Shooting Wildlife

Important to ask WHY? Why do people still do these out-dated, so-called “traditional” pursuits of killing wildlife. For fun? Our wildlife needs all the help it can get, so exposure of all kinds pointing out the weird futility of killing for “sport” get a bit shout out from me, hence the reblog. Please read on….

I can't believe it!

We’re driving through the Limousin countryside on a Sunday morning. I become aware of strange goings-on.  A man is sat on a chair on his own on the edge of a field. A car is parked in a field entry. A man is striding along with a shotgun. Two men are in a raised wooden platform in the middle of a field. All men. All with guns.

Yes I’ve heard that shooting anything that moves is a French country pastime, this is the real thing.

Now, as far as I can see, there is no great preponderance of wildlife in this part of France. It’s much like the rest of Europe, over-cultivated and lacking in the huge biodiversity of some other parts of our planet. Even perceptibly over a lifetime, nature’s abundance has been reducing, notably with declining populations of insects and birds.

Yet still many thousands of country dwellers…

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Crocosmia Lucifer

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There it was, flowering in the garden. Familiar-looking and vermilion, but I couldn’t remember what it was called and ended up asking my far more knowledgeable neighbour. “Crocosmia” she said. I was none the wiser.

But I took a photo of one virile, prehistoric-looking budding stem because of reminded me of a dinosaur’s head – maybe a pterodactyl?

Fast forward a few days and we were talking again, me and Mrs Greenfingers next door, and she dropped into the conversation the other name for this flower, which I remembered right away. Montbretia.

I couldn’t help thinking that naming this version of the flower Lucifer was rather appropriate. It’s light and bright, and has a devilish look to it when seen from the angle  photographed.

D-Day Dissonance

This apparent dissonance has been and is bugging me a lot, with such a focus on the current D-Day 75th commemorations. Who – in the media especially – has made the connection between the cooperation of European countries and the vow never to allow war again following WW2, and has set it alongside the limping, failing, ridiculous Brexit “project”. Churchill was a founding member of a unified Europe. Words fail me…our future is within Europe, not as an offshore island of the US. Europe is our neighbour, and we’re European as well as British. Enough….

I can't believe it!

I’m not the only one to notice a certain cognitive dissonance between the current D-Day celebrations in Normandy and the actions of our leaders.

Out of the experience of World War came a determination that such an event should never happen again, never again would European and other major countries resolve their differences by war. This led to the creation of international institutions including the UN, NATO, WTO, and ultimately the EU.

So there we have the leading politicians of France and UK, M Macron and Mrs May, pledging future cooperation, while in the process of the appalling Brexit negotiations that have signally failed to produce cooperation. While at home the ‘colleagues’ who have connived in removing Mrs May, due to their failure to support her, argue over the minutiae of negotiating positions with the EU – like monkeys arguing over scraps of food. Supported by M Macron, the EU…

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Orchids

Orchid no. 2 (2019) and orchid no. 1 (2018)

I noticed yesterday that an Early Purple Orchid had appeared in the marginals in our garden pond, and photographed it. Then I remembered that it had appeared in exactly the same place as one had last year – good news – it’s become a resident orchid!

I looked back at my post at this time of year 2018, and found I’d photographed and posted the first orchid on June 4th. Well, it’s 31st May 2019 and the second orchid, newly flowered, looks larger and healthier than the first.

Not just that – there’s another small one appearing nearby too.

Osprey

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In the UK, birders would travel miles – maybe to Rutland Water in the Midlands or maybe to Aviemore in Scotland –  to see ospreys, amazingly powerful and graceful birds who fish from lakes, catching large fish in their powerful talons.

In Houston, Texas, it’s not unusual or remarkable at all to find  an osprey flying low over a local reservoir which is part of a country park. This one was out in broad daylight, flying overhead and calling as it clutched its large catch. All this against the distant backdrop and roar of a busy tollway.

We watched it – no binoculars were needed as it was so close – as it sought and found a perch on a nearby telegraph pole and proceeded to tuck into it with that powerful beak.

What a treat for the eyes to see it. The photo’s not perfect as it was taken against the light, but it conveys the size of both bird and fish.

Curassow encounter

My look through the photos I took in Costa Rica led me back to an earlier post I made last year, when I wrote about this huge bird which came on very friendly towards me. It was one of those experiences which makes the hair on the back of the neck prickle. Looking at the photo of this bird, which I took at very close quarters, I appreciate what a special encounter this was.

Eyes in the back of my Head

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Visiting Zoo Ave, a rescue centre and wild life refuge in Costa Rica, we saw this huge bird strutting about on the ground some way off. Our guide said it was a female Great Currasow.

It was making a distinctive call, which I imitated. It immediately started coming towards me, flying up to perch on a railing, and then it began to edge towards me, closer and closer. We clearly had a big thing going on! I’d continued to imitate its call, but stopped when I realised it might get really friendly and leap into my arms!

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