dog's mercury

Air space

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Thursday 17th February 2000

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starling circling above sparrowhawk sparrowhawk WE SEE two Sparrowhawks on our walk. The first flies off from a hedge by the lane and gains height. A small flock of Starlings is passing by. They circle above it a few times, the hawk seems to veer away to avoid them then continues towards the wood, while the starlings head towards open fields.

dog's mercuryDog's Mercury in the hedges and woodland now has tassels of flower buds.

lichen on tree root bark of hornbeam
In the park, the buttress of a root on an Oak is splodged with grey-green and yellow lichens.

A Hornbeam has bark like the skin of a dinosaur.

Towpath Tansy

dry grasses by the canaltansy stems Clumps of dried grasses overhanging the canal are all bent downstream, which is also the direction of the prevailing wind, from the west. They look like wigs for pantomime witches.

The dried stems of Tansy are twisted into curves (perhaps they caught some overspray of Paraquat last summer?). They remind me of the Japanese inspired flower arrangements known as Ikebana. A few yards away an old weatherbeaten timber supports the banking. It has the driftwood look that flower arrangers favour.

horse-jump A less elegant arrangement on the opposite bank is a 'Loch Ness Monster' made of tyres, actually an improvised horse-jump.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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