We sat overlooking the tarn and through binoculars I watched mallard until I found a great crested grebe swimming out into the tarn and seemingly alone. I told my friend about their magical courtship dance when the pair bond by rising up out of the water and presenting each other with weed. I followed the bird as he swam toward the shore which was fringed with reeds and boggy ground where a beck trickled into the tarn and a digger was clearing out stones from its bed. The man had stopped for his lunch. Wish I’d brought my more powerful camera. I took photographs all the while, because perspectives would change and the reeds would mask the bird on her nest, we went down closer. I spoke to the man with the digger and he assured us his work was not disturbing the birds, so I crept closer. Toward alder growing in the reed bed. There may be distant sunlight on the fells but the light was poor and I doubted how much colour would show in my photographs. As I always do, I switched between studying the birds through binoculars and taking photographs.
I liked the pattern made by this screen of reeds, and the sense of privacy it gave to the nesting pair. The thrill, always, is to find something special for oneself.
So, Nature Writing. It’s about the immediacy and the inspiration of the moment. It catches the season and the mood of the day. For these great crested grebe- it’s a glimpse of secret lives and the coming of spring. Recreating the immediacy and catching the inspiration is the challenge. Sometimes, you have to let it all mature and come back to it .