Winter Days: Trains, Flooding and Bird Song

When driving through the countryside in Charnwood we watch out for a line of steam trailing through the fields and up beyond the hedgerows. If we spot it, we will make a diversion for the heritage railway station and watch the train pull into the station.

We had a lucky day, this January, and managed to pull right alongside the train, much to the delight of our children.

Starting back for home, we look out at the flooding caused by recent storms – the River Soar has burst its banks again.

A few days later, I take our youngest son, aged 7, on an evening walk to watch the sun setting over the fields. He is non-verbal and yet we have noticed a real interest in photography and we are very keen to see him develop his skills. He is enchanted for over five minutes by a robin’s song (and the answering call in the distance) and together we take a photo to remember it.

He is also fascinated by the dark lines of the brambles against the blue-red sky. He takes this picture by himself, using my phone. It gives me such joy to see him express himself and photography allows him to show me what is important to him in that very moment. It is as if I can hear his voice.

We see more evidence of the January storms, and our favourite tree is reflected in the flooded field. My son spots that the edge of the water is starting to freeze, and prods the newly formed ice with a stick and we watch it break away and float across the water together. It is quiet here except for the dusk chorus of the birds, and the slight rumble of the city roads in the far distance as rush hour begins. We enjoy the stillness together before turning for home.


  1. Gosh, that sure is a waterlogged landscape.

    Love to hear that your son is interested in photography. Might be a great way for him to communicate and you might find he becomes quite the expert eventually.

    1. It definitely is water-logged around here. My elderly friend floats his little dog out to the back garden grass using the back door mat as a raft, because our gardens and pavements get so flooded here. We had our garden raised up by two feet so that it drains the water better. I really hope so re my little son. He has a very acute light sensitivity as part of his autism and I think it actually makes him quite good at capturing light on camera πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Derrick – yes my little son took the penultimate one. He loves to take photos and videos, but is particularly fascinated by lights and silhouettes. I think he has a better eye than me! πŸ™‚

      My late grandfather’s father was a signal man and they lived next to the track – so my whole family have grown up loving trains. My grandfather had a huge model train set up in his garden shed which was amazing to play with when I was tiny.

    1. Thank you! I read this comment out to the whole family, I was so taken with it πŸ™‚ I think you may be right. Autism has many complications but our boys have both developed an extremely firm focus on certain things, that I think they would not have otherwise. One is musical, the other is very much into nature and art x 🌿

Leave a Reply