12 November 2011

awakening of cheerful feelings


We've been watching the Simon Russell Beale's series of programmes on the symphony and I was very taken with the inspiration for the first movement Beethoven's Sixth, the Pastoral: the awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the country. Uplifting, perhaps would be a word I would choose.  And it does not even have to be the deep countryside that does the trick- a walk in the park, a cycle along the canal, discovering a little corner, or like Knit Nurse, seeing the sunflowers you've guerilla planted.

As it happens, I felt very cheerful today.  I'd had a brisk cycle along the canal to my pilates class, speeding past the Sunday fair-weather and hardy runners. Then, a trip to Elmley RSPB reserve for a walk over the marshes in the sunshine along by the sea wall, wind bristling through the reeds and grasses.  You are encouraged to use your car as a hide so as not to scare the birds on the approach road, and there we watched a female kestrel hovering and diving in for a couple of kills, curlews, lapwings, marsh harriers, a sleepy heron, egrets, no end of waders and ducks and geese (I can never tell one from the other).  Of course this is only a small sample of what's there because I am hopeless at remembering any of the birds and have to rely on more expert opinion.


We moved on to the raptor viewing point at Capel Fleet as the light started to fade and the mist was rising.  The drive takes you across fields of sheep and low lying ground.  There was a collection of serious monosyllabic bird watchers there with giant telescopes and tick-lists, accompanied by the chafing sound of their super waterproof clothing.  A more friendly lady told us a couple of short eared owls were around and, on cue, they came up and swooped and circled low around the marshes in front of us.  A wedge of swans flew by, making that wonderful whistling noise as they passed.  "I love that sound" said the friendly lady.  (I bet Ludwig would have added it in to the second movement if only he had heard it.)

And because we were on the Isle of Sheep, I couldn't come home without one quick snap of the burr-covered girls posing in the last of the light.


Lots of reasons to be cheerful, I reckon.


8 comments:

knit nurse said...

Beautiful teasels! Always make me think of the old carding machine at the National Wool Museum in Wales.

Jane Housham said...

Beautiful day, absolutely beautiful photos. I agree about the symphony as well -- it really does 'speak' of its inspiration.

Val & the Girls BK & CK said...

A lovely post to read on a cold glum morning...I think I will search out that piece of music & see what it can do for my mood :0)
and later see if I can remember to take the camera with me when I take the pup out in the snow...the ravens keep posing on the snow banks but I usually only have my memory with me!

Val & the Girls BK & CK said...

found it :0)
It's still pitch black out ..we have over a foot of snow and it's 12f
but now I have a stove,coffee and Beethoven
Thank you :0)

colleen said...

Val - it's been a grey day here but, honestly, the thought of 12 deg f temperatures chills me. You with stove, coffee and Ludwig makes a lovely thought picture.

love those cupcakes said...

Love this post. Love that piece of music.

Lara said...

oooh - what a lovely day. Beautiful teasels and lovely sheepies. The marshes sound gorgeous and am jealous of the short-eyed owl spot. (Birdwatchers are so funny with their ticklists and crazed look in their eye) Will track down a copy of beethoven and have a listen.

Lara said...

oooh - what a lovely day. Beautiful teasels and lovely sheepies. The marshes sound gorgeous and am jealous of the short-eyed owl spot. (Birdwatchers are so funny with their ticklists and crazed look in their eye) Will track down a copy of beethoven and have a listen.