21 June 2020

With Jen working from home during the lockdown, I vacated the study and have been working on my Darwin book from the dining-room table for the last few months. On the whole, this new arrangement has worked better than expected. Not having my books immediately to hand is only a minor inconvenience, and my iPad with its ‘Smart Keyboard’ is a pretty good substitute for the iMac. True, I’ve recently begin to notice occasional neck-stiffness, presumably from not having my screen at eye-level, so I’ve started to take neck-flex breaks. But things are going OK.

One major distraction, however, has been the view into the garden. During the last few weeks in particular, there has been an awful lot of bird activity in the garden, now this year’s fledglings are out an about. The bird table has been constantly packed with squabbling finches and tits, and the bird-bath has seen plenty of action.

Robin in the birdbath

The presence of a pair of bullfinches has been particularly thrilling. They’re far from common in our garden, but usually put in some appearances around this time of year. The male, in particular, has been throwing his weight about at the bird table.

Male bullfinch

We even had a grey squirrel in the garden on Tuesday evening. A rarity around here. We were alerted to him by a loud banging on the window as he attacked his own reflection.

The weather has been less good than in May, so we haven’t been taking quite as many evening walks around the lanes. But we’re still keeping reasonably regular. The foxgloves are particularly magnificent at the moment. They feature in one of the chapters of my book.

Foxgloves
Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
…wonderful. Science and history and geography and evolution and culture all tangled up in musings while walking about the moors around Hebden Bridge.”—PZ Myers
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