Self isolation

Once again, I’ve been self isolating, after some cases of Covid in the class I support at the local primary. And once again I’ve found it really hard! Luckily I’m well, and my lateral flow tests are negative, so I should be happy enough, although working online all week and not not being able to go out, really doesn’t sit well with me. Acceptance, I keep saying to myself!

One good thing, however, is that it’s given me time to appreciate the garden, and the number of birds that are flitting about at the moment. There are lots of sparrows, like the one pictured above, busy nesting in the conifer hedge (and the roof space of the house). Their chitter has replaced the sound of children for a while and I’ve found myself listening to them more closely. There are visiting goldfinch too, and a blackbird’s nest in the hedge, quite a robust nest I have to say, pushed up between one of our conifers and the neighbour’s fruit cage. All of this has given me some diversion from the monotony of online marking, although it hasn’t inspired me to write many poems. I’ve scribbled odd things in my notebook though, and maybe this is a haibun, although I don’t think the haiku is strong enough:

… looking out of the patio windows, the grass pale because it hasn’t rained, and earlier, a goldfinch picking away at the curly branches of the twisted hazel. A cool breeze lulls the pine in the neighbour’s garden, cone-tipped branches, the place where the magpie likes to hop about, serious and concentrating on his next big find – a blackbird’s or a sparrow’s egg – and there’s a house sparrow, dipping and sipping the water from the birdbath, freckling the patio with droplets…

self isolation
picking up a dead fly
by its wings

Originally, I had a haiku about sparrows in the birdbath but that didn’t really convey the mood I was in (I’ve done a lot of housework this week, just to try and keep moving about, and the dead fly relates to that)!

To end on a lighter note, here’s the blackbird and its chicks. It’s a shame my finger somehow got in the way, parting the hedge, plus there’s the mesh of the neighbour’s fruit cage in the background, but it was fantastic to get so close. I didn’t want to go back and disturb the nest again, or alert the magpie to the fact that there are some young chicks nearby, so I’ll stick with these photos for now.

Counting down the days until I can go out for a walk again!
Stay safe everyone.

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