Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Come Rain and Sun

Over the hills and along the coast we walk on a hot summer day to get away and find some peace and quiet. There's no mechanical sound up here as we are well away from the roads that are hidden behind the hills. Nature has been particularly lush this year for some reason and the plantlife appears somewhat larger than most years, with some grasses having grown to well over six feet in height. Rare and unusual plants and flowers are found like the example in photo four. Also seen are butterflies like the Marbled White and Common Blue, with the Peacock now making a late appearance. It seems as if the flowers lift up and take flight on the breeze.

Photos five to eleven were taken in a place that nobody much knows about, so it is nice to give a glimpse of some of these places.

In the last photo we find some Chicory growing in a field, for some reason although it is considered a native, Chicory is rarely encountered here. Nature is out and about on these long days and short nights and I have met young badgers happily snuffling up the road and passing by unaware of my presence. Other much larger badgers were alarmed at being caught out and have galloped down the hill, making their exit through the nearest hedges with a noisy crashing sound. The native seven spotted ladybird is also making an appearance again after being in decline for some time due to an invasive species.

After leaving the word hedgehog in my list of labels for the last post out of wishful thinking, as I haven't seen a hedgehog for a good number of years, two young fellows arrive just outside the window from where I was sat a couple of nights ago, announcing their arrival with much snuffling and foraging about. It was certainly a very welcome sight to meet these delightful creatures again. It has been quite dry here this summer so they might have been looking for water, and water is left outside for the birds, insects and now hedgehogs because of the ongoing scarcity.

Many years ago a hedgehog found his way into the house I was living in and crawled into the hem of a curtain to have a kip. Not realising that it was a hedgehog and presuming it was a drunken friend passing through the house as they sometimes used to on their way through the village, the sound was ignored till the next morning when the hedgehog was discovered and helped upon it's way. I then found out that hedgehog shit is actually a fairly persistent substance.

For no particular reason other than it has been on my mind lately included here is the short story of St. Odran, mainly as a reminder that the truth of a situation is not always welcome news.

When St Columba decided to build a church, he found that the chosen site was infested with demons. He discovered that these creatures could be driven away only if a holy man were buried alive on the spot. St Odran volunteered for this honour, and was duly entombed. After three days, St Columba decided to dig St Odran up, and ask for news of Heaven. The latter declared that there is no wonder in Death, and Hell is not as is reported. On hearing this, Columba cried out, 'Earth again upon the mouth of Odran, that he may blab no more.'


the Silverfish said...

John, of Badgers and Hedgehogs. The former we have many of here at the Swallows Nest and yet they are very rarely seen cept for the bloody great holes that they dig while in pursuit of gophers and rabbits. It is said that once in digging mode three men with spades could not keep up to a badger and after seeing several of them rooting after a rabbit I don't doubt it somehow.

I suppose it's just as well that they are rarely seen and for the most part just seem to want to mind their own business for in a one on one fight with a badger with the exception of only two breeds a dog ALWAYS loses. Even huge dogs like my Great Danes and over sized Dobermans don't stand a chance and the result is always the same one dead dog with it's throat and belly ripped out.

The two exceptions to this rule are the Rat Terrier and of course the Dachshund. The Rat Terrier simply because they are such
ferocious and ignorant little
fuckers and the Dachshund because as the name reveals the Dachshund was specifically bred to hunt and kill badgers in their dens, thats why they are built the way that they are, yuh know sorta low to the ground. BTW the German word for Badger is Dachs, so in English it would be Badger-hound go figure.

As for the latter, I wish that we had hedgehogs in this country, their such sweet little buggers going about their business of eating worms and bugs. When I lived in England we had a hedgehog give birth to a litter of young in one of our flower beds. sadly she was found by some of the neighborhood boys and was beaten to death at the side of the road, just for fun. When I got home and found out what had happened from the wife and found out who the boys were I hunted them down and introduced them to some of the benefits of living in a country with free medical and dental care. Not to put too fine a point on this but I don't think that any one of them ever killed anything just for the fun of it ever again.

But on a lighter note my wife brought the little ones (they were only the size of mice at the time and still blind)in from the flower bed and we raised them up using an eyedropper and goats milk. They grew up to be fine little pricks, each in their own way.I still have pictures of them pugged away somewheres, don't quite know where but somewheres, the 1980s were a long time ago John.

As for us, we're still having a blast out at the lake, the weather has been great and the sailing and fishing has simply been out of this world. last week I caught a 29 pound Northern Pike and a 46 pound Muskellunge or as we call them Muskies, lord what a fight what with using only six pound test line. But with us the big ones are always catch and release as they don't taste worth a dam. We've been catching more Walleye, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass than we can possibly eat so the freezer is getting well stocked. Again it's only the small ones that are kept because after they hit around three pounds they just taste like a fish.

Anyhoos I flew back to the Nest to take care of some yard work before the August long weekend and I thought that I would drop you a note. Nice Pics of all the weeds John and have a Happy won't Yuh. Until next time take care and be well.

john said...

Cheers Silverfish.

We took each other by surprise and I'm wondering now, just out of interest as it has no reason to go for me, if I could outrun a large badger. Quite possibly not but I'd have a good go. As you say, they mind their own business and I don't go looking for them but do meet them from time to time. This was the largest badger I have ever seen and was an impressive sight.

I had my camera round my neck and was just putting the lens cap back on but was so surprised that I didn't think to try taking a photo, it all happened very quickly.

I know of similar mindless cruelty to animals by children here. It is a great pity that respect and care of animal life is not taught to children by many parents, sympathy with nature and also towards other people is often lacking here, which is a loss for everyone.

I didn't know that you don't have hedgehogs in your country, they are lovely creatures alright.

The fishing sounds like it is going very well there Silverfish. I expect you have to watch your hands round the pike a bit. The Muskellunge sounds like one big fish. Just doing a quick search I see the name comes from the Ojibwa word maashkinoozhe, meaning "ugly pike" by way of the French masque allongé meaning elongated mask.

su said...

again i walked with you and watered the hedgehogs and delighted in the escaping badgers.

love all the images , each one drew me into its life, and yet 6 and 7 took my breath away.

thank you again for sharing this beauty.

john said...

Marilyn Buck is dead.
The Rag Blog: Warrior-Poet Marilyn Buck

john said...

Political prisoners in america
Political Prisoners in america

john said...

Hi su and thank you very much. Those were taken in a quiet place that I am very fond of. Generally I am in a place that is extremely noisy in the day though quiet at night, so I like to get out and find a bit of quiet in the day when I can. As I get older I find the noise difficult to put up with for some reason. Hope all going well with you and yours su, all the best for now.

evat said...

Hi john ,well I know I am late to be here and write my comment , so I am very sorry,these are wonderful areas and nice photos , everybody needs a rest for his eyes from the agliness that find in our life ,and all of us are looking for quiet and peace ,some peace , I can find it in your blog with all these photos , I can feel the beauty ,comfort romantic ,the power of nuture ,so I have a rest here , thank you .

john said...

Thank you very much Evat, it is nice of you to say so. i am always happy that people enjoy looking at my photos and that I am able to share some of the places that I can go to. I hope all going well where you are.

cheers for now and all the best to you.