Wednesday, February 11, 2009

News from the colony

We're into the end of the middle of the first week of the writers' and artists' colony at St Peter's and time is flexing its mean muscle as we brace ourselves for the first of two change-over weekends where some of us leave and some more of us arrive and we roll along together a while longer.

The birds have welcomed us back, the nuthatches being bolder now than the chickadees, and demonstrating an irksome singlemindedness where the menu is concerned. After one round of feeding I had run out of peanut pieces and had only a few sunflower seeds to offer; when nuthatch saw these it picked them up and threw them off my hand onto the ground and gave me a few gentle pecks on the fingers to record displeasure before flying off to have a public hissy fit in the trees. I don't know what names I was called but they were certainly not nuthatch endearments.

Other wildlife encountered included a pair of poets and a nature writer, in the library, with a reading. Three books were launched before our eyes: Mari-Lou Rowley's Suicide Psalms;

Allan Safarik's Yellowgrass;

and Candace Savage's Bees: Nature's Little Wonders.

It was an excellent reading all round, with offerings of intensity, hilarity and curiosity. The Bee book in particular was a treasure: absolutely gorgeous design and offering a fascinating trail of poetry, myth and research about honeybees.


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