© 2014 by Barbara Copperthwaite.

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Nature's stained glass

In the far corner of Highbury Park is a wonderful sight indeed: the Crocuses are out in force. When the sun shines it goes straight through their delicate lilac petals and lights them up like stained glass. They positively glow, and look absolutely stunning. Hoverflies hang, jewel-like, in the air above them, and there is a gentle buzz from within of Honey Bees furiously gathering the last of the pollen and nectar for the winter season. The flowers nestle amongst fallen leaves, which become fiery orange when the sun shines; their vibrancy seems to further underline the delicacy of the Crocuses. As I took photographs, two Jays swept right in front of me. A generally secretive kind of bird, cu

My terrible confession

The autumn changes are well and truly here now. The sunlight is softening to a more mellow yellow, the shadows lengthening even at midday. But, of course, the biggest sign is that the leaves are changing colour and starting to drop, and suddenly the world is full of sumptuous, rich oranges and reds and every shade around them, like flames. The dropping leaves also change the sound of the countryside. In summer a strong wind’s sound is deadened and absorbed by the rich, ripe leaves in the trees. Now though, even a gentle breeze now rattles the dried leaves, and their shaking noise always makes me think of theatre-goers from a bygone age shaking their fans furiously at something they have been

An aerial battle

I was a helpless spectator, rooted to the ground as I watched the battle of nerves unfold over a pond. A pair of Common Darters were, joined together, mating; they hovered over the water, flicking their tails. But they weren’t alone. A Southern Hawker was dominating the air space, constantly patrolling the area – and it wanted those darters. It chased them several times, I can only assume in order to eat them. The high speed chase was incredible to watch, and I held my breath as the darters, still joined together, desperately tried to evade their pursuer. At one point all three of them came right over to me, and there was an audible buzzy clash as they struck one another. The Common Darters