Monday, 31 December 2012

The last post

Jaques (Act IV scene i):
[…] but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humourous sadness.

William Shakespeare
As You Like It

So it ends, this year, and with it my list. My blog perhaps too, though I’m not yet sure. We have seen together 1,240 vertebrate species; an unremarkable achievement, yet each bird, each mouse, each tree, each smile has itself been remarkable. For this is life, this puff of feathers where a sparrowhawk has slain, this fading footmark where a tiger trod, this winter light in an alder’s bough, this full glass with firm friends, this lone soul.

I don’t know what is to become of this blog. I kept my word, I watched, I wrote, I felt, but a marsh tit is a fickle thing, fleet, flighty, flown. I have other quests ahead, some of which perhaps may find their way here. For now I am deeply, humbly grateful for this quest past. I am grateful for the indri's wail in the far forests of Madagascar; I am grateful for the loud, bright parrots and the sweat of Amazon Peru; I am grateful for the stench of fox at the top of a Norfolk marsh; I am grateful for the kind white smiles which have met me the world over; I am grateful to you, for reading, for sharing, for meaning much. I am grateful for me too, and this, this is new.

Whatever is to become of this blog, wherever this marsh tit flies, I wish you joy of 2013. I wish you wide horizons and warm, welcoming homes. I wish you wild wings and roadside weeds. I wish you words not understood in faraway languages and looks entirely understood without language. I wish the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. I wish you wildlife and a wild life.

To be healed by skies and fens and flowers and the knowledge of these things, how wonderful.

Ronald Blythe
A Year at Bottengoms Farm



  1. Congratulations on a fantastic wildlife watching year.

  2. I have LOVED reading this blog these last few months (when I found it) Congratulations on all you've seen and for sharing it so well. Best of luck for what sounds like another wild year ahead.


  3. We need blogs like yours - to remind us all of the importance of wildlife in our lives and to take time to observe it.