Everyday we hear the statistics, the numbers. I don’t want to forget that every number is a person. An individual with life ahead of them. With loved ones. With hopes and dreams. This for them, the fallen. They should never just be a statistic.
As my roses started to wilt, I was reminded of a poem I wrote many years ago. I was newly diagnosed with the Crohn’s, and bit by bit, all my own hopes and dreams were stripped away from me. I survived though! I still have a life ahead of me and many loved ones. I have fought hard to live so they don’t have to grieve.
My sincere condolences to all the family and friends of those who have been taken by this dreadful virus.
A single rosebud, Dew dropped And heaven scented, Plucked by its stem As a gift presented. A tainted token, Its arteries broken, Uprooted and taken. To watch it now wilt, All that’s felt is guilt For natures treasures forsaken.
Never dismiss the little things in life, the simple pleasures, the joy of watching a tiny wren busying about in the bracken, building a nest. So busy he didn’t worry about me sitting in my wheelchair watching his activities. He hopped over so closely a few times it actually took my breath away!
I wish I could return to watch his progress but I am being “shielded” at home for the next 12 weeks as I am most vulnerable to complications from coronavirus. I hope these little wrens will come through this years breeding season safely. I hope that all of us come through this crisis safely! With any luck, I will see the wrens again on the other side of all this. Take care everyone x
I had an appointment at Guy’s Hospital last Friday and decided to drive as I’m in the at-risk category with regards to coronavirus. It was a morning appointment, so I decided to make the most of being up that way with the car and pay a visit to the wonderful WWT London Wetlands Centre at Barnes. It’s completely wheelchair accessible, including the various hides!
A fellow SheClicks member, Oddy, had tipped me off to the emergence of one of my favourite native British animals, the common or Viviparous lizard. These wonderful creatures love basking on sun-warmed wood and were coming out onto the sides of the bird hides to warm themselves. This is the earliest in the year that I have seen them!
Although I am following advice to socially distance myself, I am still meeting with friends and family in outdoor spaces. Going to Barnes enabled me to meet up with fellow nature and wildlife photographer, Andrew Wilson. Andrew has published a series of fabulous books, with his own photography, celebrating Wild London! It’s great getting out with other photographers who share the same passions for our wonderful wildlife.
I was absolutely thrilled to find one little lizard basking on the side of the WWF Hide! They are such great little characters. I managed to catch it scenting with it’s tongue and giving me the eye with that classic, smug looking smile. This individual was only about 6cm in length so probably a youngster from last year! They really are an absolute treat to see. I hope everyone is holding up ok in these troubled times. Stay as safe as you can and look out for anyone you know who is vulnerable and at risk.
Friday before last, I had to go to the Central Middlesex Hospital, near Wembley, for a small bowel MRI to check on the adhesions in my gut. Adhesions are often a consequence of abdominal surgery and I’ve had quite a number of operations for my Crohn’s. Anyway, I had to hang around at the hospital for a while after the scan, to wait for the mannitol solution to pass, so I went to the cafe by the entrance. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I saw a pair of song thrush busily taking food to a nest in a small tree outside the front entrance of the hospital. Surely it’s far too early for nesting!
I had come out without any cameras and I was soon cursing myself for it. Heading outside for a closer look, people were wandering around in the area but the birds were ignoring them. I stood there watching the adults bringing in several meals of worms to two very hungry nestlings. Song thrush do start to nest earlier than some other birds, usually having two or three broods during the season, which normally runs from March to August. Nesting is triggered by the weather and we have been having a very mild winter! I managed to capture a few images with my phone as a record, a couple are heavily zoomed as I didn’t want to disturb the birds.
Storm Dennis arrived at the weekend and the weather was truly appalling all week. I couldn’t return to the site with my camera until last Friday. I feared that the weather could have spelled disaster for the nest! When I arrived the nest was empty, but I could hear the thrush making chatting noises in the garden area alongside the hospital. I approached cautiously and hid at the corner of the wall to search the gardens. It was delightful to spot the two fledgings close by, hunkered down in the grass, calling for the adults to feed them. Eventually, the adults managed to coax both fledgings to take a haltering flight into the safety of the hedgerow.
Finding myself vitamin D deficient once again I am trying to get out into the sunshine as much as possible! I spent an afternoon at Bushy Park last week, soaking up those precious rays and watching the wildlife. It was so mild I ended up shedding my big winter coat. It was fun watching the deer and wrens in the bracken near Heron Pond, before heading over to the Woodland Gardens for sunset and a cuppa at the cafe.
Signs of an early Spring were very evident in the Woodland Gardens! Watching the parakeets feasting on cherry blossom is a sight I don’t usually see for another two months! Just as the sun was setting at around half four, I came across one of the resident rabbits. I was really surprised to see one out of the warren at this time of day and year! The rabbits here are more used to people walking by and I was able to get really close to it, capturing the details of the fur and even a reflection of the sunset in the rabbit’s eye. The leaf litter in the background glowed in the late light and this little rabbit just stole my heart!
The Shard is such an iconic view on the London skyline that it becomes difficult to find a new way to capture the scene. Sometimes being in the wheelchair actually works to my advantage, allowing me to gain a different perspective on my surroundings, and I couldn’t resist the angles of the bridge and stairs that framed the building. It had been a dull grey day but London becomes a colourful city when the lights come on, whatever the weather!