. We should have taken a walking stick to pull down the highest runners which tantalised us with the choicest berries, even so we still managed to pick about three kilos in a couple of hours. That doesn’t include the ones the girls ate!
There were lots of different plants to see; instructions on which ones to avoid – like deadly nightshade, and birds intent on eating the blackberries that we were picking. When we were nearly finished we came to a fork in the path and I started down the left-hand side but my other half, who knew the woods better then me, called me to go right. How glad I am that we did. As we examined one bush he saw a bird fluttering in a particularly dense patch and realise it was trapped! I couldn’t see it at first and when I did I was sickened to see it hanging upside-down, desperately trying to free itself from the thorns
‘I think it’s leg is broken’ he said.
I cringed as I have seen the translucent broken bones in the leg of another bird years ago and didn’t want to see it again but the bird needed rescuing and taking to the Wildlife trust centre. He pushed the tangled thorny runners aside and I reached in through the briars and put my hand around it’s frail, trembling little body. He snapped off the piece that held the bird so I was able to pull it out.
I couldn’t look as he gently pulled the plant apart to free the bird. As he did so the frantic fluttering stopped and the bird waited motionless in my hand; the quivering of it’s heart the only sign that it was still alive. I ventured a look and was relieved to see that it’s leg wasn’t broken after all.
Once it was free, the bird began to struggle again; we called the girls to come and see but only the oldest was quick enough to see the bird as I opened my hand to let it go. It disappeared in seconds and we were all glad that we had taken the right path!
So that is why my centre block is Birds in Flight
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