There is a pigeon sitting on her nest in the cypress ignoring the fact it’s autumn.
I check her everyday and leave a bowl of fresh water within sight.
You see, I am filled with guilt.
Her late nesting may be my fault.
A few weeks earlier her chick had fledged and miscalculating its aim, landed on the wrong side of the fence and into my daughters garden. A garden so well enclosed (to keep Blathín, my daughters little hound in) that it was unable to get to the safety of the large grassy blackberry filled field it had been hoping for.
Baby pigeons are unable to fly for their first few days and so they hide among grasses and thickets camouflaging themselves until they are.
This little creature hid among the raspberry canes and the hawthorn and wild rose hedging.
It camouflaged itself so well that I would never have known of its presence only for Blathíns fixated sniffling there.
Now, the baby pigeon was safe while it remained in the thorny thicket but, I knew if it tried to come onto the lawn to practice its flying skills, herself would be waiting to snaffle it.
Drastic measures were called for.
Armed with a broom in one hand and grasping B on her lead in the other (I wouldn’t have found the chick on my own) we managed to flush the creature out of her hiding place and herd her along the hedge, through the tall firs, out through the gate and down the lane.
It was an obedient little being and wobbled ahead of us much like a domesticated duck and allowed itself be guided by the outstretched broom which prevented it from scooting off to the left or right.
When we reached the field, I left her to make her way through the overgrown grass to where her parents would hopefully find her.
But later I wondered if it was an ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’ scenario ?
Had I, in saving her from my daughters dog, actually delivered her into the hands of Mr fox.
And is that why her parents were having a second desperate go at reproducing their genes so late in the year, ignoring the fact that summer was actually over.
Then one day I see the chick, peering over the edge of the nest.
So I cannot sneer at their optimism where the seasons are concerned.
To tell the truth I too am reluctant to let go the idea that the summer is well and truly finished.
As I sit here looking across at sugarloaf barely visible in the dark and listening to the rain pattering on my window, I do what people do who cling to the memories.
I scroll through my summer photos.
This year Summer actually began in spring.
April to be exact. Even the cows knew that.
I headed westward to the Burren.
A month later complete with yellow bicycle I went to Clarinbridge in co Galway. I brought my raincoat (We were sure to get some rain in May?)
But not a drop!
June appeared and I was off again this time to Connemara where we huddled not under an umbrella but a parasol!
July was the month for contented cattle, camping at the place of the hare, a month for foraging for mussels and early morning swims, for solitudinal glasses of wine among the harebells and catching up with some reading.
But what about August you might wonder?
Ah! August was the highlight.
August brought me my fifth grandchild and first granddaughter.
A wonderful end to a beautiful summer.
I tiptoe out to look a my pigeons nest.
Over the fence two fat pigeons are plucking at the last of the berries from an overgrown elderberry bush whose branches are sweeping low and entangling in the long grass.
And in that grass well hidden from fox and dog is the small form of a Pigeon chick.