· Wirral ·
I’m writing this on a picnic bench overlooking the Dee Marshes at Parkgate. I had a couple of hours to kill before meeting Carolyn, and the weather is absolutely glorious: sunny, still and crisp. The best sort of autumn day. So I’ve been sitting at the bench, writing about Charles Darwin and foxgloves and related matters.
A hen harrier flew past about an hour ago. Too far away to photograph, unfortunately. (Unlike the female hen harrier that flew past only ten metres away last week, just as I arrived at the marshes, with my camera gear still in the car boot! I swear it was deliberate.)
Bees and the occasional white butterfly. Curlews piping on the marsh. Rooks craa-ing all about. Some minuscule spiderlings have decided to use my camera bag and iPad as launch pads, parachuting off towards the marsh on gossamer threads.
It’s been such a wonderful morning, it’s astonishing I’ve managed to get any work done.
…Another welcome interruption. A kestrel just landed on a log on the marsh about twenty metres away.
Carolyn and I took a walk along the edge of the Dee Marshes to Burton Point, then on to the Welsh border. This is nowhere near as impressive as it sounds: the official border is very much on the English side of the estuary. On our way back, we had a great view of a grey heron poised in the marsh grass.
“…wonderfully droll, witty and entertaining… At their best Carter’s moorland walks and his meandering intellectual talk are part of a single, deeply coherent enterprise: a restless inquiry into the meaning of place and the nature of self.”
—Mark Cocker, author and naturalist
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