About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

TED Walks ... Part 11: feather, poo and whither the sexed-up red soldier beetle?

I'm aware of the extra-repetitive nature of these blogs lately. I'm not a great traveller at the best of times, at least not in the sense of covering huge distances, but in a normal year I would have gone on a few new walks and visited some interesting landscapes and historical places by now. As it is, the pandemic and, more recently, domestic duties have kept me close to home. 

I did make a journey to Nottingham at the end of last month to see family, and briefly looked into the possibility of popping into Lichfield Cathedral on the way, but the visiting hours for tourists are limited to the middle of the day, so that was a non-starter ...

... and all I came back with was a photo of my sons and my sister's dog.

There's still the meadow, though ... 

... and if nothing else, these blogs will serve me as a reminder of its seasonal changes and what a fantastic find and comfort it's been during these challenging times. 

Clear view at dusk to Avonmouth

Right now it's heading for autumn (though it was still July when these photos were taken).

Red hawthorn berries

Cuckoo pint

Blackberries and bittersweet nightshade

There's currently a whole cosmos of my favourites, daucus carota ...

... or, if you prefer, a madness of carrots ... 

.. but suddenly hardly any red soldier beetles, shagging or otherwise.

Meanwhile, while not pretending to be an expert in poo, scat or spraint, I believe a fox is marking his territory every few yards right around the path around the meadow ... 

... and the birds who are wont to flock are flocking at sundown. 

They're also moulting. I found this feather at the edge of the path and was delighted when my friend, Chris Palmer, identified it as the primary wing feather of an adult female kestrel. 

I'd like to think of it as a gift from the kestrel we often see hunting in the evenings. As if the wonder of watching her wasn't gift enough. 

Then there's the companionship of partner and dog ... 

... even if I get left behind taking photos ...

 ... and the sunsets ...

... and the skies ... 

... and sometimes the sunsets and the skies at the same time ... 

... with a few carrots thrown in for flavour. 

And sometimes it feels too apocalyptic to think of anything beyond the predicament we're in. You don't have to understand the maths completely to follow what those who do are saying, and  which, in the absence of trustworthy government, I've been following, and it seems entirely likely that we will still be feeling our way out of Covid-19 this time next year. 

In which case thank goodness for our local places. 


  1. Great post and fabulous photos. Didn't realise you blogged too.

    1. It's my scrapbook. I keep it in case a poem is telling me I need to write about somewhere I've been. x

  2. Indeed...'sometimes it feels too apocalyptic...'
    Even counting my (many) blessings is hard at times xx