Why ‘Beneath the Boughs’?

On my first day volunteering I was a little early as I had to get the bus to where we were meeting. Not that this was a problem as it can, in some light, be considered the reason why I am writing this. To kill the time before I met the other volunteers I had a little wander around the grounds of the Wolseley Centre, HQ forΒ Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Walking along the lake I approached what I thought was an information board to find an abridged version of this poem:

Leisure by W. H. Davies
Leisure by W. H. Davies

The poem struck a cord with me and so, for a while, I stopped and I stared. I was very quickly rewarded. A rabbit hopped across the path not far away from me, maybe not the most exciting animal encounter, but seeing as it’s been a while since I’ve seen one, it was a very sweet sight. The ducks were just removing their heads from under their wings and a couple of moorhen chicks were very tentatively following their mother across the water. In the trees behind me I could hear the birds calling to each other and a juvenile blackbird was catching an earthworm breakfast.

The poem made me think a little. I feel everyone should take a few moments to just stop and stare each day; step back from the hustle and bustle, take a breath and have a chance to appreciate the world around us. I’m writing this whilst lying in my garden (I’m a huge fan of putting pen to paper when committing word to it’s written form – so you’ll find most of my posts will be written in one of my many trusty notebooks before being typed up and cast out into the depths of the worldwide web). A quick glance around seems to show nothing but me and our pet rabbit Benji. When I take a moment to stop and actually look it’s a whole different world. Two species of butterfly give their attention to the strawberries and vegetable patch, ants try and find their way through the maze that is the grooves of the brick path. A hoverfly is nearby looking almost interested in what I am doing sprawled upon the grass. A bee is getting intimately acquainted with the clover flowers whilst a spider scuttles its way through the jungle of grass.

My garden
My garden in Stafford
DSCF0292
I felt this notebook was appropriate for the situation

Thinking about the poem made me what to share my feelings and experiences with wildlife and a bit of further thought led to the creation of this blog. In tribute to the poem that inspired me to do this, I took part of the poem as the title.

So I urge you all to consider the poem and just take a moment to stop and stare, whether just whilst sunbathing in the garden, whilst feeding the ducks or exploring beneath the boughs in the local woods. You may be surprised at what you find.

Beth x

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