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Knock, knock, knock on wood? – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 28 February 2018

February 28, 2018

Knock, knock, knock on wood?

I have just had the delight of my early morning walk into school and through the woods alongside the Ballard water meadows. It’s extremely cold, of course, and very frosty underneath and we have the prospect of the so-called ‘beast from the east’ on its way… Nonetheless, I have enjoyed the moment!

As I walked I heard the unmistakeable sound of a woodpecker – in fact not one but two. They were hammering away at several trees, presumably in search of some insects and thus some food to take them through this cold snap. Those of you from my era may remember the R&B song by Eddie Floyd (from 1966), ‘Knock on wood’. The opening lines of the rhythmic song seem to me to resonate (no pun intended of course) with the plight of the woodpeckers:

I don’t want to lose you, this good thing

That I got ‘cause if I do

I will surely lose a lot

‘Cause your love is better

Than any love I know

I want to suggest that ‘this good thing’ for the woodpecker is its life – even its love for life – which may well happen if we don’t heed the timely reminder from the RSPB today to leave some food out for the wild birds.

great british woodpecker

Ballard Bird Watch

Here at Ballard we have been taking part in ‘bird watch’ to count the number of sightings of a variety of birds – and we are about to help with ‘the Great Big Spring Clean’ to assist wildlife by tidying up litter from our woods, hedgerows and fields.

So, before ‘the beast from the east’ arrives to envelop us (‘like thunder, lightning, the way you love me is frightening’ continue Eddie Floyd’s lyrics), might I suggest that we do what we can to assist the birds who might otherwise have a fruitless time as they ‘knock, knock, knock on wood’?

Alastair Reid (Headmaster and sometime bird watcher)

We tweet from @BallardSchool

Ballard School is an independent, private co-educational school in New Milton, Hampshire, providing an outstanding level of education for nursery to GCSE. With small class sizes and proven academic excellence, we strive to nurture the academic potential of all students. Learn more about our academic programmes, pastoral care, facilities and school ethos by visiting our website or by requesting a prospectus here.

PHOTO: Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)  © Copyright Dr Richard Murray and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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