Medley

Haven’t I been here since October? I’m surprised that WordPress hasn’t logged me out permanently. Been busy, but have still gathered many photos that could have been posted, and I’d better do so before the wild hands me any more. So here’s a few from the recent months:

1. Eyes in the oak tree

Sparrowhawk: intense, fast, lethal. They whip past me at terrifying proximity when I’m out walking, sharp wings piloting them at impossible angles between scrubs. This one came to visit on a cold December morning, a good close up sighting for me although I acknowledge that small wildlife was relieved when she left.

2. A sea of red

British red squirrels have become a symbol of nature in trouble. Their infamous story revolves around a catastrophic mishap by their human neighbours: the unthinking introduction of the non-native grey squirrel, carrier of the squirrel pox virus to which reds so easily succomb. Today, red squirrels are rare in England. So it was strangely wonderful to be overrun by them in a rain-lashed woodland in Yorkshire back in November – up trees, down trees, sliding off peanut feeders, running softly behind me even while I tried to concentrate on others in front. It was a gentle yet busy sort of forest magic.

This is, it should be added, Sciurus vulgaris. It has nothing in common except its name with Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, the species known as the red squirrel in North America. Well, except an extreme determination to gather food.

3. The Ways of a River

Freezing, thawing, now brightened up by ducks again. Norfolk really consists of rivers, with land added on as an afterthought.

4. Grave with a View

Another cold December morning, this time in the story-spiced vistas of the Peak District, with the gritstone teeth of Cattis-Side Moor glowing pink on the horizon. But I think I’ve spent enough time in the uplands recently for that to warrant a post or two of its own.

__

And I hope all is well elsewhere in the blogsphere! Looking forward to catching up with you all.

24 thoughts on “Medley

  1. Good to see you again. I wondered about you now and then. Your photos are beautiful!

    Yours is probably one of the best photos I’ve seen of a UK red squirrel. BC has a population control system in place for the eastern grey squirrel (they are non-native and were introduced about 100 years ago). They are confined to urban areas apparently so as not to impact the Douglas squirrel. They don’t carry squirrel pox so they’re not considered to be as dangerous to indigenous populations. Lovely that you found such a large community of red squirrels. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lynette, I don’t know where the last few months went! I have a lot of catching up to do.

      Our introduced squirrel is also the eastern grey – it seems to have been a popular traveller 100 years ago. There have been various ideas about how to control them, even introducing a modified gene into the wild population to ensure that all female grey squirrels would eventually be born infertile. But for the time being, the reds are mostly confined to northern Britain and a few small islands.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Adele, yes all is well. After two wonderful weeks in the Lake District in June 2022 we are looking forward to three weeks in the Yorkshire Dales. By the way, there is a growing population of foxes here in our area. Not only wolfs did return, but also foxes are now seen more often in our woods. Rainer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is great news! Have a great time in the Dales – such a special part of the world.

      That is interesting about your local foxes. I wonder if the wolves are part of that story because foxes will readily scavenge on wolf-killed deer.

      Like

  3. I was wondering where you’d disappeared. It is good to be busy but everybody needs a break 😀
    We moved to Campbell River – living expenses in Vancouver are going through the roof – but you probably know that already from FB. Now we have some more wonderful thing to discover on the island 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Darko, hope you and San are settled in and enjoying all the fabulous wilderness around there. Campbell River was my ‘local’ town when I was based in Tahsis (well, as you know, only a 1.5 hour twisting mountain highway through Strathcona to navigate… 🙂 ) Looking forward to hearing of your explorations. Are you going out to Bute Inlet?

      I disappeared to a lot of places all over England! I must post here more often.

      Like

      1. Please don’t judge Derbyshire by the fake news that is “Little John’s Grave”…we’re better than that. And anyway, (if he existed at all) he came from NOTTINGHAMshire. Huh! Boo! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s