© 2014 by Barbara Copperthwaite.

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Autumn thoughts

Ever-changing, ever moving, the wheel of the seasons is slowly but surely taking us further away from summer. Soon we’ll be saying goodbye to lots of birds, including Swallows. But it also brings us closer to things too, such as the winter migrants that will be arriving soon (eg Redwings). That’s what I love about nature. I don’t feel sad about the end of things, I feel excited for the coming things, although of course I do miss some of them. At the moment when I stand in the park, close my eyes and listen, that sound of the wind in the leaves is a wonderful, soft susurration. In autumn it changes to a rattle as the dry leaves shake together as if they are made of tin foil. In winter there i

A sense of belonging

Over the past few days the butterflies have been out in abundance, making the most of the glorious weekend we enjoyed. Amongst the Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells, Large Whites, etc, I have seen several Red Admirals. Big, flashy and unmissable, thanks to their black wings set off with eye-catching reddish-orange and white pattern, Red Admirals are summer migrants that travel here largely from Africa. I used to see lots, but since moving to Birmingham, I don’t see many, sadly. I’m not sure if that is because of a decrease in numbers, or that they simply aren’t abundant in this area for some reason. Having watched several flit by (in fact, one was waiting for me outside on my windowsill the mom

Stream of consciousness

I’ve started getting used to checking out a certain branch on Henbury Pond every day to see if the Common Darter is resting on it. Although I don’t always see it, it does seem to be a favourite haunt for this insect. Today it was waiting patiently for me, it’s brilliant reddish body blending in surprisingly well, so that most people do not notice it at all, even when gazing across the water. Today was good day for dragonflies, in fact. When I arrived by the little bridge over the stream, I noticed a pair of Southern Hawkers. Their blue and yellowish/lime green bodies caught the sun every now and again, seeming almost to glow. For around twenty minutes I stood then sat (well, why not rest, be

A berry good day

The elderberries hang invitingly from the trees, plump, glossy, and deep reddish purple, and wildlife is unable to resist its lure. While I watch, Blackcaps eat, while Blue Tits take refuge deeper in the bush by Henbury Pond in Highbury Park. Somewhere nearby but in the background, I can her the Parakeets but can’t see them. A Great Tit that had clearly just gone through its moult was sitting on an elder branch, too, preening busily. It looked all puffed up and fluffy, as if it were in a cartoon and had sat under a hairdryer for too long. On the pond itself, ignored by all, sat a Common Darter dragonfly. People wandered by without giving it a glance, as it perched on its favourite branch th