Thursday, 17 September 2015
Return from Paradise.
I’ve been away for a month in West Papua, a country whose birds, insects, plants, people, weather and landscapes defy description. The place is difficult to convey in words- metaphors are as ineffectual as an overused cliché, and similes flee in a tremble of weakness. It is a fantasy.
Now I have awoken from the dream and returned to normality; the familiar sights and sounds of a British autumn surround me like a warm blanket. A flash of coppery brown is a Whitethroat disappearing into the black juiciness of a bramble tangle. Two Chiffchaffs sing- “Come-on, Feed-up, Lets-go, hurry-up”, while a third bird calls from cover “Soon, Soon”. They chase the Migrant hawkers. Swallows stream southward under the cerulean sky, sunshine sylph-like, swerving, spread-tailed and silken winged.Two Reed Warblers fiddle among the rosehips, then up into the hawthorn, red berries gleaming ripely, to preen their plain plumage, demanding the attention that is rarely given to the dun, the tan, the buff- The ordinary.