"I am an animal" - Nature Notes

Last year, in the eaves of the house across the road from mine, swifts like these nested behind the cross-beams out front

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This year, a couple of starlings are occupying the same spot. Starlings get it on several weeks before other birds, and they are known to seek out vacant nests and use them, rather than build their own. The swifts have just returned from the Congo regions where they over-winter, and I've seen them flutter around in agitation, looking for the home they built. The starlings loudly held their ground, and since they're still in and out with worms and grubs, they have presumably prevailed. A bunch of sparrows also arrived, inspecting the same facade, and a couple of them seem to have taken over the eave space on the other side of the door. I snapped one of the starlings entering the nest, and an inspecting sparrow to the left.

Nest.jpg


Nest 1.jpg



On the same day I witnessed that drama, I watched two scald crows driving a neighbourhood cat away from their 'tree' in an area of partial scrub behind the house. Scald-crows look like this.

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One scald-crow dive-bombed on the cat over and over, narrowly missing him by inches, while the other chased him on foot, going very close, squawking like a demon. The cat tried to walk away nonchalantly but the way he suddenly turned his head
and often looked prepared to run, betrayed his jitters.​

I was reminded of the tour-guide who showed us around the Holy Land, the time I visited Israel, admitting that war is usually about resources, so that no-one is forced to be 'the end of the family line'.

Also on the same day as that drama transpired, I chanced on this instance of exquisite existence, an Orange Tip.

Orange Tip.jpg

For a giggle, check out anti-animal vegan Collin Moulton at the Dry Bar Comedy club, with the key sketch about 34 mins in

 
The bull-fighter dies?

Bullfighting, which is considered part of Spain’s cultural heritage, is once again at the center of the debate in the Iberian country after the Minister of Culture, Ernest Urtasun, announced the cancellation of this year’s National Bullfighting Prize and that he would speed up the procedures for its definitive cancellation.

Urtasun has repeatedly expressed his opposition to the spectacle, which he considers to be based on animal cruelty, and in fact, this measure is in line with the electoral program of Sumar, the party to which the minister belongs, which proposed the abolition of the cultural and patrimonial protection of bullfighting and the abolition of its public funding...

- https://www.pressenza.com/2024/05/a...heritage-spains-bullfighting-debate-heats-up/
 
aren't you?
There I was, thrilled to notice an addition to my pet animal thread, only to find a lone predator who seems to have become consumed enough by my online persona to start sniping with conjectured identity tags on a thread about something specific and completely different. This approach is unlikely to charm anyone to disclose who, how, why they are.

I know a young man going through a fishing phase, who recently caught a large pike (before returning it alive to the water). Pike are cannibalistic bottom-feeding species, with teeth like these

are-pike-dangerous-teeth.jpg


Recalling the incontinence No. 27 has displayed in the past when giving offense, they must also have a mouth full of spiky gnashers. Still, in the year or two I've been back, I've seen compulsively aggressive people change and become civil, similar to the story of Angulimala. Or at least share an animal anecdote, with photos. Otherwise, beware!

Kali-Ma--400x585.jpg
 
There I was, thrilled to notice an addition to my pet animal thread, only to find a lone predator who seems to have become consumed enough by my online persona to start sniping with conjectured identity tags on a thread about something specific and completely different. This approach is unlikely to charm anyone to disclose who, how, why they are. [. . .]
I'll take that as a "Yes."
 
Release The Bats🦇🦇

So, my "pet" Bats have returned from their Winter sojourn and taken up residence in the cavity beneath my bedroom window-sill.....all 32(yes THIRTY TWO) of them. As the sun set after the torrential rain of Sunday, the weird sky colouring made them a tad more visible than usual.
common-pipistrelle-760x422.jpg

At first I thought it was a joke, as I had always assumed there was maybe between 6 and 10 of them, but they just kept emerging like some rodent airforce("I counted them all out....and I counted them all back again" Gulf War drivel). Before I knew that the cause of the noise from within the bedroom wall was bats, I had always assumed it was faulty plumbing, or a wasps nest. Somehow knowing it's a family of bats makes it vastly less annoying, and actually quite pleasant.
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I'm pretty sure the bats are the common pipistrelle variety, judging by their size and speed. Indeed it's nigh on impossible to view them with the naked eye, never mind a Samsung Galaxy phone camera as I've tried to do.
I don't know how long they'll stay, last Spring they were only there for around 5 or 6 weeks.
So now I have a family of bats in the back window, and a flock of starlings(complete with their young) in a crevice at the front window.
They must sense where the Vegan lives......or the spiritual descendant of Saint Francis:babyangel::pray::laughing:

 
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But of course, you are right. Man destroys by travelling and by basically just existing. Then again, I'm a bit torn when it comes to places like the Greek islands. They are just piles of rocks and granite, with hardly anything growing there and virtually no fauna. It's man who has made them special.

