The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins

To Christ our Lord

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

Plant of the Week: Bramble

Brambles are one of those apparently everyday plants, such as dandelions, which have specalists all to themselves as they are such a varied and complicated family. Confusingly a bramble specialist is known as a Batologist.  I am sure there is a good reason why.  I am now going to have to look up what bat specialists are called I suppose.  It really is endless.

Creekside, Tuesday 1 June 20

The Glorious First of June.

Arrived in a drizzle of rain which steadily grew into a shower.  The Creek is rather beautiful in the rain, the plants are drenched and the green is intensified.  There was a lot of birdsong and so many flowers.  Snails were doing their slow thing, clustered together on stalks.  Perhaps they were mating?

The date made me realise that the summer solstice is nearly here and then the earth starts turning away from the sun again towards winter.  It seems as if we have hardly emerged from last winter.  I have been coming to Creekside for almost half a year. Doing something like this really does make you think about time passing and the nature of time itself.  How mysterious it is.  I have been reading up about medieval books of hours.  Time was measured in a very different way then, very much attuned to the seasons.  I think it must have moved more slowly too or perhaps we are now moving more rapidly through time.

On arrival at the Creek I was in a terrible state, winding myself up about all that is inconsequential as usual.  I managed to work myself into an even more gloomy frame of mind thinking about winter waiting around the corner again etc. etc.  However, I realised as I was walking away that being at Creekside and just pottering around in the rain had completely lifted my black mood.