Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Wonder Stuff

The half term hoards are descending.The weather is mild, and we even saw a glimpse of the sun this afternoon as we adventured across the towans. It was lovely to return to old stomping grounds with Olly. I have missed our daily dog walking adventures together since he has started school. I may have been given the opportunity to stop and feel the breath as it were, but there is nothing so lovely as the energising rush of a child.

We did stop long enough to watch a kestrel hovering over the cliff tops, before being harassed by a group of crows. He bobbed and weaved along the length of the towans before turning tail, and out gunning them all the way back to the safety of his home at Godrevy. It was wonderful to watch and share it with Olly. It is my hope that all of his close at hand experiences with nature will foster a love and respect for the world around him, as he grows from boy to man. My Mum and Dad instilled it in me, and I hope to pass this joy of observation and discovery to my boys too.

Does that sound a bit naff? It looks a bit naff now I've written it down on the page. I guess it's the desire to pass on the idea of bearing witness to something other than ourselves. Our lives are so often spent heads down busy getting from A to B, and maybe the joy of seeing a bumble bee push it's way inside a snapdragon or the wonder at hearing the evening herald of a blackbird can get lost in transit. 

My own eyes were opened the day that my Dad and I saw a Kingfisher. I was about nine or ten maybe, and we were walking through the woods that bordered the Malago. I expect that we were walking along chatting about this and that. I talked a lot. All of a sudden my Dad stopped and pulled me close. "Shh," he said and pointed. I strained my eyes to look. And then I caught sight of an iridescence darting down the river bank. I held my breath as the kingfisher alighted on a branch of a low lying tree, and then dived into the water returning with a fish in it's beak. It was thrilling, and I just knew that me and my dad had witnessed something magical. I have never forgotten that moment; my Dad and I crouched low with baited breath, hands held tight and completely absorbed in this little creature going about his business.

I have never seen a Kingfisher in the wild since. I may never see one again. But I will never forget the time that I did. It's that feeling of wonder I'd love to pass on to my boys. So that they have some of that magic in their memory banks. And who knows, maybe one day they will pass that on to their children. That would be very cool.

I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend. 

Leanne xx

I couldn't think of a title for this post. I stress about post titles all the time. I'm considering giving future posts random lines from pop songs. So if the post itself is boring and self indulgent, you can at least have the pleasure of guessing the song. Maybe I'll give the answer in subsequent posts......


  1. This doesn't sound naff to me at all. Sounds to me like you're teaching your children to open up their senses to experience what life is really made of. To respect and be in awe of the world around them. Sounds to me like you're doing a great job with your boys. xxx

  2. Wonderful, and not naff at all, we are exactly the same here. Yesterday we saw a crow chasing a buzzard, and sea gulls chasing a cormorant trying to steal his fish. The biggest boy is obsessed with bird watching, so I'm hoping that sticks for a long time to come. I remember seeing a kingfisher when I was little as well, at Moorend, near Downend. He was on a tree over the stream, it was magical. I loved this post, you've expressed it beautifully, it's exactly what I hope for my boys too. CJ xx

  3. Not naff at all Leanne! You are inspirational, and not just for your boys. I have no recollection of any such magical threshold moments from my childhood and feel that there is a void where such memories should be. I don't want my children to experience the same loss later in their life and make an effort to stop, observe and enjoy, although in middle of the city it is not always all that glorious. I remember Alistair and I watching a deer jump out of the school woods (our school is bordered by a random small woodland patch). It was so unexpected and surreal, we still talk about it. My own watershed moment came when I had to identify, collect and present 50 flowering plants for my one and only botany course. I have never seen a kingfisher in the wild. Have a lovely Sunday! Christina xx

  4. I love that you're sharing these experiences with your boys. I think that's one of my main regrets about living so far away from where I grew up: I can't share the things I loved as a child in a very different environment. It's fun to watch them marvel at an inch of snow here in the desert, or beg to play outside in the rain. Rain and snow were ubiquitous and kids were jaded to them where I come from. I've never seen a kingfisher. I would enjoy hearing Olly's take on it someday when he has had the chance to spot one.

  5. Lovely photos :o) L has rebelled against all things nature but I suspect he nurtures it all in his heart. It just isn't cool to admit to liking anything mum does at present ;o) I know what you mean about K Fishers- magical creatures x

  6. Lovely post, Leanne. I once saw a kingfisher, but then, not really, not the complete bird, but a flash of iridescence when I realized that what I had seen was a kingfisher, if that makes sense. It was in Tavistock, by the little canal that flows through the town's park.
    Margaret P

  7. I just wanted to add another comment (is that allowed?) as you've reminded me of Scott's last words, written to his wife from his tent just before he died. He wrote, "Make the boy interested in natural history if you can - it is better than games". His son grew up to be Sir Peter Scott, and in part he founded the World Wildlife Fund. Well done to his mum! CJ xx

  8. a kingfisher how wonderful! happy half term x

  9. This was a beautiful post, Leanne. Naff? No way. That moment with your dad proves it. A seed of respect and awe of nature were planted in that moment, and even though it probably didn't really start to grow in a significant way until you were older, it was there, waiting patiently.

    I find it interesting that with my own five children four of them are very engaged with nature, wildlife, and the outdoors. The only one of my children who has no interest and never has is the one we adopted when he was five (the other two adopted children were babies when they entered our home). I have no proof of course, but I've often thought it was because he missed all that early connection with nature.

  10. Wow! A kingfisher. That's a wonderful memory. I was excited that my parents have woodpeckers in their very urban (inside the M25 Essex) garden! They were excited we have sparrows in ours. My littlest loves being outside and seeing things from her perspective is amazing! Btw I love your scarf! xx

  11. I also want to instil a love of nature into my children, I grew up in the city dreaming of the countryside and now I live here I really appreciate it. We had a lovely time today doing nothing more challenging than walking by a local lake and crabbing, it was mizzling today but the children's excitement when they caught a crab made it a day to remember. Here's to many more lovely memories made in nature x

  12. It's not naff at all, it's very cool. It's something your kids will take for granted now but look back on and appreciate when they are bigger. xx

  13. Love it. Not naff. That's the best way to learn, through osmosis, when they learn just by being with you like that, it's lovely and it's the unexpected moment that give you that magic, like the Kingfisher moment x

  14. I can only echo all the 'not at all naff' comments. In fact totally the opposite of naff.

    I too have seen a kingfisher in the wild, just the once, just a few years ago, and like you it was such a special moment that I never forget it.

  15. Not naff, a love and respect for nature is a lovely thing and even lovelier to pass on. Your pictures are gorgeous, you are so lucky to live near the coast, I was brought up near the sea and miss it loads

    1. Hey Jill,
      Thanks for stopping by. I was born and raised in a big city, but couldn't now. We are very lucky to live here

  16. Oh, Kingfishers are stunning aren't they? I've only ever seen two - very fleetingly - but you're right, moments like that do stick in your mind.
    You don't sound naff at all. Noticing things is vital to me, particularly when outdoors. In one of her diaries, my mum laments about people walking through the park on gorgeous sunlit days and not even glancing up from their phone screens. I too find that very sad. Now this IS a slightly naff thing to say (but sod it): we should take the time to stop and smell the roses. Naff-sounding but also very wise.
    Have a good weekend.
    S x

  17. It's lovely to read how much you enjoy nature - perfect :-) Karen