Category Archives: wildlife

Contentment Amid Chaos – Walk Along School Lane. Journal entry/differently abled article.

Today, 20th October 2021.

 

My fear and insecurity has been attacked by a severe bout of fear of missing out, forcing me into action. Last night I managed an hour at my local Pump House open mic night and still managed to attend this morning’s dentist appointment.

Another tooth must be removed but I’m out two days in a row. Celebrate the small things.

Not wanting to return back to my tower block flat and with the sun sitting low in my windscreen, I drive to the end of Falcon Road. My god it is a beautiful day today. It’s a moderate temperature, the sky is cloudy, there is an intermittent gusty wind and bright bursts of orange light greet me as I drive towards the location.

This Bridleway/public footpath has been here for hundreds of years, at least. When they built the M1 out of London the new road cut straight across the old. This tunnel is big enough for two way traffic and has side pavements. However, it is closed off with no access for cars leading to or from it.

Parking near the entrance I can access the wood on the other side without walking too far along hard (bad for my condition) pavements. Perfect.

The sound is amazing as I go under the motorway, away from the housing estate, I feel a sense of leaving something behind. As I tentatively walk up the muddy pathway which is surrounded with trees clinging on to it’s sides, two cyclists come hurtling down towards me.

Grinning with delight, mud splashed men with red faces and sparkling bright eyes pass me after I move out of the way and continue freewheeling. Standing in the softness of layered pulped leaves I watch them flying down the hill and into the tunnel until out of view.

Further up, I catch the sound of someone behind and turn to see a man running towards me. I move to the side allowing him to pass. He looks happy in earphones. I continue to the brow of a hill around a sweeping bend. There is gate where I rest and look out across the field before me to the motorway. Through the trees I can see the trucks, vans, and cars speeding along. It’s a work day.

Then I find myself crying. Soft, hot tears.

I cry because I’m happy to be outside, by myself, in the forest and have overcome. I thought, at one time, a few years back that I’d not leave my wheelchair again. Now, alone in the woods on a beautiful day, I’m walking, with a stick, gently along a leaf strewn pathway. Quite the lady.

Is it better to have lived and lost or lost having not lived at all? I don’t know who said that but it sure is an interesting question. My envy at cyclists and runners, which became anger for a time, gives way to my own wonderful memories of running and cycling. I smile through my tears.

As I cried it started raining. Composing myself I walk again. Movement in the forest opposite catches my attention, and I stand watching a gorgeous bird busying itself just metres ahead. The Jay with a brown hood, black and white wings with a touch of azure blue on them darted about. It’s large beak was full and it stared back at me through the thicket before moving out of sight when a man and dog appeared beside me.

“Good morning” He said, walking by.

It was at least 12.45 but I still replied,

“Good morning”, and smiled. It doesn’t matter, does it, what the time it is?

The rain was leaking through the tree’s canopy as I walked back along the footpath. The man and dog are soon out of sight and replaced with another. The first man had been accompanied by a white terrier but this gent has a brown cocker spaniel. The cocker, intrigued with some grass on the verge, is making his owner hang around like a suspicious youth outside a shop corner. I do like dogs and miss mine terribly. The man and I smile at each other as I pass. And, for some reason, I also smile at the dog.

As I walk back through the underpass loud barks attack my ears, amplified by the tunnel. One woman being dragged a large dog and another being pulled by a small collection of dogs were barely controlling their charges. The dogs, barking at each other, led their owners past me. The women laughed, I laughed.

I feel so happy I could burst.

Sighing heavily, I get back into the car and feeling very pleased with myself go home. I managed to capture a photo of one of the oaks which line the pathway; large and gnarly, it’s majestic. I’m using it to accompany this entry.

Lessons for the day?..Do not let fear win, and it doesn’t matter what time it is when you have nothing to do.

My aim, over the next year, will be to walk to ‘The Old Fox’ – a public house along School Lane, I fear it may be shut but if not, I’d have earned a drink!

An interesting fact about this route…if they were to open it as a road it would cut the journey time down by twenty minutes.

Journey using ancient bridleway 3 mins.

image shows map with route shown to school lane from garston in Watford under the M1
Falcon Way to School Lane Bridleway.

