A timely rest

Black darter by Dave Steel

Dave Steel starts and extraordinary final weekend of 30 Days Wild with shifting crops and singing birds

Noon and it suddenly felt like this was swift-watching time. It may have been helped by the pile of wood that offered a rare opportunity -  a seat out on the moss. It, and I didn’t really wish to admit this to myself, may have been a protest from my legs that they had carried me in the wild since 7am.

Legs which knew I wanted to push on a bit further but they were winning the debate especially as the wild joined in on their side.

Three skylark filled the air with song as they ensured that the strong breeze didn’t sweep them and their music from their audience of one. Yellow wagtail called as they flew overhead with beaks full of food for their young, which were sitting comfy in a nearby field of barley. It danced in the swirl of air that kept the heat of this day tamed, whilst meadow pipit made their usual “and don’t forget us” clamour for attention.

Keeping in low flight passes black tailed skimmer, four-spotted chaser and emperor dragonflies with wings energised by the sun patrolled a nearby pool.

A stand of foxglove tormented the bees, which were having to time their flight in synchronicity with the breeze-swept flowers, whilst nearby a farmer cut his silage crop. This is not my favourite crop, compared to the old hay fodder crop, which was cut but once a year, affording so much wildlife to gain a summer of life but such is our less appreciative approach to the wild.

It was time to move on home the extra mile or so of dragonfly surveying or so I had wanted from my legs being saved for another day.

The wild then escorted me back, distracting my tired legs from their grumbling with my first black darter dragonfly of the year, noted whilst painted lady and comma butterflies being fleet of wing, lifted my flagging legs into springing step mode that the wild so easily achieves.

30 Days Wild