Nicolson captures the single signal transmitted through a vast flock of geese, yielding a ‘million-fingered responsiveness’.

‘They are as innocent and flightly as deer. The flock moves in its grazing like a shoal, a turn of a few degrees communicated somehow at the same instant throughout the pack.  There is an ever-present suggestion of a tremor even in the way they stand and walk. But for all the beauty of that sight, that million-fingered responsiveness, this land-life on the grass seems to be no more than an interruption to their favoured state.’

See also a quote-rich mosaic review of this magnificent, entrancing book: a love letter to islands and a paean to the sea.


Source: Adam Nicolson, Sea Room: An Island Life (London: Harper Collins, 2013 (2002)), p. 69

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