by Mary Reed
As a city gal now living in the country I occasionally observe things,
small enough in themselves, that strike me as, well, striking. Or as my
young niece once said in another context, “There’s an awful lot of
nature here, Aunt Mary.”
Yesterday, for example, I watched one of those tiny dark grey birds with
white tummies, long tails, and swooping flights (what are they, anyhow?)
jump into tufts of long grass. Once there he flapped his wings and twitched
his body a bit, and then was off to the next tuft, where the avian gymnastics
Apparently lack of puddles did not stop him from enjoying a morning
And speaking of mornings, early one recent morn I found my gaze
drawn to a lush fern on the slope across the lawn.
The area was in shadow, the sun not having sufficiently risen over the trees
to bathe it in light. There are ferns all over the landscape — we encourage
them — and for a moment I was not certain what drew my attention
to this particular fern.
Then I realised it was the flicker of movement I must have seen from
the corner of my eye.
That fern was winking at me with red or light green or white flashes.
Had fairies come out from the woods to semaphore messages in some
Those tiny flashes lasted at least five minutes. Then I realised the
culprit must have been a stray beam of sunlight highlighting dew
trembling on the fern, turning the drops of water into glittering gems.
Oh, that’s obviously what it was, I hear you say. Indeed. But the
strange thing is at the time there were no sunbeams reaching
through the canopy of trees down to that shaded fern.
Perhaps it was fairies after all.