In the morning I noticed a bold-as-brass robin that didn’t flinch until I walked within a few feet of him. He was still as a stone hoping I would pass him unnoticed. As he turned to the side, I saw his flash of orange.
Later that morning I saw two flocks of Canada geese in ‘V’ formation fly past, around sixty geese in total. I suppose that the geese gain aerodynamic efficiency by flying in a close ‘V’ formation and that each formation gains further efficiencies by flying with an ‘ally’ flock.
In the evening, I joined friends at the Dark in the Park running event held at Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd. It was part of Rhondda Cynon Taff Council’s ‘Couch to 5k’ initiative… good to see the local public parks being used for such healthy activities. Around 150 people joined in the event, running as groups from 6pm, three laps of the Park, around 4k in distance.
At the Park I noticed the light quality, the contrast between artificial and the little natural moon light. Many runners wore LED lights on head-straps. From the distance, as they jogged around the park as a group, they looked like miners with headlamps on their way to the mine.
The temperature was cold, near freezing with an Ice Warning from the Met Office for much of Wales from 10pm that evening. I could see my breath steaming in front me as I exhaled on the run.
The River Taff gurgled by our side for part of the way through the Park.
In the morning, I noticed a small ‘V’ formation of Canada Geese flying near Trecynon, perhaps from the nearby Aberdare Park, to a destination unknown.
In the late afternoon, I noticed a flock (or is it flight?) of racing pigeons above. I’ve grown up in an area of the South Wales Valleys where there are still many racing pigeon enthusiasts. It’s a sight I’ve been familiar with since childhood, racing pigeons exercising in the skies above me.
A harder frost this morning, solidifying the mud underfoot. When I went for a walk with the woofers around mid day, I could hear the crunch underfoot. Pretty frost patterns on blades of grass.
I stepped slowly and mindfully across the playing field grass tuning in to the crunching sound underfoot. High in the nearby trees there was the background music of the birds singing.
Colour contrasts today… noticing the darkness and lightness of fresh new growth and buds.
In the afternoon, I spotted a male blackbird near one of my pyracantha plants in the garden. I saw him peck and remove a berry. Berry and beak fused in the distance. They were both the same orange-yellow colour.
A little later in the early evening whilst I was typing a letter, I heard the familiar call of the Canada Goose. I imagined them flying overhead in ‘V’ formation like a squadron, heading for the park I’d visited earlier in the day.
I am reminded of Mary Oliver‘s (1986) poem ‘Wild Geese’, here’s a few lines …
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.