house sparrow

A Dose of 'flu

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Tuesday 4th January 2000

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clouds over the viaduct waves on the Calder THERE HAS been a selection of 'flu viruses going around this year. Last night one of them caught up with me, going for the throat first. I'm so used to looking at our local habitats - woodlands and wetlands for instance - that it comes as a shock to realise that some entities will use me as a habitat.

The Collins Dictionary describes a virus as consisting of 'a single nucleic acid surrounded by a protein coat and capable of replication only within the cells of animals and plants.'

It comes over me in waves, so by the end of the afternoon, trying to convince myself that I'm on the mend, I take a walk, zombie-like, to the corner shop. A sunburst behind clouds and rapids on the river are all that I take in on my walk.

house sparrow There are sparrows at the bird table, but they'll have to make do with what's left. They won't get fed today.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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