Back-roads and Birdsong

‘When you go to say “hello” to nature, put every redundant sound away, for nature is music, and that alone should suffice.’

Michael Bassey Johnson, Song of a Nature Lover

This month is generally associated with spring showers. Not this year, it seems. Our four rain barrels that were full to overflowing a couple of months ago, are now only half full and are emptying rapidly.

Our vegetable patches – yet to be planted up – are mini-deserts. On the plus side, this keeps our sparrow population happy as they use the open ground all day long for their dust baths. Flopping onto their bellies and flapping their wings, they disappear in a cloud of dust before jetting off, leaving behind them numerous chuckholes like tiny bomb craters.

Although dry, the days have been sunny and warm. Ideal weather for cycling.

Yesterday, I took to the open road once again, peddling along North Lincolnshire’s deserted rural back-roads with the sun streaming down.

The mid-day sun cast dappled shade onto the road as I cycled east from the A1077 at Thornton Curtis along a narrow lane flanked by trees and hedgerows. I had the road to myself. Free from intrusive traffic noise and the busy-ness of civilisation, I could hear clearly the swishing of my tyres on the tarmac.

This wasn’t the only sound in that tranquil lane. The air around me resonated with birdsong. I stopped. Rested my bike against a fence and stood awhile, my eyes closed, attentive to nature’s music.

Prominent among the numerous calls and songs was the cheery trilling of chaffinches.

As though in competition, a Dunnock in the hedgerow opposite added its own voice.

As always, wood pigeons in the nearby trees supplied their asthmatic backing harmony.

As I stood there bathed in birdsong, the lunacy of the world I’d left behind paled into insignificance, seeming trivial and ridiculous.

Connecting with nature uplifted my spirit and cleansed my soul. The birds’ songs thrilled me and filled me with optimism for the coming weeks and months.

They reminded me that when I ‘say “hello” to nature‘, nature responds. It reminds me that I’m far more than simply a traveler passing through the domain of the island’s native wildlife. I share it. I am as integral to their universe, as they are to mine. We are as one. And that really is all that matters.

I began this brief post with a quotation. I’ll end it with another:

‘April is a promise of what’s to come.’

Gladys Taber

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