Inspired by Nature is a themed Croak to entertain you with some of our favourite artwork based on nature and the outdoors. We hope it will stimulate you to get creative and produce something yourself. If you do and would like to share them with us, please post them on our Facebook page, Twitter account, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This months feature has been written by Rebecca Neal our Conservation Youth Worker on the Peterborough Green Pathways project.
This week I delivered a Green Pathways session at a school not far from the Froglife office. At the last minute when packing, I put in some binoculars. I had forgotten how much young people love binoculars and when they saw them, they were instantly keen to spy on their mates in normal lessons whilst pretending to birdwatch. We used them to look at the usual suspects that hang around school grounds; a pied wagtail right outside the door, a magpie on the roof and sparrows in the hedges. They scanned the trees whilst I did comedy impressions of wood pigeons and collard doves (woo woo woo woo-woo versus woo woo woo, in case you were wondering). We even voyered some possible birdy foreplay. From the school orchard, we heard a bird singing over the football field which inspired a discussion on why birds sing. When asked what they remembered at the end of the session, fantastic facts about reptiles and amphibians were lost in favour of the image of a boy bird, standing at the top of a tree shouting “back-off” to other boy birds in the neighbourhood. In my head he is holding one wings out in front with primary feathers pointing to the offending rivals.
For this month’s Croak, I have written some Japanese poetry inspired by being out and about with children. The first is a Tanka which, in its English form, usually has 5 lines with 5, 7, 5, 7 and 7 syllables respectively. There is usually some kind of change between the first three lines and the last two. The second is a Haiku which is 3 lines with 5, 7 and 5 syllables respectively when in English. Usually they don’t have titles or punctuation; I have stretched the form a bit to annoy my creative writing lecturer who hates exclamation marks.
I was inspired to write the Haiku by seeing a kingfisher whist out with the Green Pathways trainee and a lad we were having a session with. We were all very excited to see it. The poem is actually about a Morphos butterfly I was lucky enough to see in Guyana a decade ago; I was reminded of the colour when seeing the kingfisher fly.
Song thrush sings early:
“I’m not dead!”, “How you doin?”
“Oi! Get off my land!”
Humans hear beauty, feel calm
Yet still say “get off our land”
Spirit from another land
Left me with a gift