Fur, fin and feather

IMG00255-20130924-0710A misty morning was brightened by two wild things thrown into our beach path.  First, a perfect mackerel, ejected by Neptune for our consideration; in their souls the boys would have loved to eat it but are well trained enough simply to admire.  The sea being so calm, it is surprising that the waves had found strength enough to wash it up, which makes me wonder if it had jumped out of the path of a pursuing seal, driven from the rocks off shore. Glistening and mottled with blue and pink, it was reflected in a splendid shaft of sky gleaming in the east on an otherwise monochrome and moody day.  The heron sat on the shingle not far away, a few feet from the water. As we approached he stiffened, extended his neck in disappointment and flew across in front of us, off over the dunes.  We always think of Uncle Jonny when we see this lovely bird, as he fills Jonny’s place upon the rocks in a very special and mysterious way: such meetings are charged with meaning.  If this was his mackerel he seems not to have cared, for when we returned the poor fish was still there, waiting for a passing gull.  So it all goes, lives in a landscape, plans and routines cruelly cut short.

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