The Ear Muff

I look down the garden, eyes dipped below the sash window frame. If I sit upright it disappears. A crow. Our windfalls were intended for the local thrush community but the jays, magpies and carrion crows have muscled in. Nearer and to the right of me, the tiny goldcrest contrasts brightly with the thuggish corvid. I watched a crow harrassing a sparrowhawk a day or so ago. They swagger in the air. One jousted with a disinterested buzzard last week. The hawk droppped onto a pylon. Game over. Go away crow.

I bought a Salix caprea pendula this morning. I read about Salix caprea in the latest Gardener’s World. George explained it is mainly used for hedging but recommended the pendula variety as a more compact, attractive specimen tree. I have just the spot for it. An excellent addition for wildlife. I may still plant the bare-rooted hedge saplings. 95p each. It would be rude not to.

I always do a fungi walk and today I found this, which I have decided is the Ear Muff fungus. I am sure it has a scientific name but that will have to wait. Judging by the shape I think this would suit a front-row rugby player, prop or hooker. fungus1

I have reblogged a post about Porcupine, a splended magazine that deserves its comeback. I hope you dip into this. The post is by Graham Reels, also author of Sevens, as we are almost on a rugby theme. Don’t be fooled by the French site. Its perfectly safe and the book is in English. It seems that Odonatologists just want to have fun.

Tomorow is another train up to London day. Interview number three. Then the excitement mounts on Tuesday – new stair carpet. Wednesday is almost beyond belief – new woodburner. Thursday is a blank, much as most of my life has been. Who knows what Friday will hold? Well I do. The Christmas tree arrives. 7′ tall and a godsend for Lulu. A proper tree instead of a ‘litter tray’. I set her on a cat this morning. She barked ferociously. At me. And the cat turned away in disgust. Oh well, the temperature is dropping so I suppose I ought to get the ear muffs out. Would I look good in burnt umber?

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Porcupine! ̶ the early years

A potted history of Porcupine by the esteemed G T Reels, Lulu’s godfather. In which a resurrection is revealed.

Porcupine! - the blog

by G.T. Reels

The late 1980s and early 1990s was an exciting period for the study of ecology in Hong Kong, particularly at Hong Kong University. A core of ecologically-minded academics in the Zoology and Botany Departments (principally David Dudgeon, Brian Morton, Richard Corlett and Gray Williams) was supervising a fast-expanding body of postgraduate students, recruited locally and from overseas, and an informal ‘Ecology Research Group’ had been formed across the two departments.

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