Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Yes, I do believe it's Spring
Yesterday evening, 5.35pm to be precise, I thought I heard it as I was walking across open fields with the Jack Rascal Terrorist, out on his final rampage of the day. Light was starting to fade. I heard it again, above the howling North wind that had frozen my cheeks and made my nose drip. As I tramped across the rough grass the sound got louder. Then it seemed to be right above me, blasting away lungfuls of uncontrolled joy. Singing for all it's tiny might. The birdsong equivalent of a Van Halen guitar riff. I gazed up and searched for it, focussing on the sound and then tracking upwind because those near gale force gusts were carrying the notes southwards. There it was, fluttering, hovering, dipping and jinking in the gale. A lone Skylark. I could hardly believe it. If there's one sure fire indicator that Spring is kicking its way through Winter's drafty door, its a Skylark. Oh joy. Now I really will gunk off the ACF 50 from both bikes. I may even remove the duvet lining from my riding trousers and dust off the leathers Oo-er :-/ Then it did its classic landing. Dipping down in short swoops, 20 feet at a time, hovering, jinking, scanning the ground for its selected site. Three more swooping dips and it was down and gone, vanished from sight, no more sound. Before too long, farmers ploughing plans permitting, there will be a nest amongst the tussocks, crudely scraped out, nothing fancy. Then, when the eggs hatch its returns to earth will be with a beak full of insects for the chicks. It will be a sneaky, tactical landing many yards away from the destination with the final part of the journey made overland, hopping through the cover of the grass so as not to give away the true location of its precious nest. "They think I'm there, but I'm really here". Sniper tactics from natures little bringer of joy.