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I'm a bit torn when it comes to places like the Greek islands. They are just piles of rocks and granite, with hardly anything growing there and virtually no fauna. It's man who has made them special.

68b8c22d3774ed916fa3b6d73e2425db.jpg
Where is that? The view of the ocean from up there is breathtaking.
I was talking to the barber yesterday who is from Cyprus, he was telling me all about it and now I want to go.
 
Hey Vesper, is that a handsome tree with unusual foliage and snow-white flowers, but without beasties?

No photo so I'll try a word picture. I was dropping someone to Shannon airport yesterday. We noticed fire engines with lights flashing besides Bunratty Castle on the way, and a crowd of people gathered on the bridge, so we decided to take a look. People had already started dispersing as we approached. There was mention of a body. We stood on the bridge, now otherwise deserted, and while the fire engines were still ticking over nearby, whatever action had been watched in the river was now over. However, I noticed a man pulling clumps of grass in a garden meters away from the sloping muddy bank. He wore a hard hat. He was a fireman. I stepped back for a better view, and saw a second fireman doing the same. One step further back rewarded me with the vision of a sodden horse munching on the grass gathered for him, none the worse for wear after his tumble :seedling::horseface: 🚒
:horseface:
 
Hey Vesper, is that a handsome tree with unusual foliage and snow-white flowers, but without beasties?

No photo so I'll try a word picture. I was dropping someone to Shannon airport yesterday. We noticed fire engines with lights flashing besides Bunratty Castle on the way, and a crowd of people gathered on the bridge, so we decided to take a look. People had already started dispersing as we approached. There was mention of a body. We stood on the bridge, now otherwise deserted, and while the fire engines were still ticking over nearby, whatever action had been watched in the river was now over. However, I noticed a man pulling clumps of grass in a garden meters away from the sloping muddy bank. He wore a hard hat. He was a fireman. I stepped back for a better view, and saw a second fireman doing the same. One step further back rewarded me with the vision of a sodden horse munching on the grass gathered for him, none the worse for wear after his tumble :seedling::horseface: 🚒
:horseface:
Does without beasties mean you’re asking me if it’s a photo of a tree with no hidden animals in the shot? If so, correct. It’s just a photo of a sky-high giant southern magnolia that’s over 4 stories tall at this point. That was its first flower bloom of the season, and it was within 24hrs of the first newborn baby bambi of the season as well.

Horses (even potentially) getting hurt is always nothing short of terrifying. I’m so glad that story had a happy ending.
 
Does without beasties mean you’re asking me if it’s a photo of a tree with no hidden animals in the shot? If so, correct. It’s just a photo of a sky-high giant southern magnolia that’s over 4 stories tall at this point. That was its first flower bloom of the season, and it was within 24hrs of the first newborn baby bambi of the season as well.

Horses (even potentially) getting hurt is always nothing short of terrifying. I’m so glad that story had a happy ending.
That's what I was asking :) Trees are glorious; often the oldest living things on earth, as far as is known. And the happy ending for the horse was uplifting. The week before, I attended a Blessing of the Bees. You can watch one from a few years ago in Dublin here -

The congregation I was with didn't get up so close, and did without the young costumed dancers, but ordained priests came to officiate. It's not only an Irish thing, although the tradition here used to be to bless all round us: cows, boats, emigrants, everything! While bee blessings are taking place far and wide these days, a specific law about bees from back in the day is more exclusively Irish, from the ancient Brehon laws which regulated beekeepers - https://thebrehonlawyer.com/2021/03/31/bees-and-neighbourhood/ - and - https://brehonacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Introduction-to-the-Brehon-Laws-Transcript.pdf

St. Gobnait of Cork is the patron saint of bees
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The working bee is the symbol of Manchester and can be seen frequently depicted around the city

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