In the short few days between taking these shots of our famous triplets – the top one was taken last evening – you can see how fast they are developing their adolescent plumage from the fluffy down which recently adorned them. Tended by their adoring parents, Peter, Paul and Mary are bigger than ever and ever hungry. Until recently, when one of them peeped for something to eat, the tiny but piercing noise would be accompanied by a gentle but perceptible lifting of the wings, an endearing trope indeed. In turn each is now extending those little wings, strengthening their resilience in preparation for the harrowing first flight, whenever they are ready to try. How extraordinary that a seabird so commonplace, and indeed so loathed by even some of the people round here (happily not Works All Hours and All God’s Creatures Welcome, whose chimney stack features here), daily brings so much pleasure and joy to us as they go about their little lives.
The simplest things are so often the most precious. Indeed, as I write this, Kemo Sabe has had to greet and feed the visiting Mantalinis who are currently chowing down on the front lawn, their glowing colours and splendidly mottled feathers a wonder of the world. Similarly, the rotund sparrows which bustle and beep in all the bushes, dashing across the garden from rose to honeysuckle, cheeping and chirping with joy apparently undiminished by a turn-down in the weather, such as we had yesterday. The opulence of nature is adorned with the glories of commonplace natural life: tadpoles in the pond, snails on the gate, and starlings, blackbirds and thrushes thrusting nutrition down the throats of the next generation as quickly as we can keep the supplies topped up. Together as we are, all year round, our native species and we the creatures of the house are all in it together and all the better for that.