This little fellow came quite close to us during our recent walk in the woods.
The usual residents on any pond are mallards, who I think are underappreciated for their beauty, both male and female, just because they are common. Makes me wonder if people who live in places with colourful parrot that make us ohh and ahh see them the same way as we do with out local wildlife.
Anyway, mallards also feature in the best known German children’s song: Alle meine Entchen (all my little ducks):
It’s a 150 years old and will probably last at least another 150 years: It features animals, is easy to sing and play and describes something even city kids may see and know.
We also got a pair of Egyptian geese at the pond. While originally coming from, you guess, Egypt, they are now pretty common around Europe. They can cause trouble in places where humans like to spread on laws they consider THEIR lawns, but are for the rest harmless.
I had this visitor a few weeks ago, but the light was bad and I was unable to identify the species. Luckily my biologist friend was able to forward it to an ornithologist who was so very kind and identified the bird for me. So when yesterday they returned in good light, I knew what I am looking at.
The ornithologist also sent some bad news with the identification. He confirmed my subjective observation that there are significantly fewer birds. Some species are actually becoming rare – the whole genus Carduelis for example (greenfinches, goldfinches, siskins). This winter I have not seen a single specimen of these three species, whereas in previous years greenfinches and siskins came in flocks counting dozens.
And yes, we finally had a few cms of snow. This week seems to have been the actual winter, what we had before was merely agonizingly long and dark fall.
Nature as we imagine for children is this sweet place with fluffy bunnies with chequered hankies, and when we grow up we still call it “Mother Nature” as if it were some nurturing, benevolent entity. Actual nature doesn’t care for that shit. It’s a cruel and violent place where 90% of baby bunnies don’t get to see a second summer. But in nature, death is never wasteful. One animals tragic death is another’s lucky find. So here’s an unlucky shrew and a been grass snake, and some very happy insects and ant.
Two marvellous birds from the Zoo
And as an unrelated bonus:
A video I stumbled across indulging in my love for Peter, Paul and Mary: Puff, the Magic Dragon.
What I love about the performance isn’t so much the artists, but the audience who is singing along, or at least mouthing the words, from the toddler to the grandpa.
Sorry for basically disappearing on you. Apparently I caught a “summer flu”, a viral infection that is similar in symptoms though less severe than a real flu. If anything it has reinforced my determination to get every single flu shot every single year. It completely knocked me out, I’ve been in bed since Saturday and today is the first day I’m up for more than half an hour apart from doctor’s visit and school run.
Here’s some cuteness to make up for it:
Cute? Right? That’s just to ease you into it because nothing says cute like a baby mongoose:
As promised, there will be pictures. Lots, though I noticed that I took less pictures this year because after all, I went there before. Let’s start with some from the zoo. A great southern hornbill. I also add some others as to not spam my “own” blog with many different posts.
Now for some frogs…
And finally a water lily. There be fairies.
Lasz week I came up the stairs from the cellar and look what I found!
I have no clue what species this is, apart from “fucking big”, as it is about two inches across. I took some pics and then carefully relocated it to where it was less likely to lead to demands of “immediate violent death” from other people.
In case you’re wondering the strange surface, the previous owners glued carpet scraps to the stairs. If there’s a hell for bad DIY, the dude is going to spend eternity scraping glue off things. Pics below the fold.
It’s that wonderful time of the month when Nightjar shares her portraits of light.
In the month of the Summer Solstice sunlight is brighter than ever and nature is bracing for the dry season. Many wildflowers have gone to seed and are drying out already (some are doing weird stuff like the wild chive in the last photo… perhaps confused by the unstable weather?) and bugs are very busy. Backlighting is trickier this time of the year but I tried to play with June Light from all angles and I think it was worth it.