On a walk in the park a friend gave me a newspaper clipping. One of her British friends had cut it from The Times of 11th October 2014 and posted it to her—snail mail! (Breaking the magic of the old-time paper trail, I did have to go online to discover when it was first published.)
It is entitled Read about autumn: it’s in animal handwriting and it is by Dr Miriam Darlington. She describes an area between the school and the railway track near the River Dart in England. She notices ‘calligraphy of the wild, a living landscape tracing everything that dragonflies, wrens, dippers and voles need.’ We don’t have voles in Australia, that I know of, but Melbourne photographer, Philip Millar, spends his urban lunchtime snapping surprising avian experiences.
His waterway is between an electricity station and a railway depot and under a freeway. The birds face a fierce industrial aspect yet there they are, surviving.
The water’s edge is, like that of the River Dart, ‘fixed in concrete – engineering designed for the convenience of humans, not rivers—the water is kept flowing along one fixed course, that being a river, it would not naturally choose.’
It is wonderful that, despite being human, writers continue to write about survivors in an urban landscape and photographers continue to illuminate our understanding about sharing our world with other species.
Philip Millar blogs at http://nouveautwitch.tumblr.com/ and http://flipmil.tumblr.com/
Dr Miriam Darlington blogs at http://wild-watching.blogspot.com.au/ and tweets at: https://twitter.com/MimDarling