I drove out this morning to town. I parked my car along the sea front and walked on the sunny side of the street. It was too chilly on the shaded side. Resident gulls and Brent geese on the waters below were enjoying the warmth of the early sun too.
The winter slumber of people and nature has been awakened by the warm sun and noisy gulls eager to prepare for new life.
The population of gulls along the shore has increased dramatically this week. Artic terns have arrived at their usual nesting place on an island near Strangford harbor. They are safe from intruders across a short stretch of water, but near enough for the onlooker to enjoy their activities. They gather in the evening, bodies white against the black, sea washed rock.
Another attraction for many black headed gulls this morning was the presence of a farmer ploughing up a field nearby. It is seed time. He is busy getting the land ready. I was reminded of the poem I Will Go With My Father A ploughing, by Joseph Campbell.
I will go with my father a-ploughing
To the green field by the sea,
And the rooks and the crows and the seagull
Will come flocking after me.
I will sing to the patient horses
With the lark in the while of the air,
And my father will sing the plough-song
That blesses the cleaving share.
Instead of horses the farmer today is using a big tractor pulling a large wide machine which grinds up the soil. Hundreds of gulls follow the fresh upturned soil. They dive for tasty morsels of worms and insects destrubed by the machinery. Rooks and crows live nearby in the forest. They join in the foray, just as the poem says. Joseph Campbell was born in Co Down. Perhaps his father ploughed in the green fields by the sea near where I live.
Look at the birds of the air, they don’t sow nor reap yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Matthew 6 v 26
I saw our Heavenly Father at work today feeding the gulls.