I’m on a personal journey to rediscover the natural world I described in my nature notebooks when I was a 12 year old boy. In 1976 I was dedicated to identifying all the species I saw. Given the state of Oldham, the post-industrial wasteland of a northern town I grew up in, this meant sometimes quite thin pickings. Outside our terraced house was a row of large, well established, Poplar trees in which the Magpies nested every year. I used to watch them through my parents’ bedroom window as they foraged, flew, built their nest and fed their brood. An hour could pass by without me even noticing.
Today I’m in Devon and a pair of Magpies are in the park. The iridescent sheen on their plumage is stunning. An hour passes by before I even notice. Here’s the entry from my nature notebooks when I was twelve years old.
I watched their nest building antics with a keen eye.
If only children were as bored today as I was then.