Journey using government suggested roads which don’t go through gentry’s property 17-24 mins.

Thanks for reading!

 

Mosquito Plea – poem

Mosquito Plea – poem

Oh, mossie bite on my left knee,

Would you please resist itching me?

A world of pain I did land when,

I lost the battle with my hand.

The challenge exquisite.

My skin I need to quit.

End.

By Samantha “unextraordinarybint” Harris

The 2525 Pilgrimage

Inspired by a Zega & Evans song, released in the 1960s, called ‘In the Year 2525’.

The 2525 Pilgrimage by Samantha “unextraordinarybint” Harris

Centuries since Corona Virus Alpha hit Earth devastating our population, I sit here using a rusty blade, scraping marks in hope that I won’t be discovered by our monitors. We use this ancient fridge for storing clothing; working well for keeping moths out, my up-bringers and I sharing it. Now, it will bare these words for history.

At school, we’re told our ancestors used the fridges to keep carcasses fresh. It was a time when humans battled with each other, spoiling the planet with poisonous weapons. A time when people murdered Earth’s other inhabitants; selfishly eating animals, using them as a source of protein, they’d manufacture products from their carcases and enjoyed wearing animal skins, even using bones for medicinal broths and industrial glues.

I’ve never known a cold fridge. The harnessing of electrical power was outlawed for humans in 2050. For our safety, AI automatic droids maintain our planet’s electrical grids. Distribution and supply is strictly rationed to Necessary For Life organisations and not squandered by people.

I’m told my ‘need to create’ is an escalation of my illness, so I must be cautious. I’m a committed New Beginning Believer but the evilness of bad mental health remains. Managing to physically scrape one word a day has taken discipline. My addiction craves more, risking raising my heart rate to a detectable level.

Weeks after the Corona Virus Zeta variant attacked the planet in June 2030 a cohort study showed how vulnerable humans became when out of their homes. As a major medical discovery it saved billions of lives but had not been welcomed by all. Deadly violent protests spread across the world faster than the virus, destroying cities and towns, cutting utilities and leaving land scorched with fire.

It is history now, how it was necessary for AI to oversee human health for The Common Good and the protection of our species and our solar system. Our homes, for our safety, had to become human cages.

Robots now distribute our care, limiting human error. Armoured vehicles travel streets delivering water tablets and nutrition, monitoring our vital signs so we rarely starve if we are viable. Thankful, we watch through holes we’ve piped into the hives on our windows.

Foxes, snakes, sheep, wolves and deer roam outside our homes on cracked tarmac. The grass verges, left to grow naturally, encouraging wildlife, are now host to the genetic insects released to combat stray humans carrying disease. Building nests and hives around us they are able to monitor movements keeping AI informed of our well being.

State television transmits a basic program service with special entertainment on Saturday nights. Generally television informs us of how the latest health programme progresses, which locations are expecting the Build Back Better vaccination robots and the daily birth rate over death rate graph.

International Communications are impossible for most since the satellites were, for our safety, reconfigured using the same space drones that humans had invented for mining exploration. Anti vaccination terrorists had to be stopped from using the networks to organise resistance and had been blocking The New Beginning Faith broadcasts.

Automatic trucks collect human waste weekly from each street moving it to a collection point where it’s transported by crane into giant airships run on biofuel. These craft transport the sweet smelling load to the ocean where it is released for the marine life to feed upon. Diet, controlled by AI, allows us to now produce nutrient rich waste which is useful until our deaths.

Few natural humans, other than royalty, can safely move around outside. We don’t have the genetic makeup. Crane drivers have outside protective freedoms. Having a skill AI can’t master, they bare witness to how the Build Back Better system is working. I’m assigned a crane operator as my lover. I pray we’ll be fruitful.

Gratefully, I’m able to leave home once in a lifetime. I’ve been researching my Life Pathway Journey on the battery run Ethernet computer. It will be so exciting to see The London Eye. One has to be patient as the current female pilgrimage age is the first month after one’s fifty-fifth birthday.

I pray I will still be considered worthy.

The End.

Where We Go – poem

When eyes close

Where do we go?

