10 May 2012

A Day in the Life of a Hedgerow



The rabbit kitten has made a mistake.  It should have bolted underground at the first whiff of that rank smell.  Maybe it was dazzled by the sunlight flaring through the hawthorn stems, or perhaps it was too terrified to move.  Now the kitten lies crossways in the vixen's jaws as she lopes away up the lane.

The hedgerow looks beautiful, golden at its crest as the lowering sun gilds the May blossom, golden at the roots with shiny spear-blade petals of celandine.  But nature is inexorable.  A magpie, jaunty in its suit of black and white, cruises the hedge on the lookout for the slightest movement of a blackbird's wing or blink of a yellowhammer eye.

A lesser whitethroat sits absolutely still, in a tiny cup of grass on a clutch of eggs.  Suddenly the predator bursts out in an alarm call, and with a flicker of rounded wings is up and over the hedge. 

A man has pulled up to stare into the hedge.  For a moment he and the whitethroat are eye to eye.  But he doesn't spot her.

He picks two of the tender hawthorn leaves, folds them into a sandwich and goes on his way.

                                                                                                 written by Christopher Somerville

15 comments:

  1. A lovely glimpse into a beautiful spring/summer day!

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  2. Oh that's really lovely Elaine, not for the rabbit kitten though! I love walking the country lanes and taking in all that nature gives us. Patricia x

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  3. The cruelty of nature lurks in our beautiful, springtime hedgerows. Poor little rabbit, happy vixen, thwarted magpie and lucky whitethroat. What a wonderful writing Christopher Somerville is.

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  4. How lovely Elaine - I haven't come across Christopher Somerville before so had to look him up. I shall have to look for some of his books in the library.

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  5. How lovely Elaine - I haven't come across Christopher Somerville before so had to look him up. I shall have to look for some of his books in the library.

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  6. Rowan - his books are eminently readable even if you don't like walking.

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  7. Rosie - you have summed it up perfectly.

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  8. Me too, Patricia, although I think there is a lot we miss seeing when walking past - it would be nice to sit for a while and see what happens.

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  9. Jennyta -
    Some people have just got way with words haven't they.

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  10. Delightful, if somewhat sad! Flighty xx

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  11. Nature can be cruel and beautiful at the same time Flighty.

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  12. Now I'm feeling wistful for the English Hedgerow. Hedges just don't exist on the prairies.

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  13. Susan - They are just so plentiful and varied here - whereabouts are you?

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    Replies
    1. In Calgary. Spring has only just arrived. Really there is no Spring, we go straight from Winter to Summer or as the locals say, 12 weeks poor skiing

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    2. I would normally say it is a shame that you miss out on spring as it is a wonderful time of year - this year has been different - it has been rubbish, rainy and cold - a little summer wouldn't go amiss.

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