Nature Notes.

March 3, 2012.

Dew sparkles on the Leylandii hedge, a blackbird hops along its ridge, a length of dried grass in his beak.

March 14.

When I was in nine, (many years ago!) our headmaster brought in a road kill;  in assembly he asked
if anyone had ever seen a real badger, one child raised their hand. Later, each class in turn, had to walk past
the dead badger so we could see what one looked like. One side of the badger’s face was smashed in; his legs were
set in a running position. The stillness and silence of the death of an animal in the school hall made some kids giggle,
others barely gave him a glance, I was stopped short of stroking him and twiddling with his whiskers, I put my face
against his chest to make sure it didn’t rise or fall, wishing it did and that I could take him home and tend him.
Since then I’ve been lucky enough to see many badgers, most lucky to go badger watching at dusk in the Lake District.
Recently I saw a badger pelting across a local field in daylight. What a troubled fate some badgers now possibly face.

for the latest news on proposed badger cull and links.

See poem page: 'Purple Elephant' (it's about badgers too!)

March 23.
West Runton Beach to Sheringham Beach, Norfolk, (and back) a leisurely two hours.

Pigeons nesting in cliffs - West Runton/Sheringham cliffs.

Once past the Cromer ridge, the cliffs here are steeper/sandier prone to sudden landslips, so all along the walk
are patches of fallen cliff. Underfoot the upper beach is (currently) rocky, edging into shingle and sand down to
the lower beach. At first the place looks less likely to have wild things, here’s the surprise then: Pigeons nesting
in the cliffs; a  variety of gulls; skylarks taking to the air on the grassy bank above and straying over;
little terns; oystercatchers; cormorants. Towards Sheringham exposed chalk beds become interesting (so much iron?)
and remnants of the old forest bed reappear in the cliff base. I picked up an old fossil which I have to investigate;
it looks like a pond turtle from 50 million years ago. (And more tubes of paraffin wax.) Wrack  glistening in the early
morning sun – filling rock pools which will soon be teeming with visible marine fauna (oystercatcher’s and gulls rummaging
hungrily today).

Mediteranian Gull on West Runton Beach

Poetry. Publications, Prizes and Reviews.

Norwich Writers’ Circle 41st Open Competition; Commended, ‘Friends’

Reach Issue 169, March,

Poem; ‘Phasmidae’

Review:    Over Misty Plains by Alessio Zannelli
Review:    Onions and Other Intentions by Maggie Norton