Every day I would sit on my little harbour deck and watch the birds. To my right, a Little Grey Heron fished, unconcerned by my presence. We grew accustomed to each other.
One morning Monduco, my oft companion in the forest brought me a skull. It belonged to the heron. I felt very sad to have lost my river companion and wrote a poem in his honour.
On returning to the UK from my home in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest, there was not a day, a night, a moment when the forest was not uppermost in my thoughts. This poem was written during a moment of nostalgia and longing.
The splash of water in the foreground was a deadly pyramid of red bellied piranhas, twisting and turning in the river, their red and silver scales shining in the sunlight. They had caught and finished off a hapless victim, maybe one of the yellow kiskadees that had lost its footing on the fallen branches.
I spent many months in the Amazon Rainforest over a number of years. On occasion I spent weeks in my lodge completely alone. I befriended a couple of pairs of Saffron Finches, who kept me company like friendly neighbours.
The finches would visit every day, several times a day and call to me. If I was in a room out of sight the male would perch on a branch on the tree closest to the lodge and call until I came out. Then he would tweet, turning his head this way and that as I spoke to him. The male was yellow with a jaunty orange cap, his mate was a dull greenish brown.
One afternoon I heard the male calling and calling to me. When I came out, I was surprised to see the female beside him, as she usually preferred to peck on the ground while he tweeted with me. She had nesting material in her beak. I swear they brought it to show me.