Calends, Nones, and Ides
We all know that Julius Cesar was stabbed to death on the Ides of March but what are, or is, the Ides?
The Roman calendar highlighted a number of days in each month:
- Calends were the first days of each month. The name is derived from the Greek word καλειν, to announce, which may initially have been used in the ancient lunar calendar to “announce” the day of the New Moon (or the first sliver of the Waxing Crescent Moon).
- Ides (Idus) occurred one day before the middle of each month. Depending on the month’s length, it fell on the 13th or 15th day. In the lunar calendar, the Ides marked the day of the Full Moon.
- Nones (Nonae) fell on the 7th day of 31-day months and on the 5th day of 29-day months, marking the day of the First Quarter Moon.
These markers were used to number the days in each month, counting backward from the upcoming Calends, Ides, or Nones. The count always included the day of the marker. For example, the 11th day of Martius (March) would be known as “Five Ides” to the Romans because it is the fifth day before the Ides of Martius, which fell on the 15th day.
Friday December the Second
Robins are here all year but their numbers are swollen in winter by incomers from colder points North and East. Robins are incredibly territorial whether for mates or food.
A robin’s lifespan is just 13 months on average due to high mortality among robins in their first year. Once they’ve passed that barrier, they stand a much better chance of surviving for quite a while – the record currently stands at 19 years.
Robins are very territorial birds and will viciously attack other robins on their patch. A dispute starts with males singing at each other, trying to get a higher perch in order to show off their breast most effectively. This usually ends the challenge, with one individual deferring to the other.
Sometimes it can escalate to a fight, which can result in injury or death.
In some populations, up to 10% of adult mortality is due to clashes over territory. Robins are born without a red breast, and don’t acquire it until their first moult.
*mostly from here.
Over the fence in the school field are five enormous leylandii. One of them is apparently flowering- I don’t know if it’s male or female.
Saturday the Third
Bark of an oak
Hazel catkins getting ready for next year.
Those tiny ‘shrooms are still on the mossy tree.
I always check this tree ’cause until recently it hosted Judas’ Ear fungus despite its not being an elder.
I noticed a little clump of small mushrooms in a crack in the bark.
Willow turning golden.
Monday Fifth December
On the fifth of December in 1872 the American brigantine Mary Celeste was found abandoned some 400 nautical miles (740 km) from the Azores, Portugal; the fate of the 10 people aboard remains a mystery.
That view of the pond … again!
Morse Lock and the canal below it.
The mossy willow.
Tuesday Sixth December
Lichen is really showing now.
A new, to me, candlesnuff fungus.
I like umbellifers, can you tell?
Flying to the sunset!
Tat tree – again!
Moon above St. John’s Church.
On this day in 1941, Japanese bombers launched a surprise aerial attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, precipitating the entry of the United States into World War II.
Only the one pic ’cause I didn’t go out:
Thursday 8th December
Still my favourite view of the Pond.
Silver birches glowing golden in the evening sun.
After a cold day there’s still frost othe fungus on a fallen tree.
This dunnock’s hunger overcame its fear as it almost touched my feet.
Even at three o’clock the frost was still covering where the sun hadn’t reached all day.
Kestrel hovering over the rugby field.
The low sun catching the top of the willow and the poplar over the darkling canal.