'I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out 'til sundown, for going out, I found was really going in.' John Muir

I've seen the top of Everest (from a long way off), smelled the breath of a whale (from way too close) and lived on a boat in Greece (for a few years), but I continue to experience some of my most precious moments right outside my backdoor.

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Thursday, 13 June 2013


I’m like a teacher on playground duty.  The garden is full of baby birds, squabbling, fluttering, squawking and pecking – at anything that might be food.  I’m on cat and magpie alert.  I need a whistle.

Baby sparrows hurtle - head first after their parents.   Fluttering their wings like crazy they crash land in the laurel with a great rustle of leaves. 

A baby blackbird with a punk hair-do and a stubby tail squats under the garden bench, his beady black eye darting all around.  He emits high-pitched squeaks, like an electronic gadget.

The clattering noise behind my chair turns out to be a pale yellow frog, making its way along to, who knows where?  We eye each other through the trellis.  We had a fibre-glass pond about 25 years ago, for a short time, perhaps the frog remembers it?  I can hear it jumping across sacks of compost and old flowerpots.

There are baby plants in the garden too- feathery carrot seedlings, tiny velvet apples forming, clematis buds about to burst and lots and lots of nasturtium seedlings in places I didn't put them.

Birds are very vulnerable when they bathe.  So I am honoured when a blackbird bathes about three feet away from where I’m sitting.  Pearly drops of water roll off his black feathers and the yellow ring around his eye is the same yellow as the Welsh poppies growing in the gravel path.  We know each other well, this blackbird and me.  I cut up apples for him, he sings when I need it most.

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