Nation diary 1917: geese float like toy birds within the early haze

Initially printed within the Manchester Guardian on 13 October 1917

Surrey, October 11
This morning was chill. Wild duck had been on a broad stretch of backwater which has come from the river overflow within the low marsh; they floated like toy birds within the early haze. After some time they flew, skimming the ripples intently sufficient to make scattered particles shimmer within the rising solar, their green-grey and chestnut plumage throwing out a present of various colors within the flight. They settled among the many tall reeds alongside the river financial institution, with lapwing taking part in overhead, then got here out to relaxation for a very long time on the water once more. Mist was nonetheless white alongside the hedgerow, frosting haws and the now crimson “winter pears” on wild rose bushes, that are wealthy in yellow leaf. Up within the spinney a greenfinch went from bough to bough of a thorn, excessive and low, his feathers now boring in shade, now virtually the color of younger lime leaves the place the solar struck by means of. Alighting on a department, the sound of an extended, candy be aware happy the ear, then, as his wings simply opened, a faint twitter was hardly heard. Flying off a bit, he all the time got here again to the spreading thorn once more.

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