Body lies in place

Slack goes the face

Peace is known

Meditate

In the open hours

Remember

Odour of flowers

The smell of the ocean

Or the deep forest green

I visualize, fantasize

Resting back on a tree

Branches bow and creek

Listening to the wind speak

End

By Samantha unextraordinarybint Harris

Little Bubbles of Happiness – Poem

Little bubbles sitting on the ground

Little blankets with children running around

Taking kids out in the sun

Watch them run, enjoy the fun

Adults crawl upon the ground

Little girls jump up and down

Mum’s sunning themselves, straps down

Trying to make themselves brown

Seagulls flying above them free

Nightingales sing in the trees

Bikes lie sidewards on the grass

Dad’s pulling up jeans to cover their arse

Children, laughter, screaming, the squealing

Playing in the park

An owl sounds out in the distance

The hoot so familiar

I know that you are near here

Happiness and harmony resides

Little bubbles sitting on the ground

In little bubbles, happiness is found.

The end.

 

 

Prothalamion

PROTHALAMION is an interesting old poem. By English Poet Edmund Spenser born around 1552 – died 1599. Published in The Penguin Book of English Verse.


As it is old English, I have left the spellings as they are written. Full ten verses are put down exactly as they are in the book – it is not my typing!!!
Edited by John Hayward
Book Club Associates London 1956 and 1978


Prothalamion
Calme was the day, and through the thrembling ayre,
Sweete breathing Zephyrus did softly play
A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay
Hot Titans beames, which then did glyster fayre:
When I whom sullein care,
Through discontent of my long fuitlesse stay
In Princes Court, and expectation vayne
Of idle hopes, which still doe fly away,
Like empty shaddowes, did afflict my brayne,
Walkt forth to ease my payne
Along the shoare of silver streaming Themmes,
Whose rutty Bancke, the which his River hemmes,
Was paynted all with variable flowers,
And all the meads adornd with daintie gemmes,
Fit to decke maydens bowres,
And crowne their Paramours,
Against the Brydale day, which is not long:
Sweete Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.

There, in a Meadow, by the Rivers side,
A Flocke of Nymphes I chaunced to espy,
All lovely Daughters of the Flood thereby,
With goodly greenish locks all loose untyde,
As each had been a Bryde,
And each one had a little wicker basket,
Make of fine twigs entrayled curiously,
In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket:
And with fine Fingers, cropped full feateously
The tender stalkes on hye.
Of every sort, which in that Meadow grew,
They gathered some; the Violet pallid blew,
The little Dazie, that at evening closes,
The virgin Lillie, and the Prmrose trew,
With store of vermeil Roses,
To decke their Bridegromes posies,
Against the Brydale day, which was no long:
Sweete Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.

With that, I saw two Swannes of goodly hewe,
Come softly swimming downe along the Lee;
Two fairer Birds I yet did never see:
The snow which doth the top of Pindus strew,
Did never whiter shew,
Nor Jove himself when he a Swan would be
For love of Leda, whiter did appeare:
Yet Leda was they say as white as he,
Yet not so white as these, nor nothing neare;
So purely white they were,
That even the gentle stream, the which them bare,
Seem’d foule to them, and had his billowes spare
To wet their silken feathers, least they might
Soyle their fayre plumes with water not so fayre,
And marre their beauties bright,
That shone as heaves light,
Against their Brydale day, which was not long:
Sweet Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.

Eftsoones the Nymphes, which now had Flowers their fill,
Ran all in haste, to see that silver brood,
As they came floating on the Christal Flood.
Whom when they sawe, they stood amazed still,
Their wondring eyes to fill,
Them seem’d they never saw a sight so fayre,
Of Fowles so lovely, that they sure did deeme,
Them heavenly borne, or to be that some payre
Which through the Skie draw Venus silver Teeme,
For sure they did not seeme
To be begot of any eathly Seede,
But rather Angels or of Angels breede:
Yet were they bred of Somers-heat they say,
In sweetest Season, when each Flower and weede
The earth did fresh array,
So fresh they seem’d as day,
Even as their Brydale day, which was not long:
Sweete Themmes run softly, till I end my Song.

