Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Mark Cocker on swallows at Claxton

DOESN'T Mark Cocker write beautifully? The author of Crow Country lives on the Wherryman's Way at Claxton and contributes to The Guardian regularly. Here's the beginning of his column in yesterday's paper:

"There were swallows over the trees. That lambent downward quick beat of their wings, which is such a signature of swallow flight, already seemed an anachronism against this autumn landscape, with its slow swirl of white-glinting gulls and the heavy crows battering towards the woods. The naturalist Max Nicholson once wrote something I always try to remember on seeing swallows, that truly they are not birds of the land. Rather their primary habitat is a thin layer of sky that lies just above the earth's surface. Swallows are before everything citizens of air."

Ok I had to look up "lambent". My Concise Oxford says "softly radiant". But then I like an author who makes me reach for my dictionary ..occasionally. Keep them coming Mr Cocker.

* Photo pinched from Wikipedia which credits Alasdair Cross
* Full article here

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