Home » Archive for January, 2011

There are, of course, two kinds of calories. The ones that count… And the ones that don’t. Like these: 1. Research & development calories: those that don’t qualify as proper food, because you can’t yet serve them as such. I’m talking cake-mix-bowl scrapings, gravy-tastings, cheese-sauce checkings. Don’t count. 2. In transit calories:...
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At Communicate (a conference for environmental communicators) last year, David Attenborough was asked where his passion for the natural world came from. The first part of his answer was about his fascination for the fossils he discovered as a boy. Then he went on to say this, which I think speaks volumes not just about how he was parented, but also...
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Swan fight clips

Posted by on January 15, 2011
We put the Canadian canoe in the Thames in Lechlade, Oxfordshire, last summer. For the next couple of hours, we dabbled gently past fields of wildflowers and banks of dragonflies. And very relaxing it was, too. Or it was, until we saw this. Two male swans, who were steaming to and fro across the river, sizing each other up, wings half raised. This...
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Woodpecker sawdust

Posted by on January 9, 2011
A cold, crunchy morning down our local ex-sewage works (Rodley Nature Reserve) gave Grub a chance to practise his ice-skids – and try out the proper children’s binoculars that Grandma Twitch gave him for Christmas. He practised on herons, gadwall, pochard, coots, tufted ducks, kestrel, swans and a crow skating across the ice. (This reminded me...
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Owl puke and mouse corpses

Posted by on January 6, 2011
There we were, watching Grub and Moth open their stockings, when they both unwrapped a little package containing three of these: Owl pellets from Santa ‘And what, exactly, are they?’ asked my sister, warily, sitting down next to us on the sofa-bed with a fresh cup of coffee. ‘Guess!’ I shrieked, bouncing up and down. Then, before she could get...
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