A House by the Lake and my Dear Friend Blindy

Terry TrainorStarred Page By Terry Trainor, 7th Apr 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/28tl447i/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Many years ago my wife and I lived by a beautiful lake in the Northamptonshire countryside. The lake had a path around it and the walk took about half an hour. There were many lovely woods and meadows around this lake and we made a friend with a duck who only had one eye and my wife called him Blindy

The house by the Lake

It was a lovely bungalow and had a garden on two sides, right by the bungalow was a beautiful lake. On warm days we would sit in the garden and watch the lake and all of the wonderful things that go with a piece of paradise.

Its still black water would shimmer in the golden sun and the trees would sway on soft breezes. A smell as sweet as I have ever smelt glided from the woodland and the meadows that surrounded the lake into our garden, the scents of the many wild flowers mingled together and made me feel happy, lucky to be here, just really lucky.

The lake had a footpath around it and the walk around the lake took about half an hour. There were copses of trees and woodlands, followed by sun browned meadows and fields with cows and horses along the way. It didn't matter how many times I looked at this lake there was always something new, something wonderful, a simplicity from a complicated process of nature.

Whatever stresses I had with my work drifted away when sat in my garden it was a beautiful time in my life. Exercising was a joy, just to walk around this magical place and see nature how nature should be seen. The many wild flowers that grew in their peaceful part by the lake dazzled the mind and the spirit.

The Wild Flowers near the Lake

As said earlier, the walk around the lake took about half an hour. Each part of the walk changed as we went. First we would walk into a real meadow and there were so many different flowers the colours were brilliant.

The early flower Aconite Crowfoot, known as new years gift with bright yellow petals shone out from surrounding greenery. Little buttercups in the sunlit meadow, Shakespeare called them 'cuckoo-buds that paint the meadow with delight'. Daisy's 'the bruisewort' for sore bruises and the roots used to carried around as a charm, and the name Daisy is from the old English meaning 'day's eye'. The Marigold which relates to the Virgin Mary also a seventeenth century drink made of the flower with added sugar to cure a trembling heart.

A Corn Bottle, once its intense blue petals was used to make ink. Children would make circles of these flowers, dry and press them for keepsakes, and there was Columbine, the badge of the house of Lancaster also known as 'granny's bonnet' and 'fools cap' with its poison. Cowslip like a bunch of keys that prompted the names 'herb-Peter as St Peter held the keys of heaven and young maidens would make balls of these flowers and throw them to each other while singing 'Tisty, tosty, tell me true, who shall I be married to?' and listing a name of suitors. Then there is the Honeysuckle where children would lick the nectar from the flower and Chaucer writes of young girls wearing 'chaplets' of honeysuckle in their hair.

The list goes on, Wood Sorrel, Sweet Pea, Meadowsweet, Speedwell, Eglantine, Crocus and Wild Tansy, once called tanazeta or buttons whose leaves would be mixed into a tansy cake awarded to the winning team of a ballgame between priests and the men of the congregation.

So it is not always fine old buildings and follies that tell a tale of history and of the people that lived and worked the land hundreds of years ago. Just stand in a wood or a field or a meadow, the story of mankind lays before you, all you need to do is look.

As well as the foliage around the lake was the animal life, along with the birds that lived on the lake, or just stopped for a rest on their journey's around the world.

The Birds of the Lake

In early spring the birds of the lake had their young. A duck would swim proudly across the lake followed by tiny little fluffy balls. Every now now and again one of these little pieces of fluff would paddle off in a different direction and the mummy duck would chase her duckling and quack a stern telling off because there were so many predators waiting, watching.

Swans would glide majestically over the dark waters, their wings catching the wind like the sailing ships of yesterday, their heads held high as they ruled the water. The birds of the lake fell into three main categories, ducks, geese and swans. Although only three categories there were many species. There was the Mallard the largest commonest and best know duck. There were many more not so well known like the Gadwall, Pintail, Shoveler, teal Garganey, Wigeon, Scaup, Tufted Duck, pochard, Goldeneye, Common Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Eider, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, Smew, Shelduck, Greylag Goose, White-fronted Goose, Bean Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Brent Goose, Barnacle Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan and the Berwick's Swan. They all lived reasonably happily together, each with it's own territory.

