The Song of Robin Redbreast (Erithacus rubecula)

Written by Simon Mitchell

Continued from page 1

There's my answer. Some soft, washed wool forrepparttar Robin to line its nest forrepparttar 147749 coming brood - but not red !

Later on I returned.

I could hearrepparttar 147750 Robin some way off inrepparttar 147751 trees and couldn't seem to attract it by 'clucking'. So I tried to contactrepparttar 147752 bird with a technique I had read about where you push a picture into an animal's mind through its third eye. I sent it pictures of a little nest with five eggs, all cosy withrepparttar 147753 newly cut bits of woolly jumper I had brought with me.

Within a minute I heardrepparttar 147754 whir of wings andrepparttar 147755 Robin was standing onrepparttar 147756 end ofrepparttar 147757 bench where I sat. I slowly raised my arm and dropped one ofrepparttar 147758 wool pieces down nearrepparttar 147759 bird. There was no communication as such but I gained a strong impression I was being scolded. Here follows a rough translation of what I believerepparttar 147760 bird replied:

"Take yer stupid peices of wool home with you, thererepparttar 147761 last thing we need round here. The moss here is fantastic, it is soft, there's loads of it and has much better water draining qualities than them soggy bits of cloth. If I use thoserepparttar 147762 damp will rot my chicks inrepparttar 147763 nest. Fat lot you know. If you really want to make friends go and get me some fat juicy worms and bring them here."

I checkedrepparttar 147764 moss. Because ofrepparttar 147765 clean air here, there is loads of moss and lichen for lining nests. It was certainly much less likely to get damp than my wool. Suitably chastised I returned home. I saw several Robins onrepparttar 147766 way home, they kind of made themselves conspicuous by landing in a tree nearby and starting to sing as I walked by - or was itrepparttar 147767 same Robin ?

But later, on a mornings gardening with my son, I persuaded him to pick up some worms and save them for an expedition to seerepparttar 147768 tame Robin that afternoon. The aim was to getrepparttar 147769 Robin to take a worm from his hand, which in his words would be 'cool'.

We sat there for about 45 minutes, making Robin clucking noises but I could see his attention was wearing thin. He listened torepparttar 147770 bird song and we identified a pheasant, several other Robin songs from overrepparttar 147771 river,repparttar 147772 exciting cry of a hunting buzzard and some other bird I couldn't identify that makes a noise like 'Michupichu - Michupichu' ! We decided to 'setrepparttar 147773 worms free' and headed intorepparttar 147774 copse behind us to find non-salty soil aboverepparttar 147775 highest tide mark and placed them down where they could wriggle back intorepparttar 147776 earth.

It was then I sawrepparttar 147777 Robin, high up in one ofrepparttar 147778 trees. Three Robins. I sat down next torepparttar 147779 worms and stage whispered to Wills "Walk over here and sit down quietly". But it was too late. Quick as a flash of bright redrepparttar 147780 Robin swooped in and bit off one end of one ofrepparttar 147781 worms, fluttering back up to a nearby tree. Wills sat down next to me and we picked up a worm each and held it out. The Robin fluttered around from bush to bush, keeping a beady eye on us at all times. Then it flew from a bush, landed on my son's head for a moment, and flew off to another one.

It came closer as we stretched out our worms forrepparttar 147782 taking but just then two large dogs ran throughrepparttar 147783 copse, breakingrepparttar 147784 moment. It was Mel with her daughters, Emily and Hazel, out walkingrepparttar 147785 dogs. Wills was glad to find some people his own age to play with and we went back to Mel's house for a cup of tea.

THE ADVENTURE OF ARTHUR by Simon Mitchell (fiction)
This is a fantastic story for the 'eco-aware', based on a funded walk project built near Exeter, UK. Both you and your children will love this story of a 'Nature Boy'. Begin now with a free online slideshow at:

Signs of the Old Gods: The Winter Solstice

Written by Simon Mitchell

Continued from page 1

The ancient Celtic cycles tierepparttar winter solstice to a time of celebration -repparttar 147748 return ofrepparttar 147749 light - a natural beginning to a New Year, a letting go ofrepparttar 147750 old. There are many activities from ancient times with a positive flavour, and quite frankly its way too cold to go romping about with nothing on. But onrepparttar 147751 longest night, like All-Hallows Eve,repparttar 147752 veil is thin and we only need a tiny nudge to see other worlds.

Here's one based on ancient tree burning, called ' Deamon Fire ': You will need: A strong metal container for a small fire Dried lavender herb or essential oil of lavender Dried pine cones A new white candle

Get your container, preferably silver, and take it out underrepparttar 147753 full moon,repparttar 147754 night ofrepparttar 147755 Goddess (Full Moon is on Boxing Day 2004 Dec 26). Wash it withrepparttar 147756 rays ofrepparttar 147757 moon. Put inrepparttar 147758 dried pine cones and place it safely outside onto a base of local stone if possible. Lightrepparttar 147759 pine cones withrepparttar 147760 wick of a fresh white candle and stand back to let them burn. Sprinkle dried lavender onrepparttar 147761 flames while it burns, or use a sprinkle or three of lavender essential oil.

When it burns down, gaze intorepparttar 147762 embers while they still show lights, and see what you can see.

Then go out intorepparttar 147763 woods and quiet places and see what you can find playing inrepparttar 147764 moonbeams and starlight.

THE LILY by Simon Mitchell (fiction)
THE LILY is the first episode of a magical new Cornish adventure novel. Trapped in time for 2000 years, the spirit of a healer finally tells his story. A giant conspiracy is unveiled and our hero sets out to mend the land. Order this story by visiting:

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