2021 Grateful 50: Restorative power of reedbeds

A couple of years ago, I considered myself a rational, intelligent woman. I had a handle on what was going on. I didn’t overact. I took things in my stride. But the heady combination of menopause and COVID lockdowns and travel bans and curfews has taken its toll. The speed at which I lose it these days would be impressive if it wasn’t so scary. And in comparison to myriad others, I have it easy. Ye gods!

Lady C posted pictures of a winter walk on FB today with the caption:

When everything is just a bit too much to handle, go for a walk and enjoy nature…

I do. Every day. It keeps me sane. Today, I went down the back fields to the reed-beds. They’re my ocean. The geese my seagulls. The tilled fields my sand.

The reeds fascinate me. The combination of delicacy and strength is all too poignant given the times we’re living in. The Wildlife Trusts explain reed-beds thus:

Found in the zone between water and land, reed-beds are transitional habitats. Thickly vegetated yet waterlogged, they are home to secretive species such as bittern and bearded tit. They can form extensive swamps in lowland floodplains, or fringe streams, rivers, ditches, ponds and lakes with a thin feathery margin of reeds. Densely green in summer, they fade in winter and colour whole vistas a distinctive, delicate blonde.


The Kis-Balaton is home to hundreds of hectares of reed stands and a national conservation area with more than 240 species of birds that call it home. We are blessed indeed to have it as our back garden. And I am exceedingly grateful for the restorative powers of the reed-beds.

This 1930s black-and-white film is worth a watch if you’re interested in seeing how bird photographers of the day operated.


5 Responses

  1. ‘They’re my ocean. The geese my seagulls. The tilled fields my sand.’ Hmm… where do I find that in the midwest USA? … I’ll be looking

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