A Call of Nature

by Michael Conway

There I was sitting outside my chalet in the beautiful Kent countryside. Pen poised, paper ready and my mind a total blank. Writing was my first passion closely followed by nature and wildlife.

The flowers were coming into bloom all over the garden. The bees were busy pollinating the blooms. Caterpillars were eating holes in the foliage, while the early butterflies flitted around looking for a mate. Even the pigeons were chasing the females all over the garden, nature’s mating season had truly arrived. The rabbits were nibbling the grass in between playing in the warming atmosphere. Yes spring had arrived; the wildlife was now busy tending and feeding their young.

The birdfeeders needed to be replenished daily. For most species, this was the time to incubate their eggs and feed their newborn. My wife dispersed the bread crumbs, the remnants of our breakfast of toast, on the path running in front of our chalet. Before long, we were privileged to witness an array of different birds feeding off our small offering: blackbirds, bluetits and a female robin with one of her little offsprings.

That evening I chopped up an array of different nuts, mixed breadcrumbs, sultanas with oats, all mashed together with a spoon of honey. Sprinkling the mixture all along the path, my wife and I sat back with a cold beer and waited to see what happened. It wasn’t long before birds of different species arrived and began feeding. A squirrel joined the party, and they all seemed pleased with my mixture. So much so that within a couple of hours most of it was gone.

As the light began to fade we were honoured to be joined by a couple of badgers feeding off the worms from our lawn. What a wonderful sight! They seemed so tame. For us humans, this time of the year was nature’s time to add to the population of our wildlife by helping them breed. It was also a time for diligence as a lot of predators will steal the young to feed their own. Unfortunately, the circle of life must go around.

Well, that evening set the precedent for the remainder of the summer. Each evening, we fed the different array of birds at this moment in time, mostly accompanied by their offspring, and also the squirrel that occasionally brought a friend, with the same mixture that they seemed please with. The badgers joined us most nights currently accompanied by their family.

Most of that summer we were awakening to the wonders of nature and the wildlife that inhabits our garden. What a joy that summer truly was!

Michael Conway is a writer from Loughborough, UK. He writes about aspects of everyday life often taken for granted. At present, he is working on his third novel and a collection of short stories. Click here to visit his website, Sparrowfoot.

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