Here he is, 'Storky White', he made a fantastic clicking-castanet sound with his beak each time he arrived back at his nest. His Mrs hadn't joined him yet and after the coldest night we'd had in the van so far at minus 3 degrees C, I can't say as I blamed her! We were parked in a designated campervan stop practically under his nest in the sleepy village of Chevannes sur l'Etang, Alsace, on our way to the Swiss border. Etangs are ponds and there are lots of them around the village with three way-marked routes to choose from. We picked one amongst watery woodlands and heard our first yellow-hammer singing 'a little bit of bread and no cheeeeeese.' Storky White was hunkered down in his nest at 6.30pm, with only a bit of his tail visible and a blackbird sang his flutey song as we munched on crusty French bread and watched the sun sink behind a stand of willows.
'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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