My approach to identifying Brazilian birds

When I was growing up in the UK, my dad was my default bird identifier and his general knowledge about natural history, wildlife and birdlife was something else. So I don't remember often searching for information about birds since Dad taught us to recognise most local birds from an early age and those I didn't … Continue reading My approach to identifying Brazilian birds

Birds, bins and Brazil

My obsession with Brazilian birds has definitely been growing over the last year and a half. My husband actually introduced me to the iconic SabiĆ”-laranjeira (Rufous-bellied Thrush) in the few weeks after we first met, but since I was in the UK for most of our relationship, and then living in favelas after we got … Continue reading Birds, bins and Brazil

Squirrels, toucans and confessions

Having once openly ridiculed a Brazilian friend who went nuts when she saw a squirrel in the Rio de Janeiro botanical gardens when I was still fresh off the boat and clinging jealously to a brief glimpse of a toucan as my only brush with tropical wildlife, I have a confession to make. I've harboured … Continue reading Squirrels, toucans and confessions

Unmoving mountains and the glory of God

I grew up in a farmhouse in the bottom of a valley with windows facing the hill on the other side of the river, accompanied by a constant watery melody with frequent train interludes. Towering beech trees were visible from every window and with their changing colours and seasonal skies the result was always dramatic, … Continue reading Unmoving mountains and the glory of God

Beauty and utility (or form and function)

In my post where I wrote about a recent crisis of confidence and some corrective thoughts on creativity, I mentioned the wider topic of beauty and creativity pointing to God. I think sometimes as Christians we hear so often that when we interact with those around us we need to present the good news about … Continue reading Beauty and utility (or form and function)

Brazilian bird poem mini-series 7-8

I'm very excited to bring my mini-series of Brazilian bird poems to the wider world. I have written a little more about them in this post... Brazilian bird poem no. 7 Below is the audio version of the poem which plays straight from my YouTube channel. Brazilian bird poem no. 7 - English translation … Continue reading Brazilian bird poem mini-series 7-8

Brazilian bird poems mini-series 1-2

I'm very excited to bring my mini-series of Brazilian bird poems to the wider world. Writing these has brought me much joy. I wanted the experience to be as accessible as possible so I've recorded an audio version of each poem so that non-Portuguese speakers will be able to follow along (this will be the … Continue reading Brazilian bird poems mini-series 1-2

The wait

Rain is both threatened and promisedrespite from this relentlessly heavy heat The air itself is thick and closemixed with smoke rising from still-smouldering wildfiresthe plumes suspended flatly in the valleysThe mountains behind seem to have been painted inunfinished, a soft dove-grey wash, to be inked in later Only the trees in the foreground sharpthe palms … Continue reading The wait

Outside my window #2

This evening as I am sat on our sofa with my daughter fast asleep across my lap it is quiet enough to hear the relentless traffic on the motorway nearby and the snapping of the pods on a tree just down the road. I've never really associated trees with noise before but this one is … Continue reading Outside my window #2

Swapping swallows for scorpions

When we hit the lockdown four month mark, I realised that I was only aware that so much time had passed because my shampoo had run out. I'd bought a 1 litre bottle in my last supermarket trip before full restrictions were announced and my shampoo bottle morphed gradually into a slightly lo-tech calendar. I … Continue reading Swapping swallows for scorpions