Episode Twenty-five: Healing

Join Melissa as she cycles to an abandoned World War II airbase and explores the old runways. A sharp breeze is plucking acorns from the trees, and skylarks are feeding in the brown stubble fields. Listen →

The Stubborn Light of Things

I’m a nature writer and novelist, and I’m lucky enough to be able to walk out of my cottage straight into Suffolk’s beautiful open countryside. As spring breaks over the British Isles, and summer settles in, I’ll be documenting the wonder and richness of the natural world and bringing it into as many homes as I can.

There’ll be guest spots from other nature lovers, extracts from my monthly Nature Notebook columns in The Times, and snippets from the diaries of Gilbert White, England’s most famous naturalist. Listen each week to stay in touch with the outside world, the weather, and the changing seasons.

NB: I live, walk and work alone; remote audio production and editing is by Peter Rogers. All social distancing regulations are being followed, and government advice will be adhered to.

“The real beauty is… the brief silence between the musical notes and the slight hesitation before a word is heard. Absolutely lovely”

The Guardian

Episode Twenty-four: Faltering

Join Melissa and Scout as they walk down towards the village at sunset. The shadows of oaks stretch long over the stubble fields, the evening star comes out and pheasants fuss and cluck themselves to bed. Listen →

Episode Twenty-two: Inheritance

Join Melissa as she walks Scout through the grounds of a stately home. The weather’s wet and it’s starting to feel like autumn; there are sloes in the hedgerows, and the first horse chestnut leaves are on the ground. Listen →

Episode Twenty-one: Normal

Join Melissa as she gets lost in a tangled wood on the edge of the village. It’s windy, and a robin sings from the understorey, while toadstools are sprouting underfoot. Listen →

Episode Twenty: Hope

Join Melissa as she scrambles down from her perch in an ancient oak and walks to a five-acre meadow managed for wildlife. Potatoes are being harvested, and buzzards wheel on thermals high overhead. Listen →

Episode Nineteen: Ritual

Join Melissa as she watches a huge combine harvester bringing in the golden wheat. The air is full of flying chaff, dragonflies, and the reedy sound of yellowhammers. Listen →

Episode Eighteen: Continuity

Join Melissa as she explores a nearby arable farm. It’s a scorcher of a day, the heat hammering down, and grey partridges take cover in the shadier hedgerows. Listen →

Episode Seventeen: Knowing

Join Melissa at dusk as she strolls around the peaceful village, looking for glow-worms. A tawny owl is calling from behind the church, and the hedgerows are full of crickets. Listen →

Episode Fourteen: Looking

Join Melissa on a circular walk around the village’s sunny meadows. It’s haymaking time, and grasshoppers zither from the tall grass. Listen →

Episode Thirteen: Listening

Join Melissa as she listens for nightjars after dark. On Suffolk’s Sandlings the gorse smells of coconuts, while silver birches glimmer in the dusk. Listen →

Episode Twelve: Home

Join Melissa as she pays a visit to a nearby rabbit warren. It’s the longest day of the year, and the weather is sultry. Listen →

Episode Eleven: Value

Join Melissa as she looks for purring turtle doves. The tall June grass is thick with wildflowers, and songbirds are still in full and glorious voice. Listen →

Episode Ten: Binaries

Join Melissa at twilight – the ‘blue hour’ – in a tangled copse. The hedges are garlanded with dog roses, and ox-eye daisies glimmer beneath. Listen →

Episode Nine: Memory

Join Melissa as she follows the course of her local river. Elderflowers are taking over from cow parsley, and red damselflies throng the water. Listen →

Episode Eight: Uncertainty

Join Melissa as she cycles around Suffolk’s lanes in pursuit of a cuckoo. Scarlet poppies dot the hedgerows and billywitches (maybugs) are in flight. Listen →

Episode Seven: Time

Join Melissa as she explores a ruined cottage in the woods. The hawthorn hedges are in flower, and blackcaps are singing everywhere. Listen →

Episode Six: Stillness

Join Melissa in her garden as she waits to see swifts overhead. It’s warm and sunny; the birds are in full song, and mason bees are nesting in the back wall of the house. Listen →

Episode Five: Change

Join Melissa as she walks around the village, listening to the dawn chorus. May has come in bringing sunshine and showers; everywhere the woods smell of wild garlic, and the cow parsley is coming into bloom. Listen →

Episode Four: Mystery

Join Melissa as she listens for nightingales on a dark, moonless night. It’s the end of April, and in Suffolk the lilacs are in bloom. Listen →

Episode Three: Care

Join Melissa as she sets out at dusk in search of barn owls. It’s late April and the weather is a little chilly. Chaffinches and great tits sing from the hedges, and the fields of oilseed rape are bright yellow. Listen →

Episode Two: Beginnings

Join Melissa as she walks to the next village and back. It’s the middle of April and the weather is warm and dry. Butterflies are on the wing, and the lanes are hemmed with stitchwort. Listen →

Episode One: Endurance

Join Melissa on her daily walk through the beautiful Suffolk countryside. It’s the beginning of April and the fields are finally dry after a long, wet winter. In the woods, chiffchaffs are singing, there are buzzards wheeling over the oilseed rape, and the wildflowers sleeping in the village churchyard will soon burst back to life. Listen →

Credits

The Stubborn Light of Things is written, narrated and recorded by Melissa Harrison

Audio production and editing, music, and additional performances by Peter Rogers

With thanks to: Faber & Faber

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