We took a long walk near Lindlar with my old friend Thomas and Chikai, his friendly Akita Inu dog, past the quarry where I had recorded a few midwife toads a while ago, and beyond it into a very beautiful open landscape of large fields and hills that I wasn’t familiar with although it is just half an hour away from here.
Sunday after the birthday party, taking care of a slight hangover, cleaning up the house. I was lazy but Sabine convinced me that we should take a walk, and maybe not one of our short standard walks around the hill, but something a little more special. The weather was cold and sunny, spectacular compared to most of the rather grey January.
We drove to a village called Frangenberg, near Linde, a few miles from here, and took a round walk around the hills at Breidenbach and Spich, under a deep blue sky, with wonderful views. The end-of-January sun had already some power, and there was a hint of early spring.
Back home we had cherry cake and coffee and then we put these images on my computer and looked at them and had half of the chocolate candy box that Vera and Michael had given to me yesterday … they were REALLY good
On this quiet sunny 1st of May morning, before breakfast, I took a long walk alone (Sabine is away in Brussels, seeing an old girlfriend). It is a holiday and people are still asleep – many have spent an extended evening partying, drinking lots of beer, and stealing birches. They have a
strange custom here in Germany, and I think especially here in the Rhine area – young men gather to cut birch trees, decorate them with colorful ribbons, and set them up in front of the houses of young women; part of the fun is that other young men try to steal these birch trees in the night.
At one point, a song thrush sang its loud and exquisite song very near to me for a minute or two. I love those thrush songs a lot (as readers of this blog might remember) – they are somewhat similar to nightingale songs but they use more repetitions, so for most of the complex fast short patterns they sing, there is a good chance to hear them several times.
Listening to a song thrush from so near was quite an experience. The beauty was a bit overwhelming – it seemed to blast through my heart like a very loud and uplifting rock concert.
How wonderful to be able to walk through this beauty, to feel the touch of the sacred … then my path led me into the village again and there was something even more overwhelming: the smell of fresh coffee coming from the houses where people were getting up … oh yes: breakfast!!!
For those unfortunate souls who don’t live in the countryside such as this, I recorded the walk I took today – click the player and you will hear half an hour of my steps in the muddy forest, stopping now and then to listen to the first spring birdsongs. The most prominent bird one could hear today is the song thrush … their song is one of the most beautiful things I can imagine.
People who grew up musically in the late sixties (such as me) might be reminded of Pink Floyd’s wonderful song Cirrus Minor which contains lots of song thrush singing … that bird must have been recorded somewhere in England, at this time of the year, 40 years ago.
This walk reminded me of Wordsworth’s poem in more than one way. Well he lamented “what man has made of man” … I only was somewhat put off by the incessant loud shouting of a group of kids who played right in the dense middle of the forest, the only place where the deer can hide during the day. Oh well. But then, they didn’t know … and of course, they are a part of nature too, no less than the birds and deer are.