Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Turn of the Seasons

Paul phoned.  To say the cranes had just flown over them and would be with us shortly.

I rushed downstairs, grabbed a coat and the dogs and I tumbled out of the front door.  And there, sure enough - the first I have seen this year - a great black V, coming out of the western sky, stretching wide. Too distant still to count individual birds but close enough to see how the group ebbed and flowed, broke and reformed.

They followed the ridge on the other side of the valley and I quickly counted, guessing ten, fifty, hundred, two hundred, three, maybe four hundred of them. Vita barked at their cries, uncertain where their unsettling sound was coming from and not thinking to look above her head.

And then, as I turned to come back indoors out of the cold, I saw another line, this time heading straight towards us, bird after bird after bird, right over the cottage, driving forwards, on, on north and east to their summer haunts.

Tonight I will sleep with the window open and even through my dreams will hear the sound of their cries as they pass in the dark.


  1. This is such an atmospheric post... I can see them, hear them, almost feel them ...beautifully written. It must have been amazing. J.

  2. This post makes me understand why bloggers in France always mention the arrival of the cranes. It must be a mesmerising sight. The nearest we come to it is the occasional arrow of Canada geese. :-)

  3. Thank you Janice. Yes. it was wonderful. Five years on and I still catch my breath when I first hear them. :)

  4. Hello Perpetua, yes it's something so special. They always stop me in my tracks and there's a bit of me that longs to follow them. :)