Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
blackbirdcrow's nest

Crowblack Night

Tuesday 11th April 2000
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daisydaisy ACCORDING TO one of my botanical friends, this Daisy is fasciated. My Penguin Dictionary of Biology defines Fasciation as;

'Coalescing of stems, branches, etc., to form abnormally thick growths.'

I'm grateful to Sarah Clarkson, who found it, for sending it on to me.

Wakefield Naturalists' Society

carrion crows at a rooftop car park in Wakefield At our last indoor meeting until September, members reported that most of the spring migrants, including Blackcaps and Willow Warblers are now in. The Cuckoo has yet to make an appearance.

As we're watching Peter Richman's audio-visual presentation on the wildlife and landscape of Alaska I'm aware of a familiar birdsong on the 'soundtrack'. It's actually a Blackbird singing in the city centre garden, behind the place where we meet. Just down the road, a Carrion Crow sits in its treetop nest, silhouetted against the orangy yellow glow of sodium lighting.

'Blackbird singing at the dead of night'

Paul McCartney

'To begin at the beginning: It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black.'

Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood, 1954

I think the quote goes something like; 'the bible-black, sloe-black, crow-black night.'

Thank you to my literary friend, Monica, for coming up with the full quote, which is from the narrator's introduction (I always think of the version with Richard Burton);

'It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishing-boat-bobbing sea.'

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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