Sunday, 23 July 2017

Back Once More













This morning I took Honey for a walk along part of the coastal path nearest my home. The main reason was to catch a glimpse of the Barn Owl hunting in the fields that have been left to grow wild. She is nesting in one of the dilapidated outbuildings on the retired farmer's land. I saw her last week. It was miraculous. A flash of white in my peripheral vision made me stop and look to my left. And there she was. My first thought was that it was a seagull, but I instantly knew that was wrong. Up she rose from the fields rippling with tall grasses and thistles, clutching a mouse or a shrew in her talons. She glided towards the tumbledown out house, and in through a small gap. I waited with baited breath, hardly believing my luck. Of all the things to see on an otherwise humdrum day. I watched her for about half an hour hunting in the field. The way she flew, then twisted and took the dive towards her prey. It was emotional in that way that watching something so utterly natural, and yet completely beguiling is.

I didn't see her today of course, but I know that she is being monitored and watched. Protected by a band of brothers who make sure that she is safe, and that her chicks don't come to any harm. An army of like minded people armed with binoculars, and filled with the same awe of her presence. I did see a great many butterflies; red admiral, comma, meadow brown, speckled wood, gatekeeper and the painted lady above. The others were far too busy squabbling, flitting and tumbling around. But she let me get close. She let me take countless pictures, and introduce her to a family of Americans that were hiking into town. I found myself telling them all about their journey from Africa, and how their generations migrate all the way up through Spain and France crossing the channel to end up here. Another miraculous thing, don't you think? That this most elegant of butterflies possesses so much grit and determination to go forth and be.

The weather was practically perfect today. The sea was the colour of cobalt, calming and clear. The sky carried wisps of clouds, and the sun was warm. The gentlest of breezes came in off of the Atlantic, and it was a joyful couple of hours spent out on the cliffs. I had a feeling that I would be writing it down to share with you all. I've had my new computer for about a week now, but apart from setting it up, I've just not had the time to write. But now I have, and feel much better for it.

Leanne xx


15 comments:

  1. It's so good to see you again, Leanne. I enjoyed your story. I've seen two very gripping examples of nature's fury lately with animals. One was a hawk swooping down in my backyard, just feet from the chicken coop (the hens were closed in) and carrying off a smaller bird, a sparrow or finch, I think. The other was a road runner who had caught a lizard and was bashing it to death on my patio. The bashing took almost ten minutes before it was dead and the road runner gulped it down. It was really grisly. I'm glad your gull is having a more peaceful time. I hope she and her chicks stay safe from predators. Take care and again, it's nice to have you back.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Welcome back, I've missed your writing. I find owls so fascinating. We have one or sometimes two that hang out in our neighborhood for awhile. We mainly hear them at night hoot-hooting. But a couple of times we've caught crows harassing one and driving it away.
    Good luck with the new computer.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're back! I've missed your beautiful prose and my Cornwall fix. How special to discover an owl like that; I'm glad that people are keeping an eye on her. My favourite owl moment came when my girls were younger and had gone to tea at a friend's house. It was dark as I drove through the countryside to collect them and I became aware of a barn owl flying alongside me, keeping pace with the car. It was an eerie but memorable moment. I think some owls live on the island behind us, but we only hear them. Have fun with your new computer and come back soon. xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. The day has started perfectly. We too have cobalt skies this morning. Plus the pleasure of opening blogger and finding a beautiful new post from you. New computer....whoppeeeeeee. Glad you're back to fill our days with beautiful sights, intriguing observations and stunning prose. Keep at it Leanne and have a great day :). B x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Talking to butterflies is very soothing I find. I hope they loved your tales of far away lands. I so enjoyed your post and can see the barn owl diving for a shrew in my very own imagination. Beautiful. I missed you here, it is lovely to see you. I am sorry I never got in touch when we were in Cornwall, I just couldn't get my act together. I do regret this very much. xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. You've brightened my day, Leanne. Not that it needed brightening particularly but it's lovely to read a post from you. Barn owls are magnificent creatures, aren't they? It's such a privilege to witness their ethereal flight and great to know yours is being watched over. And the butterfly migration – quite incredible. Hope to see more of you here xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hooray, you're back! What stunning blue in your photos. Wonderful about the barn owl. I had a very similar experience here at the start of the summer- magical beings, aren't they? And your flutters too. Lovely painted lady. They're journey is remarkable. It was believed they all died out in autumn until technology revealed them flying so high up the naked eye couldn't see them. Good old nature. And good old you too for educating folks about them (old as in affection, not advanced age!!!). How's the running going? Tell O I found a cucumber spider in the garden today xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Their. Not they're. I despair with the auto correct on the phone sometimes! X

      Delete
  8. Waving from a dreich wet Scotland, it's always wonderful to see your sea views, they cheer me up and remind me I must make an effort to go to the beach when there's an extra hour in the day, day in the week, week in the month....... lovely to see a post from you and I hope you see the owl again soon.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So nice to see you again Leanne! Seeing wild animals is always a special thing, a privileged window into their lives. Keep writing, I missed your blogging x

    ReplyDelete
  10. How wonderful to have seen a barn owl hunting. I would have been transfixed too, especially as I've never seen one in the wild. So good to know they are being looked after. Great shot of the painted lady as well, they always make me stop and wonder. Glorious summer photos, so good to see Cornwall in all her beauty. And of course happy to see a post from you, I am glad you enjoyed the writing of it. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. So good to see you back on your blog! Beautiful photos and your knowledge of the world around us astounds me - I know so very little. Enjoy your writing, as we enjoy reading it X

    ReplyDelete
  12. Watching the owl must have been a wonderful sight. One evening the first year we moved here we were treated to such a sight in the field behind us. Sadly we have never seen it again, I hope you are more lucky! It's lovely to see images of the coast around St Ives again and read your words. Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful post Leanne, beautifully written and your photographs are stunning. So happy to see you are back I,along with many others,missed you terribly. Gillian x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wonderful post Leanne, beautifully written and your photographs are stunning. So happy to see you are back I,along with many others,missed you terribly. Gillian x

    ReplyDelete