Saturday 8th of February 2014
Old songs that keep replaying in my mind. My mum used to sing them all day long when I were a nipper:
If the weather had been finer
If it wasn’t for the houses in between.
Wiv a ladder and some glasses
You could see to Hackney Marshes
If it wasn’t for the houses in between.
Actually from 1899 – well before my time, but I remember it from my childhood. The “war in China” bit isn’t in the original – dunno where I got that from. Think they were ‘music hall’ songs – doubtless from my parents’ courting days.
Changeover, one sits on the eggs while the other mends the nest.
The fungus and lichen make a great colour combo.
Silver birch bark with lichen looks almost like a satellite view of forest and valleys.
Running across the canal.
Titchy fungus, was yellow – is brown.
Female hazel flowers (again!) – they’re only about 2 – 3 mm across.
Sunday 9th Feb
I rise at ten thirty
And saunter along like a toff
I walk down the Strand
With my gloves on my hand
Then I walk down again with them off
I’m all airs and graces
Correct easy paces
Without food so long
I’ve forgot where my face is
I’m Bert, Bert, I haven’t a shirt
But my people are well off you know.
Nearly everyone knows me
From Smith to Lord Rosebr’y,
I’m Burlington Bertie from Bow.
This was apparently a parody of a similar song about a young man with money.
We seem to have more than our share of overflights.
Dunno if the red spots came before or after the twigs detached from the tree.
Extending the fruit eating season for birds.
Dog roses have thorns that would deter anyone.
This is the canal between Shireoaks and Cinderhill.
On the tiny patch between Duke’s ridge and Cinderhill bywash.
Fit to bust!
Moss and lichen on a bench just west of Shireoaks.
One watches while t’ other leaves.
Monday the tenth of February twenty-fourteen
Map my Walk 3.56miles
I’m a pheasant plucker’s son
And I’m only plucking pheasants
‘Til the pheasant plucker comes.
There’s a lot more but I suggest you Google it.
As I’ve commented in the past, wrens are common but hard to photograph. Their colouration and skulking habit makes them elusive.
Whereas robins are really easy, they tend to sing from high exposed branches. Whether they’re defending their territories or advertising for mates I don’t know, possibly both?
Thrushes similarly, but less commonly, sing gloriously from treetops.
Bluetits are from time to time very acrobatic when swinging around in alder trees.
Goldfinches, which I’d never noticed until I started photographing them, are so frequently seen as to be called common.
Ian’s dog Archy brings me sticks – from inches to yards long but generally the bigger the better.
The two moorhens were having a real scrap. Their mates were looking on as the fight went on for over ten minutes. It wound up with one chasing t’ other up the bank and under a bramble bush.
More sparrows, this time in the cultivated ivy overhanging the canal.
Bullfinches are commoner than I’d realised – usually seen in small flocks.
Crows aren’t often within range.
For once a wren looking my way.
Tue 11th Feb ’14
Not sure where this comes from:
Something to do with a soldier with diarrhoea & his mates digging new latrine holes. Or a cat that drank syrup of figs, three other cats assisting …
Sparrows, grebes bullfinches and mallards.
Wodenstag der zwölfte Februar
To the doctors’ – can’t recall why, particularly MMW 4miles
Slapping it here, slapping it there, paste and paper everywhere.
Mother was stuck to the ceiling, the kids were stuck to the floor.
I’ve never seen such a bloomin’ family so stuck up before!
A lone female goosander on the pond. one half of our cygnet pair.
The grebe – still there!
… and goldfinches to finish.
Before my walk I did the usual walk up the canal and down to town.
Gotta have a long tailed, haven’t I?
Then bus to Ranby.
Walked Ranby to Retford on the Chesterfield Canal towpath. MMW: 6.69 miles
A walk I’ve done a load of times. Love the willows on the first stretch down to Barrack corner although the recent winds have taken their toll – there’s quite a few fallers and broken branches.those mysterious numbers.
I told C&RT about the fallen tree and it was sorted by the time Nb Epiphany came through.
Fourteenth of February ’14
Valentine’s Day – never really took much notice of it. MMW 3.9miles
Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.
To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.
When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.