Wednesday 14 August 2013

Droving with birds

...waiting for Bob at the crest of the Lane...from the Home field gate the land rolls gently downhill and finally disappears into the shaggy green lollipops that form the tree line. Then the Weald  takes over, rising like a full tummy, round and green with straw coloured patches where the hay has been cut. Green ric-rac hedges crisscross the faraway hill as it rises...

...Miles away when, suddenly a prickle of electricity, sudden noise...a whoosh overhead, a stream of fast moving air dragging the hairs on my neck upright like a magnetic force. Wings beating in unison, I couldn't hear the drums beating the pace but I felt them. My neck snapping backwards I see them, directly overhead now, an "unkindness" of ravens. Such a rush still pulsing through my body, I stare after them aware of every muscle fibre tingling with exhilaration. As their massed formation passed over it seemed we were connected by some invisible threads. I swear had their number been greater I would have been carried off with them beyond the farthest hill.
And then, the second wave, hundreds more, pulsing past, this time I was prepared and yet somehow even more exhilarated. Once again my entire being responded, connected, somehow to their energy, this is how it must feel to be plugged into the mains. Every hair on my body, electrified.I stood motionless long after they had gone and marveled at the beauty and strange thrill of  those few moments.
image from  here
...waiting for Bob at the crest of the Lane. 
We are moving some of his sheep today, onto Home field. Bob and Anne live on the Lane directly beneath ours in a lovely peg tiled farmhouse, the kind you imagine with a real cottage garden and lambs grazing in the orchard.
I unlock the gate to Home field and cross it, heading down hill, over the stile and onto Bob's field. Across a tiny wooden bridge that spans the field gully and onto Bob's Lane. Ah there he is! 
Waiting for the girls to drove the sheep up to the farm gate.
We're off! The drove quite a lick...

here we are turning them onto THE Lane!
 Passing our driveway on the right, I realise I haven't shut the gate...oops, a few lambs take the opportunity to head for the garden! A little persuasion from the Boodle does the trick and all were reunited on Home Field where, grazing duties are happily undertaken.
Those ravens haunt me...their cruel cries draw me out of the kitchen in the evening. Roosting in the trees at the bottom of Home field, the homecoming every evening is loud and I feel compelled to watch them return. 
I wonder at my attraction?
 image source observando
 At  night I am dreaming of  Hans Christian Andersen's Wild Swans. I was mesmerised by this strange story as a child...perhaps I am longing to be carried away...
And all the while late summer spoils us with golden sunsets
...and for those brief few moments I would have described them as a "rapture" of ravens...
image Txema Yeste

 the Raven Girl!


  1. Perhaps your nickname should be raven!
    What would Magpie say to that?!
    Lisa x

    1. Hehe!
      That would make us a rum couple of birds and both harbingers of doom! Alternatively, in a case of mistaken identity I could be offered a monthly column in Country Living a la the REAL Sarah see there I go again, flights of to you jumble and jelly girl!

  2. Such a beautiful part of the Weald you live in. It looks very romantic! Like 'fairy tale country' indeed.


  3. Beautiful images it must have been wonderful helping with the sheep.
    Sarah x

  4. It hink a rapture is much closer to the truth of it :)

  5. Wow...what an your writing. Groups of birds always scare me...but your lovely sheep on the other romantic. I love your pretty world. xoxo


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