The Lime tree is a dozen decades old. Despite being lopsided and unelegant, he is a popular fellow for he gives shelter to the flowers that grow at his feet, a place for the birds to perch, and the spider to weave..
Mid April and a very special visitor arrives, the exotic Huppé. I dream of Africa when I see his dusky pink colour, and zebra stripped wing. His closed crest and curved beak remind me of a pick axe, and he uses his beak just so as he digs for bugs in the soil. From time to time his crest flares open like a fan. His name ‘Huppé’ means ‘crested’, and the locals call him ‘Hoopou’ as does the english language, mimicking his call.
The most lovable characteristic of the Huppé, is the comportment of his young. Each chick in turn presents himself at the entrance of the nest. When he recieves his portion of food, he returns to the back of the queue to wait until he moves to the front again for his next meal. A more civilised creature there could not be.
Here the Huppé is perched in the Lime, while a Bullfinch flits from branch to branch in an agitated manner, clearly protecting his nest.
Under shade of Lime,
A pungent odour rises,
Tis Springs herb,
As leaves unfurl, I feel,
The Limes promise,
A somnolent Summer shade.