Friday, 17 February 2012

Heaven on Earth?

Writing up about my ideal place in life got me to thinking about my actual favourite places. I think I have one true favourite though... There's a nature reserve in Lincolnshire called Rimac. That's wonderful in itself (and a good walk), but there's a particular little place I can find with my eyes shut.

If you head out over the dunes in just the right direction, you go through a little clearance that's FILLED with butterflies, bees and dragonflies - slightly further and there's a steep little cliff. Sit in there, and the world is silent.

The face of the cliff catches the sun and warms it, the grasses and wildflowers and sand gives off a unique, dry scent - you can almost go deaf trying to hear what isn't there. If you pay close attention in the middle of the day, you can pick out the silky slither of sand lizards swimming through the reeds, the wide variety of buzzes, purrs and rattles that make the "voice" of each insect species and, just occasionally, the faint, sharp skree of a predatory bird that sends a shiver down your soul...

Come the evening in the right season, the dunes turn into a cacophonous orchestra of noisy, boisterous Natterjack Toads. (You can hear them from miles away!) They sound like guiro - those wooden, ridged musical instruments you play by running the stick along the ripples. Click HERE to hear for yourself.

To me, it's one of the finest gifts the world has to give. What about you? Where is your slice of Heaven?

Picture taken by Don Tiffney

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