It was the snails that got me thinking…
On my walks at Stanwick Lakes, at least on those fairly early in the morning, I am sometimes struck by the trails of snails, and the occasional slug, across the gritty tracks. Although almost all the molluscs are departed one can see where they have been on the gravelly surface (and I think I have noticed something interesting about that too, but that’s for another time).
The departed molluscs have left a trail, perhaps like the bleeping of a black box deep below the ocean (or perhaps not) or the Facebook page of a departed friend (or perhaps not), but certainly a trail.
The Willow Warblers have been at Stanwick Lakes for about 10 days now, but only in small numbers until today where they seemed to be everywhere. I don’t know whether they might almost literally push aside Chiffchaffs but suddenly there seem to be Willow Warblers singing from every bush – often the very top of the bush, shrub or tree. One sang from the top of a crab apple which was just coming into early flower.
And, as I say, I think it was the snails that got me thinking in this way: what if song were solid? What if those cascades of song pouring out of the Willow Warblers’ mouths had substance? What if the bushes and trees were dripping with a sweet viscous substantive form of song?
I imagine that Willow Warbler song would be like a thicker version of maple syrup – sweet to the taste, as it is to the ear. It would run down the twigs slowly. If we could reach to touch it and lick our fingers then it would be delightfully sweet and refreshing – whereas perhaps Chiffchaff song would be more zesty and citrus?
On my walk this morning I would have seen the tops of many bushes dripping with song – sweet cadences dribbling down the stems and twigs. That is, if song were solid and Willow Warblers left a trail.
But maybe such talk of dribbling is drivelling.