This week I took a different route through the urban green oasis and it was much later in the day after three blocks of geography instead of just two like on a week B. This did not mean I was to be spending less time on my patch before heading off though, as my school work was up to date and I aim to prioritise this time of the week.
Behind me, the holly bush rattled as though someone was climbing over. I frantically turned but realised it was no sign of danger. At first I thought it could be a blackbird but then a fluffy grey shape appeared, it was a squirrel. I couldn’t observe it for too long though as the sun light from behind it blinded me. However as I turned round the ground before me presented its silhouette. It was no doubt the same one I watched stumble up the path to the left of me about five minutes ago, before disappearing under the brambles.
The suns rays were on and off, every few minutes they would appear from behind and warm by back before a gust of wind prickled the side of my face. A positive about spending time here later then last week was that the racket of the nearby traffic and school children was minimal. Instead, a part from the occasional door slam from the car park behind me, I was able to absorb the natural sounds much more significantly. Trying to put into words the landscape before me feels somewhat impossible, there is so much going on and when I sit here trying to absorb every bit I really do notice and appreciate all that I wouldn’t necessarily if I were to simply walk through.
A dog walker went by and as he did so, I put my notebook and pen away, paranoid of what he might think of me sitting here writing. As he walked past me and out of sight I monitored his actions, wondering what he might be thinking. With two large dogs I imagine his priority was on them but what about his presence at this moment in this haven. The old oak tree branches which hung above him, the dancing of the long-tail tits around the path he walks along, the distant crow making its presence or maybe it was all of those things which brought him here and for time to connect.
Once back to my own mind and thoughts, I heard some very sharp whistles but I was not sure what direction they were coming from. Then, there above me I spot a conker sized bird, of which I have not seen one of this year. We made eye contact before it turned and continued to hop between the twigs. As it did so I took in its striking symbol of the gold dash upon its head.
The appearance of the sun became less frequent and due to this my fingers and cheeks became numb. The sounds and sights urged me to stay just a little while longer but my shivering hands were telling me otherwise, so I met half way and decided to stay for another ten minutes or so.
Unlike last week I could not hear a woodpecker drumming or see a treecreeper but each visit brings me a new surprise. I longed to take in every aspect and gazed high above to the clouds, some fabulous cirrus and stratocumulus clouds swiftly panned across the frame of sky I could see through the woodland canopy.