Then forth they all out of their backets drew,
Great store of Flowres, the honour of the field,
That to the sense did fragrant odours yield,
All which upon those goodly Birds they threw,
And all the Waves did strew,
That like old Peneus Waters they did seeme,
When downe along by pleasnnt Tempes shore
Scatted with Flowres, through Thessaly they streeme,
That they appeare athrough LIllies plenteous store,
Like a Brydes Chamber flore:
Two of those Nymphes meane while, two Garlands bound,
Of freshest Flowres, which in that Mead they found,
The which presenting all in trim Array,
Their snowy Foreheads therewithall they crownd,
Whil’st one did sing this Lay,
Prepar’d against that Day,
Against their Brydale day, which was not long:
Sweete Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.

Ye gentle Birdes, the worlds faire ornament,
And heavens glorie, whom this happie hower
Doth leade unto your lovers blissfull bower,
Joy may you have and gentle hearts content
Of your loves couplement:
And let faire Venus, that is Queene of love,
With her heart-quelling Sonne upon you smile,
Whose smile they say, hath virtue to remove
All Loves dislike, and friendships faultie guile
For ever to assoile.
Let endlesse Peace your steadfast hearts accord,
And blessed Plentie wait upon your bord,
And let your bed with pleasures chase abound,
That fruitful issue may to you afford,
Which may our foes confound,
And make your joys redound,
Upon your Brydale day, which is not long:
Sweete Themmes run softlie, till I end my Song.

So ended she, and all the rest around
To her redoubled that her undersong,
Which said, their brydale daye should not be long.
And gentle Eccho from the neighbour ground,
Their accents did resound.
So forth those joyous Birdes did passe along,
Adowne the Lee, that to them murmured low,
As he would speake, but that he lackt a tong
Yet did by signes his glad affection show,
Making his streame run slow.
And all the foule which in his flood did dwell
Gan flock about these twaine, that did excel
The rest, so far, as Cynthis doth shend
The lesser starres. So they enranged well,
Did on those two attend,
And their best service lend,
Against their wedding day, which was not long:
Sweete Themmes run softly, till I end my song.

At length they all to mery London came,
To mery London, my most kindly Nurse,
That to me gave this Lifes first native sourse:
Though from another place I take my name,
An house of auncient fame.
There when they came, whereas those bricky towres,
The which on Themmes broke aged backe doe ryde,
Where now the studious Lawyers have their bowers
There whylone wont the Templer Knights to byde,
Till they decayd through pride:
Next whereunto there stande a stately place,
Where oft I gained giftes and goodly grace
Of that great Lord, which therein wont to dwell,
Whose want too well not feeles my freendles case:
But Ah here fits not well
Olde woes but joys to tell
Against the bridale daye, which is not long:
Sweete Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble Peer,
Great Englands glory and the Worlds wide wonder,
Whose dreadfull name, late through all Spaine did thunder,
And Hercules two pillors standing neere,
Did make to quake and feare:
Faire branch of Honor, flower of Chevalrie,
That fillest England with thy triumphs fame,
Joy have thou of thy noble victorie,
And endlesse happinesse of thine owne name
That promiseth the same:
That through thy prowesse and victorious armes,
Thy country may be freed from forraine harmes:
And great Elisaes glorious name may ring
Through al the world, fil’d with thy wide Alarmes,
Which some brave muse may sing,
To ages following,
Upon the Brydale day, which is not long:
Sweete Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.

From those high Towers, this noble Lord issuing,
Like Radiant Hesper when his golden hayre
In th’Ocean billowes he hath Bathed fayre,
Descended to the Rivers open vewing,
With a great traine ensuing.
Above the rest were goodly to bee seene
Two gentle Knights of lovely face and feature
Beseeming well the bower of anie Queene,
With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature,
Fit for so goodly stature:
That like the twins of Jove they seem’d in sight,
Which decke the Bauldricke of the Heavens bright.
They two forth pacing to the Rivers side,
Received those two faire Brides, their Loves delight,
Which at th’appointed tyde,
Each one did make his Bryde,
Against their Brydale day, which is not long:
Sweete Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.

The Foxes Rise Again – Life Article

The Foxes Rise Again – As viewed from tower block in Greater London.

