Columnists > Glimpses of Eden

26 June 2014 | by Jonathan Tulloch

Glimpses of Eden

You don’t get hummingbirds in Yorkshire, do you? I asked myself rather feverishly as I lay in the verge at the ruins of Byland Abbey, eight quiet miles from home. No you don’t, the answer came instinctively. What, then, was this flying towards me? I watched the quicker-than-the-human-eye whirr of amber wings and spangled, feathered body approach. Watched the tiny “beak” dipping into the wayside flowers. Hummingbird hawkmoths have one of the most sensible names in nature. They look exactly like a hummingbird, and to encounter one is to have the world turn on its head. Even their wings make a buzz as they sip nectar. The moth inspected my bike lying in the clover, and returned to the cleavers in the hedge. I’ve always harboured an illogical prejudice against th


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