Sunday, 1 May 2011
May Day - a traditional holiday in many parts of the world - I suppose to celebrate the coming of the sun again after the Winter. Here in our little town there is a large Festival of Food and Drink and a Festival of Tulips, so everywhere is very busy - a signal to locals to stay at home and keep off the roads.
After lunch we went for a walk. Earlier in the day the farmer had seen lapwings attacking a gang of marauding crows; a sure sign that there are baby lapwings about. So we walked through our fields and into our neighbour's marshy field, hoping to see some.
The field is full of sheep and young lambs. We put Tess on the lead but the mother sheep still followed her with their eyes and if she got too near they stamped their feet at her. Several pairs of lapwing circled overhead, making plaintive cries to distract us from their babies, hidden somewhere in the marsh grass. We saw not a sign - even as young as this they instinctively know to keep a low profile for survival.
A mother blackbird was feeding one large, well-fed chick, hardly distinguishable from the grown-ups apart from his fluffy feathers and his soft beak. Even he knew how to lie low as we passed. What a knife-edge life birds must live - always on the lookout for danger.
In the hedge the crab apples in full bloom and on the side of the lane the first buttercup. The trees are almost all out apart from a few tardy ashes and the whole scene is one of pastoral beauty - even if there is a cold East wind blowing.
Happy May Day to you all.