They missed out

By

Away for the winter
are you sure

The treecreeper, so small and vulnerable. Scurrying in and out of the ivy that seemed to be strangling the life out the aged ash tree. How could this tiny bird survive five long months of an English winter. Maybe its insignificance was its saviour. Could the cold icy wind be bothered to search out and find this little bird?Was it that inconspicuous that winter just forgot about it? After all it was easy to miss as it went
about its business, unnoticed by almost everyone who passed it by that winter. Not looking about them as they rushed by, pulling up their collars and quickening their pace. The lure of a centrally heated home beckoned them. Well they missed out
because I stayed awhile and watched.
I watched as the little bird went its way, checking beneath the leaves of ivy and looking between the deep fissures in the bark. Its tiny scimitar like bill probing the smallest of gaps for sustenance. The time of plenty had passed and the next few months would be a constant battle to survive. It was too engrossed in its search for food to notice me. As the tiny bird forged its way in a spiral up the tree, I thought how it so obviously resembled its old country name of tree mouse. His mottled brown body blending perfectly with the bark of the tree. In fact if it had kept stil, I may have passed it by myself. Its busy lifestyle demanded it was constantly on the move and that was what gave its presence away. I noticed a slight movement and then another, as it reappeared from around the other side of the trunk. There was no
mistake, a silvery eye stripe and the tail pushed into the tree to aid its acrobatics. It looked just like a mouse as it wound its way up the tree. Stopping briefly to feed and quickly off again, all the time alert, not wanting to miss anything that may be a meal. As I watched, it became so obvious that this little bird was so suited to the niche it had chosen. The long claws offering a grip that would not be broken, the bill seeking out food that no other bird could access. Yes it would last the winter because nature had made it that way. Eventually after about twenty minutes and three ascents of the tree, it decided it had investigated
every nook and cranny and it flew off to start the process all over again.
The tree now became still and lifeless without its little companion, but it still it held my attention. I stood and admired its stark majesty, against the rapidly darkening sky. The bare branches shorn of their coat of green held next years leaves tightly in jet black buds. The tree was waiting for the warmth to return and days to lengthen, but until then it would remain still and lifeless. Except that is for the odd bird who chose to pay a visit.

Comments

21 Dec, 2010
015
aster said:

A lovely winters tale Gqu,and yes they certainly did miss out :)
I've never seen one so maybe I'm one of those 'quickening my pace' lol !

21 Dec, 2010
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kenrick said:

Beautifully told, thank you.

21 Dec, 2010
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hobbit said:

What an enjoyable read. Loved it. : o )

21 Dec, 2010
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jane said:

Lovely...I would have waited awhile too... They do investigate all nooks and crannies..occasionally visit our ancient apple tree.Beautifully written Gqu..

22 Dec, 2010
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bonkersbon said:

As you say Gqu ..probably many unaware of such little treasures close by and your blog a timely reminder of the struggles they encounter .I managed to capture a photo of one but couldnt describe in the detail you have .. almost dont need one as can imagine the scene , well written thanks for sharing this .

22 Dec, 2010
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littlewren said:

a lovely winters tale.....

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