We used to go down to the lakeside and feed these beautiful creatures or just lay on the banks and watch them as the went about their business. It was a lovely place and looking back it seems there was never a drop of rain, never a harsh wind or a cloudy day. My memories are of just warm sunny days with gentle cooling breezes, the hum of bees in bushes and the many birds singing sweetly to each other as a haze rose from the lake and disappeared into a deep blue cloudless sky. After a long while we became respected by these wonderful birds and again after another long time we became friends.

My Dear Friend, Old Blindy

As we became friends with the birds on the lake to used to wonder up to our garden and walk in the garden quite happily. In the mornings the sun would rise, and just the top of the sun could just be seen in the east. Soon there would be quacking from the garden as scores of ducks and Canada Geese paid us a visit. I would go out onto the porch on the warm morning with my bag of bread and sit down to feed the birds.

There was one duck who all the other birds would quack and hiss at loudly if he got in their way. So my wife went down into the garden to take a closer look. She saw that this duck only had one eye so that, for some reason, was the reason that the other birds picked on him. My wife called him Blindy, and later old Blindy that was the name we used for him from that day on. We used to throw bread up close so the other birds wouldn’t keep on stealing his bread. We had to throw the bread on the side with the good eye because if we threw it on the other side he would not see it and the other birds would eat it. After a while Blindy would push himself to the front of the queue and eat the bread out of my hand, that made life easy as we could give Blindy his breakfast knowing he would not have it stolen.

About a year later, again on a warm spring morning, there was a single quack from the garden. We went outside and Blindy had lots of little ducklings with him, he had brought his new family to meet us. The children squealed with happiness as confused little ducklings wandered around the garden. The children used to feed Blindy, by hand, as well although it took time for them to work up the courage. As the years past Blindy became Old Blindy and we had been good friends for a long time.

Old Blindy began to look old and one day we got up and found him dead in the garden. It was sad but very touching that he came to see us to say goodbye. We buried him down by the lake and put a little cross on his grave. Our dear little friend had become part of our families history and my children tell my grandchildren about their dear little friend. So the legend of that friendly duck goes on. Maybe just like the stories of the flowers and their meanings and how time has carried these meanings on to today, to delight and educate and show how cultures have changed as the years roll on.

Tags

Duck, Ducklings, Flower Carpet, Flower Garden, Flowerbeds, Flowers, Meadow, Meadows, Meadowsweet

Meet the author

author avatar Terry Trainor
I am a Poet.
My passion is to write about nature and the history of nature.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar Terry Trainor
7th Apr 2013 (#)

Thanks Mark

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
7th Apr 2013 (#)

I enjoyed reading your story about the partially blind duck, it was interesting, and the duck was lucky it found you.
I have added this to Google + and will tweet it too!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Terry Trainor
7th Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you Mark. I really enjoyed writing that. Thank you for the star and your very kind comments.

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
8th Apr 2013 (#)

This is so very beautiful Terry...i love the way you write about the countryside....

Reply to this comment

author avatar Terry Trainor
8th Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you cn

Reply to this comment

author avatar Stella Mitchell
8th Apr 2013 (#)

This is the best yet Terry . You have shared your heart so generously in this write that all who read it can see, hear and smell the countryside and the beauty and of course the star of the story ' Blindy ' . Thank you for sharing it with us here
Bless you
Stella

Reply to this comment

author avatar Terry Trainor
8th Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you Stella you are so kind thank you my dear friend

Reply to this comment

author avatar Delicia Powers
9th Apr 2013 (#)

Terry what a beautiful page...it lifted my spirits so...it is the simple joys of life that really matter- and of coarse the sharing of them...thank you Terry-:0)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Terry Trainor
9th Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you Delicia.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
9th Apr 2013 (#)

i love the wild flowers :)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Terry Trainor
9th Apr 2013 (#)

Thanks ken, they are my favourite too.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
18th Apr 2013 (#)

A truly wonderful page that took me into that meadow by the lake with you, it was that well written Terry.. You are an amazing, talented, descriptive writer my friend, and this has been a pleasure to read..Congrats on the Star merit, so well deserved! \0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Terry Trainor
19th Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you Songbird, it was a pleasure for me to meet my little duck Blindy. Nature is so fragile and a poor little friend with just one eye, needed a good friend too.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password