"Ex·tir·pat·ed: to remove, eradicate or destroy completely" - this week's blog combines two submissions to the Nature's Home inbox, this delightful photo of an avocet sent in by Janice Clark, and perhaps something a little more unusual (although we would love to see more of them!) a poem entitled 'The Extirpated Avocet' sent in by Frances Walton...

Frances says: 'Waiting for my car to be MOT’d the other morning, I read a copy of Country Living magazine in which there was a small article on the 130th anniversary of the RSPB. It talked about the avocet, such an important bird to the RSPB, and how it had been extirpated from our shores for 100 years! Extirpated was a word I was not familiar with, so when I got home - out came the dictionary. Extirpated became my 'word of the week' and I was inspired to write the following little poem. I hope you like it.'

Elegant and neat, tall and sleek,
Long thin legs and upward pointing beak.
Once a visitor, regular to our eastern shore,
Until for a hundred years they were seen no more.

What deeds led to extirpate this beauty from our coast,
Was it weather, or habitat that let them down most?
Or was it man, with his hobbies so unfair,
Collecting the eggs of this bird so rare?

Step forward those conservationists brave,
Whose vision and resolve we now know did save,
From extinction and all types of threat,
Our beautiful and distinctive - avocet.

Wonderful Frances - thank you. We could all do with a little more poetry in our lives at present, and might we say - there's never been a better time to put pen to paper? The famous words: 'We have no time to stand and stare'  from William Henry Davies' poem -  'Leisure', have never been more off the mark than during these last few weeks of lockdown. In fact, many would argue that 'time to stand and stare' is all we do have!  

Nevertheless, this is our current 'lot in life', so let's face the status quo together, count our blessings and try our best to make the most of it. Nature has always played a large part in helping us do just that, and we've got a few things to help get you started too. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest 'nature news' and partake in boredom busters like #BreakfastBirdwatch and #VitaminN

And if, like Frances, putting 'poetry in motion' sounds like a great way to while away the hours in nature (both mentally and physically), The Rialto is currently running a poetry competition with nature as its muse - there's some great prizes up for grabs too! Head on over to their website to find out more, and don't forget to send your poems to us too at: natureshome@rspb.org.uk - we might just showcase some of them in a future blog. Good luck! (Photo courtesy of Nature's Home reader, Janice Clack. For more information on the avocet, visit our Bird A-Z).

'Nature and Place' banner taken from The Rialto Facebook page).

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