Countrylife and birds

Sitting in the door-opening at an early hour, I can see the red woodpecker on the telephone pole “washing” his feathers. Its body is very expressive, with its beak at a 90 degree angle to its head and the way it keeps its body in a vertical position, as if ready to peck the wood each moment and hammer it so fiercely. It’s amazing, that force present in such a body.


Suddenly a second woodpecker joins it, finding its own spot on the pole, rather clumsily with lots of wing-a-flutter. I’ve never seen 2 woodpeckers at the same time, I suspect there’s a nest in the tree nearby. Now they both fly away. The telephone lines are excellent resting places for birds. Red robins, blue tits, sparrows, wrens, pigeons, rooks, blackbirds.

Oh, there’s a 3rd woodpecker landing on the pole, it’s clear now that there must be nest nearby. Now it’s gone and the former couple returns. I notice now, that one of them is larger and lighter of colour on the front of its body. The other one is smaller and darker.

It’s rare when a green woodpecker shows up, but it does! One early morning I heard a loud birdcry and went to the dooropening. There it was, sitting on the fence of the garden, a large bird of about 20 cm. height. Since than, now that I recognize its voice, I’ve seen if fly down to the field behind the lane, with a strong whirrrrr…. of its wings. I can see the beautiful bright mustardgreen colour on its back.

green woodpecker

Today it’s a lively morning for the birds. Pigeons are cooing on the roof of my neighbours,   I hear the click of my neighbours gate right now. She’s picking up the milkbottles, they’re delivered every day. It reminds me of the 50’s, when each home in my street had milkbottles waiting outside the front door, in the early morning. At some point the little birds found a way to peck through the tinfoil covers and eat from the cream on top of the milk.

Now a blackbird is protesting loud and fierce, chasing a rook. Probably it tried to disturb the blackbird’s nest. The lane below is a very old Roman road, a path gradually hollowed out during centuries, by the trafficking of travelers on foot, villagers, Roman legions, carts and herds of sheep or cows. The hedges along the lanes here are welcome habitats for birds too, apart from insects and small animals finding refuge in them.

A view from my home 02-2016 (2).jpg

The view from where I sit now is magnificent. The picture shows the garden in Febr. 2016. I’ve enjoyed that view much for 1 year, after which I moved on to Devon.


I now quote from the book “Spell of the Sensuous”  and will introduce you to the writer David Abram, who inspired me to become more connected to my physical body and senses. I can fully relate to his view on the senses:

“David Abram is a sleight of hand magician who studied with shamans and indigenous magicians in Indonesia, Nepal and the Americas”.

On the backcover of the book, he writes:

“For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature and they carried on active relationships not only with other people, but with other animals, plants, and natural objects including mountains, rivers, winds and weather patterns, that we have only lately come to think of as “inanimate”. How then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world?” What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing Earth?”

And on page 186 he gives us the words of Hehaka Sapa, or Black Elk  of the Oglala Sioux:

“Everything the Power of the World does, is done in a circle…… The Wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round…. Even the seasons from a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where powers moves…….”

I find Black Elk’s words awesome, it’s visible in life as my eyes witness it and it speaks directly to my heart! Below is my illustration of such a circle. Or rather cycle:

Illustratie 13 Gal.Tonen Marian van der Veen


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