Cycling to Coomenole

I cycled over the road to Coomenole. It isn’t a long cycle from Baile an Chalaidh, but there are a few climbs and my legs aren’t what they used to be, so I took my time. Thanks be to God for the granny cog on the old Bentini. I got there in about 45 minutes, with a couple of scenery breaks on the hills (ahem).

The morning sun, the evening sun

The morning sun talks about today. The evening sun talks about tomorrow. I love the evening sun the best. The morning light’s a wonder, and it’s fresh. And whiter than the evening light, and pristine cool. It floats up over the hedge, bundled with optimism and energy, rising, encouraging something meaningful from the day. Expectant with significance, the morning sun.

The Hipster and the Rory Gallagher Square Rook 

I’m a rook, like, and I mainly hang around Rory Gallagher Square in Cork. I pecks away around the square, getting the odd bits and pieces that people drop on the ground. I’m what you call a polyglot. That means I speak a lot of languages. I mean a lot of languages. It comes easy to birds, us rooks especially.

Crow Time, Crow Space

The first thing Dermot and I noticed was the early evening drifting of seabirds, as the winter sun set over Ringaskiddy behind us. They looked like black-headed gulls but we couldn’t see, from the distance. What was most striking was the silence, as they flew in Vs of eight or ten or twelve. Seaward, over the narrow channel of water at East Ferry. They flew effortlessly, in precise lines, rotating to take the point of the V. Purposefully; a low white script against the background browns and blacks of the water and the far shore.

Planting Trees for Song Thrushes

Me and Pad (see what I done there?) went down to his forest in East Cork to plant trees the other day. It’s a Sitka Spruce forest, set out in the mid nineties I think, and himself wants to plant other trees there, wherever they can get a hold, with a bit of light and a bit of rain and a bit of luck. The forest was thinned a couple of years ago and there are pockets of brightness here and there now, where his own seedlings might prosper.

I’m devilishly handsome

I’m devilishly handsome. I like that word ‘devilishly’. It suits me. We corvids (crows, if you wish) don’t believe in gods or devils, obviously. Though we do have a healthy respect for what you humans call ‘nature’. You used to have that respect, too, once. But you’ve forgotten most of what you ever knew. You can call me Raxia Bluefeather. It’s not my name, but it’ll do. As has been explained before, the names of rooks is very important to us and far too complex for your minds. Not too complex, perhaps – that’s not fair. But it would be alien to you. Incomprehensible. I’ll leave it there.

I’m Worried About Ricky

I’m worried about Ricky. Ricky is the young robin who has fledged from a nest in our hedge and is hanging around, mainly in front of our house, his ‘parents’ having flown the coop (haha). I use the inverted commas around parents because, for the most part, birds don’t really do parenting. When chicks are fledged, they are fledged, and are largely left to their own devices.

Clarence the wren is not happy

My name is Clarence Cavedweller Passiformus V. It’s a wren thing. We are from the family Troglodytidae after all. Not a lot of people know this, but in Latin the ae at the end of words is pronounced i. Just saying. My father was a Greek scholar as well as Latin. I’m Irish and I must say I do like the Irish term: dreoilín. Nice ring to it.

The Swallows are here

I came out of the café and looked to my right, and there she was: the first swallow of the summer. The unmistakable forked tail streaming below the wire, the pale breast, tawny in the soft morning light, the hint of cobalt and burnt orange. Her mate flew by and she rose in a sweep and they both entered the open door of the barn. The swallows are here!