‘B’ is for Bold Black-Headed Gull

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire, Wildlife

I was one of those ignorant types who thought ‘gull’ and ‘seagull’ were interchangeable terms. In fact ‘seagull’ is a fairly meaningless word, though often used to describe herring gulls. But not, definitely not black headed gulls. These birds we so commonly see round here, some fifty miles from the sea, are quite at home here in the fields. They’re sociable: they’re quarrelsome: they’re noisy. And they’re happiest snatching a meal when tractors are out and about, sowing seeds or harvesting and generally making free food available. As you can see. These scenes are from exactly this time last year, from a farmer’s field just up the road.

I thought a ditty, a bit of doggerel was called for, helped along by memories of a Harvest Festival hymn.

They plough the fields and scatter
the good seed on the land.
Black-headed gulls will follow -
rapacious thieving band!

‘All good gifts around us come from the farmers’ fields
We’ll scoff the lot, not care a jot and decimate your yields.’

We’ve had some snow in winter.
The gulls have had it rough.
Now seeds and rain and sunshine
mean life’s no longer tough.

‘All good gifts around us come from the farmers’ fields.
We’ll scoff the lot, not care a jot and decimate your yields.’

Six Word Saturday

Sea Fever translated into Dales Fever

Blogging challenges, Yorkshire Dales

With apologies to John Masefield, here’s my take on missing the Yorkshire Dales, just as he missed the swelling seas in Sea Fever. If I’m not allowed to go walking there at the moment, a few pictorial memories will have to do

DALES FEVER

I must go up to the Dales again, to the lonely hills and sky.

And all I ask is a packed lunch, and a map to steer me by:

and drystone walls and the wind’s song and the curlews shrieking

and a soft mist on the moor’s face, and the grey dawn breaking.

I must go up to the Dales again, for the rippling of the brook

is a glad sound and a clear sound I cannot overlook.

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds fleeting,

and the springy turf and a distant view and the young lambs bleating.

I must go up to the Dales again, to the vagrant hiker’s life:

to the hare’s way and the kite’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

and quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long day’s over.

Spring Yellows, from Aconites to Buttercups

Ariège, Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire

So many of our favourite springtime flowers have cheerful sunny faces., beginning in January with aconites, then going via celandines, daffodils, marsh marigolds, primroses, dandelions and cowslips to glorious meadows of buttercups in June. Here are just a few of them.

I can’t end the post though, without reminding myself of the crowds, the hosts of daffodils in the woodland slopes of the Pyrenees, nearby to where we lived in France. The French don’t have the same love affair with the daffodil that we have here in England, but this was a spectacle I’ve never seen bettered anywhere.

Life in Colour

Six Word Saturday