Some deer are not very smart people

This morning a small group of deer visited the garden, probably the doe and last year’s youngsters. They went foraging a bit and when they wanted to leave, one of them had painted itself into a corner, with the absence of paint and a meaningful corner.

You have to imagine the gardens as one big rectangle cut into four parts. At the head of two of them, are the semi detached houses of us and our neighbour with the gardens that belong to the houses, both with fences (mostly) all around. Behind that are the two gardens we both rented from the city, only that ours is still  a work in progress while our neighbour’s is basically abandoned, because tearing down the garden house would be much more costly than paying the rent. There’s only a partial fence between those areas, but the neighbour’s is closed to the woods while ours is open, which is where the deer entered.

One of the then went to the neighbour’s place and you can guess what happened, it didn’t find its way back. While mum and sibling were waiting on the other side of the fence, it took the youngster about half an hour to realise it needed to walk back towards the houses and cross into our garden so it could leave again.

They’re still cute.

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved
It’s amazing how well they’re hidden when they don’t move.

© Giliell, all rights reserved
Probably not a deer. Deer are shy. This one looked at me like it was contemplating my right to remain alive.


Teacher’s Corner: Introverts, extroverts, shmextroverts

This Teacher’s Corner is going to be a bit different from the usual ones as it will breach out to a broader topic, but it all starts with teaching.

Actually it starts with Twitter and an annoyed paediatrician  tweeting that since it was half term he would get lots of primary school kids’ parents who’d been told to get their kid tested for ADHD and such*. I replied something along the lines that if teachers could diagnose ADHD they’d be psychiatrists and not teachers, which is why we’d like parents to get a professional opinion on the matter. After all, the only thing we see is that a child has obvious problems paying attention and following the classroom rules.

While this is an interesting topic in and on itself, it was only the starter for a conversation with another user about introverted kids. Her complaint was that the German school system punishes introverted kids via the “participation” grade. In Germany almost all term reports have two separate grades that are “participation” and “behaviour”. All teachers teaching in a class submit their grade, the mean gets calculated and then there may be adjustments. To be honest, till the end of the conversation I couldn’t quite get what she actually wanted, because she kept contradicting herself, but I got that she was fundamentally unhappy, either from her own experiences or because of somebody else, and wanted CHANGE, even though she was not quite clear as to what should actually change. I’ll try to talk about why “just leave the quiet kids alone” isn’t a good idea from a teaching point of view and then move to what bugged me about the whole discussion. [Read more…]

The Stinking Beauty

Our Amorphophallus decided to blossom this year. A beautiful flower, the blossom itself is about 40 cm tall and it is difficult to get it into a picture.

And it had to be confined to a closed room, because it stinks of rotting flesh.


©Charly, all rights reserved, click for full size.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

We had quite the storm around here last night. First the temp dropped from +3 to -5º C  and then, just as the light was fading from the sky, the wind started to howl. It was a pretty steady howl too at about 40km/hr with big gusts of up to 120km/hr. And then, Cue the Snow. You gotta have snow, you know. Thankfully not much with this storm, just short bursts of that small, light snow that gets caught up in the wind and won’t settle on the ground. I couldn’t see farther than 2 houses down my street and when the wind gusted it actually looked as it the snow was falling sideways.

The wind is still howling this morning, but the snow has stopped and we only got a total of about 5cm of the stuff. There’s a lot of drifting, though, so shoveling turned out to be more challenging than I thought. It doesn’t help that our only shovel is too big for the porch steps and too small for the driveway. I keep meaning to get proper shovels, but I never seem to remember when I’m out. (aargh!) Jack and I did get out, though. We braved the cold and the ice and the wind and daydreamed about warm, green grass and the sun on our bare shoulders.

Journey’s End

As we all know, Opportunity was declared officially MIA a short while ago. I had planned on preparing a more sensical post as tribute, but instead, here is a short list of links on the subject:

Opportunity Rover (xkcd)

Opportunity (xkcd)

Spirit (xkcd) (I know I know but it’s a good one)

It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Our Beloved Mars Rover

NASA Declares a Beloved Mars Mission Over

Six Things to Know About NASA’s Opportunity Rover

The Mars Opportunity rover has officially ghosted Earth

Death and Opportunity

And finally, from the futuristic fiction department, A Martian Hunts for the Red Planet’s Past – And His Own


Bee Happy

If the early bird catches the worm what does the early bee get? Her picture taken, of course. This delightful early sign of spring comes to us from Avalus.

Walking home last Saturday I found the first bee of the year! She allowed for one photo and then took off. I hope for a good year for her hive!

First bee of 2019 ©Avalus, all rights reserved

Those Evil Unelected EU Bureuaucrats!

I glanced at comments under a video about the brexit clusterfuck and that made me want to very shortly address one of the most frequent – and in my opinion most nonsensical – objections against EU, used by brexiteers and euroskeptics everywhere. The idea, that unelected bureaucrats in Brussels should not be able to “dictate” sovereign states what to do and not to do.

Firstly people do elect representatives into EU parliament, and it is only sad that many people do not know this and that these elections have generally low turnout.

But what about those other bodies, I hear them cry, those are not elected!

Well, neither are such bodies within the different states. People who voice this criticism fail to realize that in Europe we have usually representative democracy, so our elected representatives do not usually decide directly about anything. That is not their function. The elected representatives negotiate and decide the rules for decisions – like laws and regulations – and those decisions are always, always put into action by unelected bodies following some common rules. For example the minister of agriculture in CZ is not voted into office, they are selected by politicians after the election and confirmed by a president. And the bureaucrats working in the offices are not voted at all and most of them carry over from one administration over to the other. They are employees of the state(s) and blaming them for deciding things in accordance with the laws and regulations that were decided upon by the politicians people voted into office is, to put it mildly, idiotic.

By this logic people in some district in Wales could argue, loudly and obnoxiously, that those unelected bureaucrats in London should not be deciding about what they can and cannot do and how!

Unfortunately, there are actually people who use that sort of argument too…

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 12

Ice Swimmer has more rocks to show us and they are full of colour and pattern. Let’s go….

Chapter 12 – Southwestern Rocks on Sunday, II

Details. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

This part of the rocks comes with stripey details.

Detailed Details. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Here is a more detailed look on the details.

Decidous and Evergreen. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Many of the broad-leaved trees were exhibiting their deciduousness while, the pines show their evergreenness all through the seasons.

Grain. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

The pattern is like figured woodgrain.

The Border. ©Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved

Humans are not welcome on the other side. Gulls and geese will keep watch in spring and summer. The dinosaurs were absent in October, but no human was seen trespassing.

In the next installment, we will have walked the path towards east (to the left of the last picture) and we’ll see something completely different.

Harakka in Autumn: Chapter 11

A Little Bird Mix

I am still waiting to be struck with an idea for writing, but luckily I got some useful birdie pictures to post at least – a goldfinch, a greenfinch and a siskin. All the same genus, but different sizes. And very different colors.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.