Homeless people live at Chorlton Meadows. They live too in the woods at Fletcher Moss. I’ve seen tents at both places and on one occasion exchanged greetings with a chap at the latter. I found it unsettling. In one respect, they are areas I enjoy which I don’t want spoiled. At Chorlton Meadows, two or three times, I’ve seen male underwear hanging on a tree. Google it if you’re not sure what that means and how unpleasant it is. In another respect, regarding the tents, I wondered what I would do if I were homeless. Streets are nasty and dangerous, nature reserve woods are pleasant. On one occasion, wandering Chorlton Ees, a chap asked me suspiciously if I’d seen anything interesting. I was carrying my camera and several times I’ve noted how you see familiar people. It’s pleasant. People say hello. At the Xmas period, two people said Happy Xmas. Not because they were drunk or raving, which is what happens on streets.

We call it the Serengeti, the inquiring chap said, referring to this grassy area. I don’t know which ‘we’ he was referring to. I’ve heard reports too of poaching activity which involves burning these grasses to flush out the birds. I imagine it’s impossible to police because of the logistics of the area, a sudden phone call, and where that will rank alongside emergency calls concerning robbery, theft, rape, and possibly murder – why not? – because it’s not uncommon. I’m describing relations between nature and city. It’s not true that nature is a domain of peace and harmony. Nature is more dangerous and predatory than any city because food means killing. What is true is the corruptions of the city are not evident in a shot like this, of a small white dot bird resting on a tree amongst beautiful grasses.


Mersey Valley Bird

Thursday January 8, 2015