Saturday, 23 October 2010

Still on the Sound

I love this time of year.

Most of the yachts have been hauled out for the season and the sound is returning to its winter quiet. The winklers are back, working the intertidal mud from before dawn. A curlew has taken to wading the foreshore in front of the cabin - tolerated, looks like, by the resident heron across whose fishing patch he carelessly meanders, head down in search of invertebrates. Cormorants and shags, winter's sentinels, are staking their claims to the stoys that dot the anchorage; and yesterday half a dozen pale-bellied brent geese swam under the jetty, heading southeast into Pawle Sound, where in a week or two they will be joined by half a dozen more.

The feral flock of canada geese on the mainland opposite have finally settled down after a spell of noisy restlessness, their latent migratory impulses stirred by skein after skein of their diminutive cousins flying in from the far North.

It's a paradox of autumn on the water that the quieter it gets, the more it comes to life.
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