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Country notebook, by Liam Mulvin

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 19, 2014

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Being privileged to work in the same piece of countryside on a daily basis I get to see the changes made. Some are done quickly and often quite violently, while others are only noticed over time.

Whether it is nature or man, this applies to both. Trees felled by either chainsaw or high winds can leave a sudden gap in the landscape. A hollow in the ground can become a pond overnight.

Then there are the more permanent things. The derelict barn or outhouses that slowly get converted into homes or workplaces. The unused field that finds a new use, as a storage barn built for feed; or a shelter is built for cows or sheep.

Nature too, will suddenly find itself providing burrows and living space for rabbits, or badgers, or foxes. The trees fill with nesting birds that arrive as suddenly as they leave.

I enjoy continuity the best. The trees that look so dead in winter before suddenly greening over and looking so alive for the summer. Autumn colours come all too soon and then the trees sleep once more.

The farmers’ fields are the biggest indicator for me. A lone tractor ploughing the field brown. The slow days until the field too, greens over.

Steadily the crop grows stronger and greener before once more the colour changes, and it is golden. Great activity ensues before once more the field lies empty. Then a lone tractor turns it brown once more.

The same place, always changing.

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