Wednesday, March 29, 2006

New visitors

I've had a couple of new birds come to visit, including these colorful finches:

These are chaffinches, which are apparently quite common here. However, it's the first I've seen of them. I had one elusive song thrush a week ago, but it seems to have moved on (they're quite rare now because of habitat destruction, so I was hoping it would linger a bit...). Naturally, of course, I also have the ubiquitous fiesty robins and dunnocks, as well as a bunch of blue tits (they look like our chickadees, but blue). I also have a mysterious burrowing creature that's taken up residence beneath one of the hedgerows. Whatever it is, it enjoys sunflower seeds. I'm guessing vole, judging by the size of the entry, but I keep holding out hope that it's actually a doormouse, just so I can say I have a doormouse. Or a hedgehog.

Side note: Ndugu points out that one can clearly observe the principles of evolution at work. Note the bird's ability to draw in its head, hunch its shoulders and glare at you with all the indifference of its reptile relatives. However, genetic ties aside, he notes that he would still have one for lunch if he were permitted.

It's definitely spring here -- the temperature climbed about 10 degrees overnight last weekend, and suddenly there are bees browsing among newly blossomed flowers, mating-crazed birds chasing each other around the holly, and an alarming number of large, squished frogs on the road...since there aren't really any permanent bodies of water near our stretch of road, we can't figure out where they came from (although the absence of water may explain their attempts to cross the busiest road in north Cambridge). I'm still disappointed because I haven't seen the mini-deer that supposedly populate the area (muntjacs), the foxes OR the badgers. Bryan, of course, has seen at least one deer in a field outside Cambridge, as well as a badger...although I don't think the badger counts if it's a flattened pelt on the highway shoulder.

The best part of spring in England? Thousands of baby lambs in the countryside, skittering about in the fields with disproportionately large ears and knobby knees. They are the epitome of adorable. Meanwhile, I'm stuck here with my papers, slowly plugging away at a beast about feminist methodology, situated knowledge and positionality. Yeah, 'bout as exciting as it sounds.


Tucker said...

In my opinion a a flattened pelt on the highway shoulder should count as a sighting. It may have been a flattened badger, but the main point is that it was a badger; flattened is just an adjective that describes the state of the badger.

Of course this is coming from someone who agrees with certain other individuals that the category of Items in the Kitchen that start with the letter W should include wife. I doubt that gives me much credibility in your eyes for my capabilities of classifying things, but I still stick by both of my opinions.

--Thankful that I am protected by thousands of miles and an ocean right now


Meg said...

Ahhh, Tucker, you forget what sheer chaos my wrathful gaze can inflict, even from thousands of miles overseas.

Why do you think there's all that rain in Seattle right now? ;)