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Field of Vision

Friday, 2nd February 2001, West Yorkshire

the river cliff last summer I'VE BEEN working indoors all day so, when I finally get off on my regular walk to the post office, I decide to take a thermos flask of tea with me. I find a spot on the riverbank where I can sit overlooking a low river cliff cut in the silty bank opposite and a pebbly island. After the indoor tasks of the day, it's good to fill my field of vision with natural movement, colour and texture, and to listen to the sounds of flowing water.

Unfortunately it's a fairly bird-free stretch of river, other than the usual Wood Pigeons, Crows and the odd Magpie flying across. There are 14 Long-tailed Tits in the willows today, rather than the 7 or so that I normally see.

fieldfare Gathering in the trees and on the power lines by a ploughed field there's a flock of 100 Fieldfares. Fifty of them get up and wheel around over an isolated clump of willows as if they're preparing to land. They veer off again at the last moment, as if they're too skittish to settle.

lacewing Just after sunset, I start painting the wall in the little bedroom. As soon as I turn on the light a gnat and a green Lacewing fly in through the open window. It reminds me of mothy summer evening. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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