Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Procrastinating with Susan Hill

This morning I had a marvelous, long walk through the State Park at Cape May Point... one of my favorite birding places.  I've had some truly mystical encounters with birds there over the years. Today wasn't mystical, but I was delighted by several long looks at a Yellow-breasted Chat, who nests there every year.  I believe it is the same bird!
Yellow-breasted Chat... photo by Julie Zickefoose

I also heard a birdsong I didn't know, and searched a long time to see the singer, who was very loud, but hidden behind the leaves.  It might have been an Orchard Oriole.  I have to look up the bird and listen to the song on the Cornell website.

When I'm not out birding, I'm spending time with the murder mysteries of Susan Hill.
I've read almost all of them at least once; when I say "read," I mean that I have listened to them, unabridged , either borrowed from the library or purchased from audible.  Besides the gripping plot and excellent characterizations, her prose , especially her descriptions of the countryside by the fictional English village of Lafferton, is so vivid and elegant.


I read the novels out of order, and now I'm reading/listening to them in order.  The story of Simon Serallier, the main detective, is absorbing. His family members - sister, father, mother, stepmother, brother in law, are interesting characters in themselves... not to mention the women who fall in love with him.  The murderers and victims and even the other police constables and sergeants are well-developed and interesting.

I should be working on reflection questions for the June 24 retreat, or writing more reflective pieces myself, or writing more poetry, but here I am, just enjoying the views of the ocean, and the picturesque houses and gardens of Cape May, and reading Susan Hill.

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