Saturday, 15 September 2007

Slugs, Edible Houses and Being Miserable

I am low today. What is it that alters mood and makes one day good and another bad? The anniversary of the death of the Golfer is approaching so that's a partial explanation. Hearing the first mouse of the winter in the roof above my bedroom last night doesn't help either. After an untroubled summer round Puddock Acres, winter rots my confidence, with the promise of leaking roof, snow, dark, dark nights and rodents that I don't want to kill but I can't bear in the house either.

So I'm feeling a bit reflective, a bit sorry for myself and a bit plain miserable today. I walked through the wood to cheer myself up - it usually does, but today all I could think of was the times we walked it when he was ill. Damn the painful memories - what use are they?

Today is the first cold day we've had - summer gone now, butterflies gone, swallows gone. But there's still plenty to look at. The fungi are burgeoning - more varieties here than I'd ever seen in one place before and precious few I can put a name to. I think I'll make up my own names for them. There would be the Sponge, the Summer Russet, the Hedgehog, the Piecrust, the Orange-Peel (I think that one has already been named that officially).

And the slugs don't mind the cooler, damper days - they are out in force. I've grown very fond of the silly things and I wish I'd had my camera with me today as I found one right inside a hollowed out mushroom - right inside it - munching away at the walls. What must that be like in human terms? I crouched down and watched it contentedly browse. Can you imagine the bliss of standing inside a small room and it being edible? The only thing I could think of was the cottage in Hansel and Gretel. I've never seen a more contented slug - made me smile.

So, for all of you out there who are grieving or lonely or just having a bad day and bearing in mind this is supposed to be a nature blog, here is a sustaining and rather beautiful little poem by Gerry Cambridge from his book of poems and photographs of Scottish nature "Nothing but Heather!"

Dandelion Seeds

From somewhere -
from the Pennines, from Skye,
will arrive the puff of air
to make us fly.

In each barbed seed
(as in a nib of gold)
though they call us weed
is light untold -

to scatter like suns
in the Cosmos's breath,
and billow long tons
of blooms from death.

Now that's what I call a sustaining poem! And I am ready to face another day.


Anonymous said...

Dear Daisy,

I just emailed you the following, but my email was returned by your server as undeliverable, so I'm posting it here. I hope that's alright.

No worries at all -- I'm glad you found sustenance in the poem, and in the book. Thanks for letting me know about your posting up that little verse. I'll call in to your blog from time to time to have a read. This can be a gloomy time of year, especially when it turns suddenly cold, as today.

Best wishes

Gerry Cambridge

Puddock said...

Thanks for leaving the comment Gerry. I could have picked any of the poems in your book. They're all wonderful - so evocative of all the bits of Scotland I know.