Marton Mere, Blackpool
Even in the after-shock of frost and fallen leaves,
even though we know they're there,
we need to ask a local birder
- and even he takes a while to point them out
amongst the willow, thorn and apple thicket,
And finally our scopes fine-tune a passage
through the tangled epidermis
to where they perch, like hearts in ribs,
where the frost has scarcely reached.
Each tucked close to the aorta of its tree,
each in plumped feathers
that copy the colours of bark in changing light,
each with ears folded down,
not even offering a frozen stare,
until the one in the apple tree,
the one most exposed,
lifts its ear tufts, unfreezes, glares
to agree the distance between it
and us. And us? All of us comply.
Another photo by David J Slater. Click to view it full sized. Don't forget to follow the link in the side bar to his site of beautiful images.