Haibun: Tree buds

A haibun for dverse ‘tree buds’ prompt.


Last autumn, the neighbour dug a great hole in the field next to ours, next to the sheep field and the orchard. The hole, to form a natural pond, filled with water from the rising water table, the winter rains and the run-off from the ditches round the fields. Since last week, a pair of ducks have taken up residence, probably looking for surroundings quieter than the big ponds round about, with their noisy colonies of cormorants, egrets and other water fowl.

The trees are full of birdlife, and the grass swarms with rodents, drawing the raptors, the kestrels and buzzards and even our fat, lazy house cats. Already the cherry blossom has fallen and the plum blossom is ready to open. Leaf buds swell on vine and lilac. Ditches run with sparkling rainwater and the toads sing when they think they are alone. So much life, so quick the change—spring.

Ditches sparkle-sing

beneath spring clouds.

Rain falls soft—greening.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

59 thoughts on “Haibun: Tree buds”

  1. Oh, you’re a little ahead of us. I love the detail in this, and that reminder that there are predators about enjoying the spring as well as all the cute stuff. Nature is complicated.

    1. I was disgusted with our Trixie yesterday. She got a vole, tormented it to death and abandoned it. I’ve taken the corpse and put it down by the culvert where something lives. Not sure what but I’ve fed it potatoes and dog biscuits and it eats it all. I hate the idea of her killing something that isn’t going to be eaten.

      1. The paw prints look like badger but why it’s taken a load of straw into a culvert that will fill with water if there’s a flood I’ve no idea.

  2. You all are ahead of us. I love the details of this and even, the raptors. They have their place as well. Do they have raccoons in France? They eat any and everything including wild babies, kittens squirrels birds…unless you have a few tiny trolls that eat dog biscuits…lovely haiku Jane. Your writing is always so lovely.

    1. Thank you, Toni! We didn’t have much of a winter and the climate is pretty mild anyway. Raccoons are an introduced species (why, I have no idea) and there are a few down here. I think this is probably a badger though, just got sick of digging his own tunnels.

      1. I checked last night and the potato hasn’t been eaten, just taken to the back of the pipe to save for later maybe. The dead vole though had gone. I hope your weather breaks soon!

    1. I hope it really is here this time! The frogs (I think it’s toads in the hedge) do stop when you go near them and wait until you’re well away before they start again.

      1. Winter may throw in a flourish here and there but it certainly sounds like your spring is well on its way! I guess at the stage your weather is at you may worry about frost hurting delicate buds and flowers…

    1. Thank you, Margaret! I really don’t like it when big fat Trixie kills something and just abandons it. However, the dead don’t hang around long. There’s always something to come and clean up.

    1. Thank you! The sound of running water is everywhere. The stream is loud, and there’s a steady trickle from all the drainage pipes from the fields into the ditches that in turn all run down into the stream.

  3. I love all the details in this, Jane–and “sparkle-sing.” That’s perfect.
    I also want to think that you are actually feeding a baby monster. What do dragons eat? You might need a replacement for those you sent out the other day.

    1. Dragons probably eat people, but I draw the line there 🙂 Tonight I’m going to sprinkle flour in front of the culvert to see if I can get some more distinct prints. I’ll see if the potato has gone too. And give it a few more dog biscuits unless Trixie leaves any more dead voles outside.

  4. the cycle of life narrated with a tender brutality if that makes any sense but how I read it. Jane you have such a vivid description of the world around you and the tremors it creates in your heart.

    1. I used to wonder why we never seem to see dead animals lying around, given that they do die and they can’t all be killed by predators. Having seen lots of dead things ling around here, like road kill, the birds that hunters have killed and not picked up, the birds that fly against the patio windows and break their necks, I know now that for every little corpse, there’s a living creature that will clean it up and thrive on it. I don’t bury any of the dead bodies any more, just leave them out and ‘something’ gets them.

      1. there are creatures lurking around we never see, just have late evidence of their activities. There’s a civet cat that lives on my roof and the surrounding rambutan trees outside my house. I never see it, just a shadow maybe once and again but it leaves me “gifts”, mangled little birds and its digestive discards! I would be freaked if i saw more like you do.

      2. I only see the innocuous things like the birds and the deer. The mammals (except for the deer) stay out of sight, just leave a motley assortment of turds and footprints:)

      3. I miss living close to nature like that. So relish whatever rodent, fowl or creature that visits us in the city. You seem to have the same love hate relationship I am feeling!

      4. I worry about the cats being outside after dusk. For one thing I don’t like to see them hunting critters that are already famished and just looking for something to eat. And the foxes (they say) will eat cats if they’re hungry enough. I wonder sometimes if that isn’t another apocryphal story to justify persecuting the foxes. I don’t want to risk it though.

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