The Geese Return

It happens every year. It was difficult to believe when the old man told us – ‘Oh aye, ye’ll see, the day after the shooting season finishes, they’ll be back. They ken they’re safe then.’

Hard to believe, but true. As we walked along the same footpath the following day, there they were – thousands of Barnacle and Pink Foot. How they know remains a mystery, but somehow they know when it’s safe to come back. Up until then there had only been a few intrepid groups risking the aim of wildfowlers.

Now it’s March, and every day, we have the uplifting sight of the geese grazing on the merse and that wonderful sound as they call, rise, turn and land again on a newly favoured spot.

One day, I’ll capture the scene with my camera. But for now, just a few words … apologies if I’ve posted these before! Geese are one of the highlights of winter in this part of the world.

Geese in Winter

Sketching the glow of dawn

geese scribble their route westward.

Thousands – skein after skein

head for inland grazing.

At twilight they return

with their wild evensong

before settling on the merse

for another winter’s night.


Sometimes things don’t go to plan…

I am not going to attempt to comment on Brexit other than this appalling mess we’re in now is thanks to someone thinking that he was sure he knew what the outcome would be. But things certainly didn’t go to plan and we’re the worse off for that.

However, this is not the best of times to send my blood pressure up. I shall refrain from thinking about politics and instead make only a light reference to the sad situation of many migrants in the following –

No Barriers

Nearly sunset

January sky soon to be a palette

for shades of evening light.



skeins of Barnacle geese head

back to feeding grounds.


Solway coast, haven to migrants

from Svalbard, welcomed



Their journey

free from barriers, unimpeded

by politics, prejudice.


Sometimes we need to get away from people and all the tensions of the modern day world. We need to clear our heads of the mindless activities of so many people in places of power.

Today I saw clusters of ladybirds,  sowed seeds, cleared weeds and watched goldfinches feeding. This is one part of the world that makes sense. The garden is going to plan, many of the geese have flown back to their home in the north. Sometimes, some things feel right …


Sketches of Geese

This morning we were treated to what is becoming a daily fly past – more spectacular and inspiring than any by aircraft. At 8.20am, we grabbed cameras and tried to capture the magic.


Geese at Dawn

In the glow of dawn

geese sketch their route westward.

Thousands – skein after skein

head for inland grazing.


Silhouetted v shapes, ink blots

on the soft canvas of cloud.

We crane our necks, grab cameras,

try to capture the magic.


At twilight they’ll return

with their wild evensong

before settling on the merse

for another winter’s night.


Season of Light

This week we saw the first geese of the season – three skeins heading inland to feed during the day before returning to the bay in the evening.  The sound of geese calling is such an evocative, almost primeval, cry that it stirs something deep inside. It’s a sound that people have heard for centuries. A sound unchanged by modern civilisation.

As weeks go by, we’ll gradually see more and more geese as they arrive here for the winter. One of the wonders of this time of year.

This evening, the sky over the hills had that soft glow that makes this such a special time  – fiery autumn leaves back lit by low sunlight and indoors the warm glow from a blazing log fire.


Soft, misty clouds

cover the hillside in waves.

Not a dying time

a season of light.

Each leaf that falls, a symbol

of life yet to come.