Snatching the sound of Manannán's song on the bite of a northwesterly wind


Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

Of cormorants and graduands

Nov. 13, 2022

This week saw the return of the cormorant which prompts a visit to Ernest Ingersoll to find out why they have no voice. A fairly severe reaction to the Covid jab meant that I missed attending this year’s graduation ceremony …

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

Down by the Cattle Pond

July 31, 2022

There is a spot of ground that is special to me. Perhaps you have one too. They often are not particularly attractive, but somehow they are places we can go to find quietness. Join me to tonight when we visit one of my speci…

Soundscapes, Boat Life Natural World (General) Natural World (Birds)

The Dog Days of Summer

July 17, 2022

These are the long days. The days of heat and dust. The days of quiet skies and dulled colours. Days of eclipse and renewal. These are the dog days of summer. Journal entry : 23rd July, Saturday [should read 16th July - blam…

Boat Life History (Canals) Natural World (Birds) Readings

Caught in a Rhyme

June 5, 2022

On the week that the cygnets of our swan pair hatched, we explore the rather contradictory nature of the canal through the eyes of poets Jo Bell, Nancy Campbell, and Ian MacMillan. We find romance amidst the unromantic and b…

Boat Life History (Personal) Natural World (Birds)

On Drying Days (Like This)

May 29, 2022

May slowly rolls into June, but is summer really here? The towpaths and hedgerows are garlanded in summer colours and the ducks (and swans) are beginning to move into their time of eclipse. Some of the mallard drakes are beg…

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

Entanglements with the Archdeacon

April 17, 2022

The archdeacon is one of the colourful local characters who live here. Irascible and combative, he is nevertheless an important part of the social life of this small portion of the watery world. He’s a feral domestic duck w…

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective History (General) Natural World (Birds) Natural World (Flora)

I have Heard the Roar of Spring (and it is fearful)

April 3, 2022

Just as the wind swung north with its sting of sleet and hail, the first batch of ducklings were hatched this week. It was a far from simple event! However, as winter attempted to reassert itself with some biting winds and s…

Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds) Natural World (Flora)

Steps out of Step

March 27, 2022

A week of glorious spring weather has heightened springtime activity along the canal sides and nearby fields. It also coincides with a particularly busy period personally. My response and those of the birds and animals aroun…

Natural World (Birds)

Wings of Angels (Cyril)

March 13, 2022

Over the last few weeks, we have watched our little swan family slowly begin the new phases in each of their lives. Whilst it can feel sad, it is also a celebration of the life of young Cyril who is now strong enough and equ…

Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

The Darkest of Nights

Feb. 27, 2022

February has been a month of storms both meteorological and figurative that have left many of us feeling battered and anxious. Such storms leave their marks upon the landscape and familiar terrains can become strange, alien,…

Natural World (General) Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds) Weather

Windy Days and Nights

Feb. 13, 2022

You join us tonight at the end of a rather windy day. There seems to be a fairly common feeling that we have been encountering a lot of blustery winds recently, both meteorologically and metaphorically. Tonight, we stoke the…

Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

Solitary Stranger: The Wigeon

Feb. 6, 2022

This week we have been joined by a solitary stranger from the north. Probably blown south-west on last week’s northerly storm winds a wigeon has arrived. The appearance of this diminutive figure prompts us to find out a litt…

Soundscapes, Boat Life Natural World (Birds)

Winter on the Moorings

Jan. 23, 2022

As we begin to enter the depths of winter, this episode celebrates with a soundscape of winter at the moorings that tries to capture the life and energy of this season. Journal entry : “18h January, Tuesday. A rich winter mo…

Boat Life Natural World (Birds)

Rook Ravaged Skies

Oct. 3, 2021

This has been a week of blustery winds and storms. Perfect weather for the wild choreographies of the rooks jousting on the wind. The devil has spat upon the blackberries and we (rather hurriedly) mark our first birthday – t…

Philosophy/reflective Natural World (Birds)

Call of Wild Geese

Sept. 26, 2021

These are the mornings of mist that ring with the call of geese. What is it about catching sight of the flight of geese and hearing their wind-borne calls that evokes such feelings restless longing and yearning within us? A…