‘To dwellers in a wood almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature. At the passing of the breeze the fir-trees sob and moan no less distinctly than they rock; the holly whistles as it battles with itself; the ash hisses amid its quiverings; the beech rustles while its flat boughs rise and fall. And winter, which modifies the note of such trees as shed their leaves, does not destroy its individuality.’
~ Thomas Hardy, Under The Greenwood Tree
I hope you are settling into the whispering rhythms of the new year.
It was my birthday last Monday, and although they seem to come around so much more quickly as I get older, and even though I was in bed with the flu, still, I like the quiet that accompanies birthdays these days. I can read, or go for a walk or cook something unfussy but delicious and there is no pressure for it to be anything more than that.
This heron was spotted from my bedroom window, I almost didn’t see him as he blends in so well with the bare branches and greyish bark of the winter trees. I like the way his white head is turned toward the sun and he seems to have his shoulders hunched like an old man. There is a pond not far below where he’s sat, and we often see herons fly over and disappear behind the hedge in search of fish.