It’s turnout out nice on Saturday evening and a set off to do the messages, getting waylaid in the Glen en route. I am seduced as always, and the pull is west along the valley (instead of cutting North across it to the shops) . Willow fluff floats through the air, catching the light like fairy dust, I’ve never seen so much. Again I remember last year’s blaze of gorse and how this year it has been replaced by the May blossom – nature’s cycles have their own ways of reminding us that they are beyond our reach. From up on the ridge I see bubbles down in the valley below, there are some young women at The Hatch dancing with their wands and releasing perfect spheres into the air, the bubbles drift West towards the setting sun. Cypress alley is now emptied and the scent of rotting compost has taken the place of the pencil aroma, the sun catches my lens as i try to take in that vacated space, now criss-crossed with tyre tracks and puddles, I search the ground for remains and find an imprint that could be a pictogram or a signature, a stamp to say that work in progress is now complete. Rays of sunshine mix with the remaining tangle of branches, matter is mixed indiscriminately and fumitory clambers out of the hole. I turn to get out and see bubbles still passing through the valley. The twin Alder makes its spiny form and Willow fluff makes temporary screens in webs between the branches of the bare barked Elm. Spiders everywhere must put up with it blowing their cover. Later I find a strange offering at the foot of the swamp cypresses, a deposit of soft chippings removed from the belly of another tree.
I pass on the the meadow and watch the progress of the grass
I push on to get the groceries and return as fast as I can laden with provisions and happy to be back in the Glen making today’s co-ordinates of goalpost and bench, Steps linking one passage to another and sharing their fluid rhythmic metal lines as I pass
Water at the bridge is musical with an undertone/overtone of gurgling depending on where you listen, there are echos across the Glen from underground pipes and channels, from run offs and urban drainage
walking west again towards the setting sun and enjoying the delicate dwindling light along the ponds, with my shopping bags one in hand and one on the back, I swing along watching the rhythm of my feet stopping at the first yellow bridge
SUNDAY The day is warm and sunny and feels like the first true day of an Irish and not an Arctic summer, the willows are thick in the air and lit up more so than yesterday, swarms of Tinkerbells drifting to their resting places, covering the surface of the ponds and making the air thick with their presence. It is the anniversary of Friends of The Glen Facebook Group, and our 13th monthly litter picking and socially distanced gathering. The Glen is pristine this month with so many ardent Glen Friends putting in time and effort on a regular basis.
It was fitting that I the Dipper retrieved his sign from the river today broken, but not destroyed (as we had assumed) in last year’s burnings at the PROSTO bench. It was a lucky sign and good to see the paintwork shining through an overwintering underwater. On a darker note he also found the bloated carcass of a hare or rabbit, probably the kill from a hunting session. We had a visit from C on water and A brought a blanket and some pieces for a “give and take” exchange, which may pick up over the summer sessions
After the pick up N the researcher and I ruminate on our upcoming roles in front of the camera about ecology in Cork City, the willows blow all about us as we chat