No photograph to share with you this time.
It was a misty, moisty morning. There was no point in looking up, but I did. Somewhere not far above my head a pair of swans scythed through the air with their insistent, harmonised beat.
A winter’s morning.
Winter, and I had a window seat on the train to work. Along a quarter mile or so where the rails run near the river it was plain that some trees were not infested with ivy but with mistletoe, not yet enough for a commercial harvest – unlike these trees in Oxford. Has the University or the College considered such an income stream? There was one small clump in a tree above the railway cutting, close enough to warrant a kiss – but Mrs Turnstone was five miles away in the supermarket.
Seen from the train in Kent this morning, a field with winter cereal showing through, and a flock of gulls keeping their social distance from each other. Other than keeping a rather greater distance from it, they were ignoring a fox in the middle of the field, eating what seemed to be another gull.
These gulls keeping their social distance were at Portree on the Isle of Skye.
We had an appointment in Canterbury city centre and were almost there when we spotted something white in the tree downstream. Stop. Stare. Stare again. It was not witches britches – air-borne plastic impaled in the branches – but a little egret, shining in the sun. Not long ago a rare visitor to Kent, now almost a familiar friend.
By the time we’d done snapping with our phones, a small crowd had gathered. I hope the sight lifted hearts a little.
This Christmas we saw one bright star in the sky -but it was far more to the West than the East – shining shortly after sunset – so it most certainly was not the Star of Bethlehem!
In fact it was not even a star, but our planetary neighbour, Venus.
There she was, a perfectly good reminder of the Babe of Bethlehem. Venus shines with a reflected light, not her own, and that’s exactly what is asked of her.
And let’s look up to the stars – at least when the cloud cover allows – and just wonder.