Friday, 26 August 2011

Mindfulness and bird watching

On bird watch duty whilst eating a stick!

One of the many sparrows that live in the rose trellis

The baby woodpecker who appeared one Sunday at the end of sitting waiting for six hours to try and get a good photo. ( inbetween reading a book in the sunshine I hasten to add!)

A young robin before his breast turns bright red.

My garden isn't very big. At the front there is a small lawn with a 7ft hedge around it then the road and then 10 acres of school grounds. Which although Trix and I believe to be part of our garden isn't really ours, well at least when the students are there, but when they're not there then....

At the back I have a small patio with three steps up to another small lawn and  that is surrounded by trees and shrubs. To the side I have a path which is separated from the lawn by a trellis which is completely covered in climbing roses, clematis, honeysuckle, jasmine and wild sweet peas. It is a bird sanctuary! And currently there are at least 20 sparrows hanging out in it.

At the end of the garden is a large purple buddlia tree, which this morning has been accommodating numerous blue tits, coal tits and amazingly two nuthatches. On the other side is a red elder flower tree and in there is a blackbird or two and a couple of robins.At the house edge of the lawn is my bird feeder and a lavender plant on either side of the steps. Below the lavender is my conservatory window. And I sit here for ages watching the comings and goings of the birds, mainly when I'm eating my breakfast.

I have only seriously been into bird watching for the last year. Although it really started the winter I was sick nearly 6 years ago and staring out of the windows in that endless winter watching who stopped by to feed off the bird table was one of the few moments of tranquility in the middle of that dark time.

I digress though, this last year it has become a grand passion. I go proper bird watching, I have the books to check out what I've seen, I have a really good pair of binoculars and off I go, whether to Anglesea or Tittesworth down the road, I'm to be found in a bird hide.

This summer is the first that I have fed the birds throughout the year. Mainly cause the parent sparrows in the trellis seemed worn to a frazzle by having to search for food for their squawking  young. I've seen birds who shouldn't be in my back garden come to feed, as in the young woodpecker in the photo, the nuthatches who are here today, they are woodland birds, the crows hanging off the bird feeder getting morsels of fat ball to feed their demanding young sitting on the top shrieking. There was the blackbird with it's two enormous offspring, far larger than it, which must have been cuckoos that the blackbird was attempting to satisfy, when they stood next to the food itself and demanded that the blackbird make the effort to pick up seeds and feed them. The jay put in an appearance one day,again another woodland bird. Admittedly I live very close to woodland, as in across the road, but it is unusual for some of these birds to make the journey over the roof top into a small suburban garden.

So what has all this got to do with mindfulness, well it's an amazing way to stay in the moment. When I am transfixed by the goings on in my garden I cannot think of anything else, as it's happening right now right here.
Which means I can keep the lid on thinking of the wonderful house and village I've discovered that I would love to live in, in Devon. The house is one minute from the sea, it is wonderful. And I can't get there.

Why? Cause I've finally got the new work I've been after, confirmed this week to start asap. I don't know how big this will be, at the moment I've got a pilot scheme involving two schools and hopefully three. Then there is the rest of the town to take on and then who knows....

This means I'm committed to here for  a while, which of course is fantastic, but seeing this place in Devon has re awoken the sleeping giant that I worked so hard to make go to sleep last year, the desire to be somewhere near the sea and not here.

Hey ho, what will be will be. What is certain is I can only live in the moment so birds working at living is so good for keeping me alive in the here and now.So that I can only do what they need, and keep topping up the feeders so that I continue to get pleasure and stay in the moment, as of course do they!


Merry ME said...

I know you like to come to America to sit on your friend's porch. From the sounds and sights of your garden, I'd like to put that on a list of places to hang out and chill out. It must be so perfectly lovely. Thanks for sharing it with us across the pond.

janis said...

ohhhhhh truly splendid!
I love these all! Especially interested in the bird seed balls... I have never seen anything like that and think it s a beautiful idea! I would love to have those & will see if we have them here in the US. We have "bell" shaped. but I dont like them & they wouldnt fit inside a feeder.
Love to you~

Beatnheart said...

Isn’t it just too bad we cannot have it all. I always
long to be somewhere else. The city life and all it
entails brings me down, but to other people it looks as if I am leading a charmed life...and too many extents i am, but I still yearn for something else. Your life sounds beautiful. The work thing is important...manybe have a 5 year plan...and visit your dream villiage whenever you can to keep that dream alive. all the best and thanks for keeping in touch with me when it seems like alot of others have not..

Mel said...

You discovered Anglesea solo is a good thing. I've no doubt you'll take advantage of that as you can. And boy am I excited about the adventure you're embarking on right where your feet ARE. Wow........congratulations! :-)

And yup--I was assimilated by the birdies who frequent our bitty garden. They all have names, dontchaknow. And they keep me grounded in today, which is a very good thing.

Angela said...

Since those ducks have "befriended" us I have also looked closer at the other birds who share our garden with us, the crows and pigeons, the sparrows and red tailed ones, the seagulls above our heads, the herons along the canal, each one with a different personality, it seems. Very fascinating and never boring, you are right! And from your description and the photos I think that you live in a very pretty place, but yes, our longing often goes to other places. Still, with your new teaching job you will be doing such an important and marvellous work that you cannot leave just now! Believe me, you are exactly the right person to get this educational revolution started! Let us know how it is going! Many gretings from your old friend in Germany!

Sorrow said...

You are such a creature of nature!
I am so glad to read that Life is keeping you busy and blessed...
Maybe not where you want to be? but where you need to be for this moment of mindfulness!

GaynorB said...

Great to have you back writing and sharing your thoughts with us.

Good news about the work, and as for the future and a possible move, things normally have a way of working themselves out but not always in the timescale favoured by us! The house markeet will pick up, and if I'm honest for every house I've loved and bought, I've generally come across another that I'd have loved equally as much.

Hang in there ....

Hope the work goes well.