Sunday, 25 February 2018

A MURMURATION 

A cold but sunny day in February as the light returns to wake the countryside - just the day for a walk on the Somerset Levels. Flat, watery, reclaimed land from the sea in SW England. King Alfred's stronghold in the ninth century as he pushed back the Danes. Wild and lonely - full of birds. Fields of swans, egrets and starlings feeding off some freshly-cut silage. 

Twisting and turning, funneling and shape shifting like a shoal of fish, the small birds form fast-moving clouds. 

From Middle English meaning grumbling. Got me thinking how we use the verb today:

  • murmuring sea ... murmuring crowd ... murmuring grasses ...murmuring bees ...
  • The diners murmured in appreciation as the main course was carried through.
  • The murmur evolved into screams of panic as the petit pois became hailstones the size of conkers.
  • 'Where did I put the USB?' he murmured as he shuffled through the papers.
  • 'Turn the light out, darling,' she murmured.

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