|Early morning at the beach|
This morning, the dog walkers alerted us to the arrival of dolphins off shore at the beach. Sure enough the black fins were breaking the surface out in the bay. Too far out to be sure how many there were and, indeed, whether they were dolphins or their smaller cousins, harbour porpoises.
On balance, I think they were dolphins by the size of their fins.
We often see both coming into the bay. The surfers in their wet suits seem to attract the inquisitive porpoises but a quick appraisal seems to be enough to satisfy them and they are off to chase the fishes again. Porpoises, dolphins, even the occasional minke whale or orca, occur as visitors... just passing by, en route to some other destination.
The winter migrants are arriving every day with long skeins of geese honking across the evening skies. Birds of passage, some stay awhile to refresh themselves for the long journey south, others spend the winter around us before going back in the spring to Scandinavia and Russia but all add to the enjoyment of the change of the seasons.
|Leaf change from green to gold and scarlet|
This is the time of spectacular sunsets in the west accompanied by the more subtle pinks and grey-blues of the opposite, the zodiacal light of the eastern evening sky.
This is the season of the fungi in the woods that make their own transitory appearance before disappearing into the leaf litter of the forest floor.
On a trip to the North East, I was coming home from walking a tireless cocker spaniel, when I came across a man and a camera equipped with a giant lens. In conversation, he pointed out his quarry - a barred warbler. Another migrant on its way to East Africa, I wouldn't have known what it was and would have described it as an LBJ...a litle brown job, little guessing its amazing journey from Ukraine or Khazakstan to Kenya. A true bird of passage.
We are all birds of passage in one way or another. Everyone wants a place in the sun and some have to journey far to find it.
....A warm, soft vapor fills the air,
And distant sounds seem near,
And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight
Through the dewy atmosphere.
I hear the beat
Of their pinions fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet
They seek a southern lea.
I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,
But their forms I cannot see.
.....This is the cry
Of souls, that high
On toiling, beating pinions, fly,
Seeking a warmer clime,
From their distant flight
Through realms of light
It falls into our world of night,
With the murmuring sound of rhyme.