The man who showed me the parrots ... told me that they are not recently escaped cage birds - he has seen and heard them for years in this part of the heath... I wonder where they go in the winter?
Near to the viaduct I heard a bird singing loudly and long. Then I saw it, a blackbird at the top of a thorn tree. It called loudly and then waited about a second and the another replied from a tree nearby. Then the first one repeated its call - and so on... They continued this for minutes - and then the first flew away and the other stopped - after a call or two.
Hm... The chronicle of the birds... why am I writing it?
I wrote that sitting on a seat in memory of 'Meta Datinger, artist'. I decide to sit here longer to see what happens in this wooded spot and in my thoughts.
The wind is rising and gusty. The tops of beech and oak trees sway - but here the wind is much less. Gray clouds move quickly beneath white ones that move slowly and I can see patches of blue beyond them. Leaves and catkins are blown off the higher branches. Everything is in motion - including many tiny insects that keep appearing on my clothes and crawling about until I brush them off... And now it is suddenly still and I hear bird calls instead of wind noise.
I'm looking now at an indescribable complexity of oak leaves and branches entangled in dead brambles and new ones. It is difficult to even look at this sight - I suppose because it does not fit any pre-conceived or easily imagined shape or pattern. I often wonder how those who are good at drawing perceive and draw the foliage of trees without 'drawing every leaf' and yet without resorting to simplified cliches or repetitive scribbles?
I've sat here now in this glade - out of the wind on this cold summer day - for about an hour. Close to me a bird is making little sounds - is it a wren?... Everything is growing, changing, responding to inherited patterns that interact in ways that are not obvious but are unstoppable - life, as we call it... the tremendous process of nature and of earth, and cosmos... surely a single process that is separated into parts in our thoughts and in our words... Meta Dachinger who were you... and who am I... and who is any one... or leaf, or tree, or cloud... or natural intelligence?
On the way back I walked over carpets of hawthorn blossom blown down by the winds - at first sight it resembled hailstones or even snow. Then, in a valley, I saw a man and a woman throwing a boomerang. It really did circle back quite close to the person throwing. I wondered how so sophisticated an aerodynamic design could be achieved without the mathematical simulations and wind tunnels that support the designing of aeroplanes?... Yet more evidence, it seems to me, of intelligence, equal to that of modern people, in ancient times but in different circumstances. Nature and afternature as one?
On the hill I met someone who I know studies birds. He told me that the green parrots are actually parakeets, originally from India, that they have long inhabited the South of England and that this is the furthest north that they have been seen. He did not know how they survive here in winter but suggested that they may have come from the Indian mountains.
digital diary archive© 2003 john chris jones
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