'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Columba palumbus

The upper storey of the cottage in which I live was once a grain-store, ventilated by circular holes in the stonework just below the eaves. When the Renaissance Couple converted the building fifteen years ago, they had the happy idea of turning these into portholes, blocked by a pane of red glass within. One of these, a few feet above my desk, faces west and in the evening fills the room with an intensified aurora from the spectacular sunsets we get over the Solway. But the walls are two feet thick and this spring a pair of ring doves have made this hollow tube their nest. The scrutting of the birds against the glass wakes me in the morning and I can watch the adults' flight across the fields and their return, gently flailing as they approach the hole in the wall, after feeding. When I stand up I can see directly in front of me their fledgling, sitting on its nest, bobbing up, pulsing with life, turning to take food from its parent's gorge. All this is happening a few feet above my head as I write these lines.


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