We’ve just returned from another week’s holiday in our caravan, this time in East Anglia staying on the Suffolk coast.
Jupiter and Saturn were visible to the naked eye, delighting Small Boy who loves learning about the planets.
A kingfisher was spotted on one of our boat trips on the Norfolk Broads – my first ever! We also saw common blue butterflies (another first), grey seals, a marsh harrier and reed buntings.
The kingfisher prompted me to find the sonnet As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerald Manley Hopkins and to re-read the kingfisher acrostic poem in the beautiful Lost Words books with poems by Robert Macfarlane and illustrations by Jackie Morris.
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells.
We particularly enjoyed Ross’s Wildlife Boat at Horsey Mere which had a little fore cabin so the children had a secret place to hide, play with toy birds and look out of circular windows at passing boats and birds.
Another highlight was RSPB Minsmere – we visited three times, there was so much to explore! We loved the pond-dipping activity, the woodland dens and the Wild Library. (The cafe provided a variety of vegan dishes and was making a concerted effort to reduce plastic.)
There are so many beautiful parts of the UK with many still to discover!
It’s now the end of (meteorological) summer and the start of the new school year. I’ve been feeling down as life returns to routine and rotas, to desks and tables, homework and uniforms.
I remembered that I love autumn (the children want to make conker caterpillars!) and that life outside doesn’t have to stop. The allotment is calling!
1 September is not only the start of autumn, it is also the start of the liturgical season of Creationtide.
Creator of Life, The Earth is full of Your creatures, and by Your wisdom you made them all. During this Season of Creation, open our eyes to see the precious diversity that is all around us. Enlighten our minds to appreciate the delicate balance maintained by each creature. Inspire us to conserve the precious habitats that nurture this web of life.
(Extract from the Season of Creation 2019 prayer)