Against all the odds the vixen I’ve been watching for the last year has another two cubs and is sunning herself in the field opposite my home. She has brand new cubs, just two, this year.

I watched the family over the last twelve months and heard her screaming at night recently. I did some research and found that this was the mother forcing last years cubs out of the family home to fend for themselves. Reminds me of my relationship with my own children when they hit the teenage years… Just when are they old enough?

However, each day I’d look out the window and see all the cubs again playing together until a few months ago. Then suddenly the mum appeared to be on her own and looking a bit shabby and pregnant. I do admit to seeing a squashed fox or two on the road, so I’m assuming at least two of the three cubs from last year did not make it to maturity.

These new cubs look very healthy and playful.

The fox’s fur coat is red, it shines against the green grass. I watch as the new cubs play on one side of a fence whilst the mum rests, curled up, under a bush on the other side. Another fox, perhaps the father, strolls around the bushes where the female lies.

She will do well if any of her cubs survive. I wonder if the father will stay around for long this year. Last year he appeared to hang around for a couple of months.

Mumma fox’s den is in a tiny enclave just down from the muddy bank which leads onto the A41. This vixen has little land to roam. What she has is between the A41 and M1 and around a mile of small, busy roads to deal with between. The fox family don’t have to worry about other wildlife. There are the local dogs, which are generally on leads on the other side of the fence, plenty of pigeons, gulls and some Red Kytes.

From my watching position I see the grey feathered backs of several wood pigeons flying over the foxes. The white stripes with black tips, on their wings, make them look like road chevon’s. These birds are not worrying the foxes. The cubs continue to play and enjoy the fleeting sun on what is a rather cold May day.

I see no Red Kytes today. They are scavenger birds of prey. They are spectacular to watch in the skies from here when nearby. They have the same red colour, a gleaming reddish brown as the foxes. Kytes have markings across their backs too, although not the same as wood pigeons. When they open their wings and glide nearby the black markings can be seen clearly and are unique to each bird.

The young foxes chase each other around in a circle, turning quickly and bundling on top of each other. Their white bellies showing whilst they scramble with each other to be on top, just for a moment before turning and chasing starts up again. They chase each other again around the fence nearby to where their mother lies resting.

The father continues to sniff around the enclosure. He seems quite large compared to her and eager to check out the facilities. There isn’t much, if they are brave and fast enough, they could jump over the railway tracks, which are open here, and across the dump to the Sainsburys carpark. However, this is where I saw dead fox last so this is not a recommendation.

Other than that, I have seen families across the way throw food out over the fence which the local cats, birds and foxes all seem to enjoy. There is a fluffy, white cat which loves to hunt around down at the other end of the field. I’ve never seen the cat and the foxes meet each other.

I watch as a car pulls up, on the road side of the fence, feet away from the stalking male fox. The car’s contents spill out, laughing children and adults, who then pile into the little square house in the middle of the little square houses. The hedge hides the fox from the families view and the fence is between them.

The fox listens, his nose in the air, facing the car and his ears waiting to tell him if he has to run or not, whilst the vixen still lies curled up in the bush she knows she is safe, he has yet to have the same faith in the environment. He waits until the family are all inside the house before circling back over to where the mother and the babies lie.

Life is always moving; I go to make a cup of tea in the kitchen and when I return all the foxes have gone. Perhaps the family is settling down for their lunch or off on an adventure somewhere. I will look out for them most mornings and will see them grow. I’ll watch the vixen go through her circle of life. Long may it continue as foxes are so much fun to watch.

They remind me that life is so different for each and every living thing. Not all beings are born with a purpose or a need to leave a mark, they live and die without mention. They enjoy the world without being told how to appreciate it.

The foxes are happy and content to live on the little bit of land they have managed to grab for themselves. The mother appears to feel secure whilst the male is ready to disappear and let her get on with it. She will do her best to educate the cubs and then she will replace them.

Her family unit lasts for one year. I’m privileged to be able to watch. Whilst fox hunting is banned in England, she will continue to live without too much fear of humans. I hope that fox hunting is never brought back to our countryside. To me, it would be a step backwards, a step towards becoming more uncivilized again.

Let’s continue to watch the fox. 

fox
the fox