Writers of Historicals Need to Know about Birds

Remember the book on birds I bought when I was in Newcastle? Not only are the English names for birds terribly cute (I mean, little ringed plover? coot? capercaillie? shoveler? tree pipit? yellow wagtail? chiffchaff?), but I also made good use of the book today (see? I told you writers of historicals need to know about birds!) and combined it with a scene from THE BRITISH ISLES: A NATURAL HISTORY:

[set up: Georgina and Martin Renner have driven to Frankfurt and are shown a collection of stuffed birds which the new naturalist society of Frankfurt* has just acquired.]

Once the floodgate had been opened, there was no escape from the memories that rose to the surface of her mind as giant sea monsters rose from the depths of the oceans to swallow up the unwary seafarer.

There was the white face of a barn owl, its smooth outlines destroyed by moths, the eyes two jetblack, lifeless marbles. Yet in front of Georgina’s inner eye it spread its wings and flew away, far away over wide, open fields, a noiseless ghost in the soft, grey light of dusk. How often had she stood and watched it fly across the rolling hills before she had walked back towards the golden lights of the ancient, sprawling mansion at the edge of the lake where water lilies bloomed, white and pure.

Oh, yes, the Muse has finally returned. Tee-hee! 🙂

* the Senckenbergische naturforschende Gesellschaft