Saturday, 31 March 2018

The Countryman

The Countryman magazine has been around for longer than I've been alive - and I've only just discovered it! (Apologies to all who already know it.) What caught my eye among the million other available magazines was the stunning photo of a yellow wagtail on the cover of the April issue.

The photography throughout is wonderful, from glorious landscapes to birds in close-up.

Its articles include 'Listening out for the dawn chorus', Stephen Moss on the return of migrant birds, 'Engaging with the natural world' (and its importance in mental health care) and 'The UK's waterworlds'.

The last of these is by James Lowen. It is beautifully written and illustrated. Here's just a tiny flavour of it:

'Throughout it all, the collective of reeds - whether winter's brittle gold or summer's flexible blue-green - whispers enticingly of the secret waterworld in their midst.' 

It also has poems, both old and new. Next to a mesmerising photo of a Little Owl by Ian Watson, is the poem 'Owls' by Alison Brackenbury. I really like the way the poem spans time and country/town.

'What can night bring me now? I sleep in town.
Through the last trees, winter's last dusk bears down
fresh wind.'

It's a moving poem - even without thinking of Sheffield's last trees.

This magazine brings together so many of the things I love. It's amazing what you can discover by accident. For me this was a real joy.


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