Corner Fern

2.15 p.m., 29°F, -3°C: I’ve switched to fibre tip pen this afternoon; it tends to speed up my drawing as moves about so smoothly in any direction. That is just as well because the temperature has dropped below freezing so I can’t get too involved with the intricacies of the fronds of the male fern growing at the corner of the raised bed behind the pond.

A dunnock delivers its thin trilling song from a perch in the hedge. A female blackbird gives a scolding alarm call from the crab. There’s a rattly call from a mistle thrush. The redwing has been back, feeding on the squishy brown crab apples.

There’s a monotonous song from a wood pigeon. It’s a five note phrase, repeated two or three times, which The Handbook of British Birds  gives as “cōō-cōōō-cōō, cōō-cōō “.

Making a note to remember the rhythm, I write ‘I don’t like plumbing’, but more memorable mnemonics that have been suggested are  ‘my toe bleeds, Betty’, ‘take two cows, Taffy’, or ‘a proud Wood-pig-eon’.

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