Almanac: 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.

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