Saturday, 25 August 2012

Seven swans

Cley today was many-coloured. Sheets of reed in bruise-red flower, spattered at their edges with perennial sow-thistle gold and the burnt-toast seeds of alexanders. Greys were in the backs of the great loaf of gulls on Simmonds': hundreds of black-heads and lesser black-backs, and among them one common, one herring and one flat grey yellow-legged. A moodier grey, like the smudge of an artist's finger in a pencil sketch, was in the seven young swans at the scrape's edge. On Arnold's were six spoonbills, white, and round the black feet of a cow in the Eye a wagtail, yellow, but Sufjan wrote no song of them.

I saw a sign in the sky:
Seven swans, seven swans, seven swans.
I heard a voice in my mind:
I will try, I will try, I will try.

Sufjan Stevens
Seven Swans

Dogs love me; and I love them. I grew up with them and I readily trust their easy big-hearted straightforwardness. What went wrong today then? On the West Bank, with sea aster flowering mildly mauve about us, I met two lovely golden retriever crosses. Golden retriever crosses, as placid and accepting as they come. But one of them took against me, snarling, barking. Her owner apologised, making it worse: I'm sorry, she normally likes everyone. Beneath was the silent subtext: What's wrong with you that my dog can see? 

She normally likes everyone.

Act I, scene i
But I that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amourous looking glass,
I that am rudely stamped and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph,
I that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them [...]

William Shakespeare
Richard III

New on Simmonds' today


yellow-legged gull
Larus michahellis

2012 Totals
Mammals: 82
Birds: 849
Reptiles: 20
Amphibians: 7
Fish: 9

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