Porthleven Beach. West Cornwall. 12 March 2022

Gone. #176

 Up before the 'treads and the deads', to empty beaches and sea washed stone. A different time; one of peace and serenity before the weekend hordes gather. A time to breathe and gain hope.

 Pristine sand after freshly cleansing wind and rain. The now regular dawn chorus augmented by a lone 'mewing' Common Gull and far off Jackdaw squabbling over moribund flotsam.

 Breaking the blue with undulating movement, a pod of dolphins move within the distant breakers far out to sea. A scan of long distance glass picks out the all too brief frivolity; as the yearning finally passes and the horizon rests...

Lundy Cove. North Cornwall. 27 February 2022

Fate. #175

 Iridescent amongst glistening quarts and splintered shale; a colony of Rock Dove blend into overhanging sea arch walls. Safely cosseted from aerial predators high above its protective dome.

 A stretching raft of bobbing Herring Gull sit out beyond deep forming breakers. A second year club of post juvenile birds, bonded together by hierarchical outcast necessity.

 Uncovered pools of rockling and blenny hide between loose footfall and careless shadow. Passing Oystercatcher indignantly call on the wing; retreating as slack water turns, and almost imperceptibly undertakes its advance.

 The rising incoming tide rushes into narrow inlets as fronds of kelp and eelgrass finally dance. Long-waiting silver assassins slowly move into the available shallows; as eventually both depth and opportunity merge...

Goonhilly Earth Station. The Lizard Peninsula. Cornwall. 04 February 2022

Shadow. #174

 Creeping daylight over an 'empty' landscape. Weak sunlight answered by weaker calls as earnest Meadow Pipit take to the wing to forage. Another arduous day of strife to endure and survive. Perpetual winter toil until the warming dappled days of spring return.

 Heavily saturated ground; laden with endless rain, releasing peaty water to careless passing tread. A hunkering Common Snipe bolts arrow-like from cover; hugging the sodden contours of heathland bog to avoid taloned predators. A desperate flight from safety until far from prying eyes.

 Dominating the landscape, the artificial structure of grey steel plate and twisted cable dwarfs the vista below. Within its protection a gargantuan Ravens nest is laboriously reworked. The surrounding air resounds with brooding malevolence; as the ever watchful pair 'cronk' from their lofty belted fortress...

The Lizard Peninsula. Cornwall.19 January 2022

Lure. #173

 Casting a spoon into thunderous water; propelled by tackle without badges and kudos, but with strength of long service and knowledge of worth. Constantly retrieving the battered placebo through relentless surf. An extension of self; an unknown longing, a seeking grasp into unobtainable depths.

 Time and time again: a ritual repeated. An addiction observed only by Herring Gulls attacking baitfish, too far off in the distant blue. Relentless; incessant squabbling and empty headed chasing, fighting for a prize half imagined and a source long devoured. So reminiscent of our time; so telling of our age.

 Labrax fought into running shallows and beached by dying wavelets. Glistening in fading sunlight; beaten but unbowed, this predator defiant as to its fate. The wondrous unburdened glimpse of the wild; a fleeting tactile touch into another world. Transposing contact: but all too brief, before releasing back into the ever beckoning sea...

The lizard Peninsula. Cornwall. 12 January 2022

Lucent. #172

 Late evening welcoming sun. Cutting though far off sea fret; releasing spirits and sound, as a crescendo of Linnet song rolls down ragged slopes.

 Tumbling through time and space, acrobatic Chough mesmerise the senses. Darting between cliff edge and expansive void. Playful toys 'squeaking' as to delight.

 Holding the horizon as brilliant shafts of illumination; processional Gannet follow the fading light. Far out from land, they briefly flicker and then inevitably dull from view.

 Ebbing waves beckon like a temptress. An unyielding hypnotic siren; evoking a long lost past, yet promising a future soon to arrive...

King's Sedgemoor Drain. Somerset Levels. 30 December 2021

Fading. #171

 Fleeting glimpses of still bright male Reed Bunting. Earnestly moving between clearings into the depths of wafting phragmites.

 Quartering over the shimmering carpet, a female Marsh Harrier drifts quietly on the wing. Dropping like a stone into the interior for prey unseen and success unknown.

 Half-hearted burst of Cetti's Warbler; its territorial call still penetrating the slowly enveloping mizzle. Ever expanding success story.

 A burst of synchronicity; speed and awe, erupts through the skyline as countless Golden Plover power overhead. Banking as one to the distant horizon: all too soon to be nothing more than a passing forlorn hope...

RSPB Greylake. Somerset Levels. 21 December 2021

Solstice. #170

 Light morph Buzzard; almost leucistic, sitting on a fencepost. Misidentified by stringers as passage Osprey. Still surviving; still surveying the same loose territory.

 Countless overhead Lapwing whirling and plummeting to rest on sodden rough pasture. Up as one with every passing aerial threat, real or imagined.

 Crouching Teal in their hundreds hug the ponds and rush-lined banks. Mass panic as a lone Peregrine Falcon scatters them far and wide. Safety in numbers; except for one.

 Swirling water and glistening fur marks an otter disturbed. Scattering roach signal its approach in the crisscrossing rhynes. A dank, dark mystery hiding the truth in icy cold water...

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