4 mar 2024

Today, Lilly and I wrapped up for our walk because the wind blew a gale, and the fields were still slush (wet). Well, I wrapped up, and Lilly strapped up. Lilly wasn't concerned by the cold, as she raced ahead when we reached the field with the pond, her eyes in anticipation as she waited in the water for me to catch up. I collected her stick and threw it into the middle of the water. Lilly promptly dived in to retrieve it, brrr, but she loved it.

Seeing the ripples in the water, I reminisced about the moorhen the other day. The moorhen doesn't live at the pond but lives along the canal, and on the day in question, I must have forgotten or missed them, and so as we were walking back from the canal and passing the pond, I heard a moorhen cry "I'm here I'm here please can I have food". I gently laughed at the cleverness and returned to the pond and scattered some food, to which out of the bank came the moorhen.

Lilly and I continued our walk towards the canal after she had satisfied herself swimming. The past few months, Lilly has enjoyed Rolly-Roly on the grass to dry off extra water, however, before she proceeds to roll, she looks at me, taking staggered steps. I receive the question from her body language and throw up my arms as if drying my back with a towel, moving my arms in short bursts of up and down - and dancing, wiggling my bottom and singing, "Rolly rolly". Lilly receives the reply and falls to the ground, as if shot, curving her body as she drops, then rolling on her back and wiggling from side to side with a huge smile, using the grass as her towel. Lilly then stands up, and I say, "Shake-shake", to which she shakes her whole body from head to tail to remove more water. I often need to dodge this splatter, as she likes to be close. Pleased with the effect, we walk further, at which point I see the staggered steps again, Lily looking at me with her eyes for approval. I throw up my arms exclaiming, "Rolly rolly", while swinging my hips, Lilly drops to the grass and rolls on her back, then stands up, and we shake-shake together before continuing our walk.

The pond is in the third field, however, in the second field, as Lilly and I walk through the gate, there is a stream leading to the canal, and we often see the ducks near fly above us, happy that we are coming their way, as the move to the waiting spot. As we reach the canal, coming down from the bridge, we are met by excited and animated chatter from the ducks. Smiling gleefully, I say, "Are you hungry?", to which I get more chatter from the ducks as they move closer to receive the food as I scatter it on the water.

Lilly and I then proceed along the canal, with the ducks following. Along the towpath, I know all the places where the other ducks wait, and as we walk by, they come out for a quick chat and a share of food. The mallards are more confident in their approach and boldly come forward, whereas the moorhens stay hidden under the growth and sqwaark as we pass to let me know they are waiting. I scatter the moorhen's portion, and as we move on, the moorhens come out and eat the scattered food.

On the last three occasions, there has been a male mallard with an injury on his wing and leg. As he approaches me today, I throw one and a half helpings of food, saying, "It's disability pay". I feel it's only fair as the pheasant in my garden has a sore leg and has been hopping along on the grass eating the seeds, and this morning, when giving him food, I gave him extra to help the healing and told him it was disability pay.

This morning, I had a breathtaking sight when I first went out to give the birds food. As I stepped outside the door, my attention was averted to the white Buzz-buzz, soaring above me in the back garden. I froze in my steps and gave him his time. I then saw to the right that two more white buzzards were soaring close, although more shy and closer together. I stood there in awe, watching them before they moved away. At this point, I heard the chatter of the smaller birds as they emerged from the hidden trees to embrace the food I was laying for them.

Walking back home today, in the last field before my home, I had the pleasure of seeing a series of blue, yellow and great tits emerging from the hedge, as if walking down the field with me.

The birds would appear out of the hedge as I was walking, then swoop forward along, close to the hedge and crisscrossing overtaking me, then about 50 feet ahead, they would fly into the hedge and wait perched on a branch as I caught up. Then again, as I approached near them, whoof, they would lift off their branches, swooping and crisscrossing, moving forward along the hedge until about 50 feet ahead, then wait on a branch until I caught up again. A delightful and beautiful sequence to observe as I walked down the field.

Now, I am reflecting on my day's events, thankful for the lovely experiences and memories to take with me.

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