I command the cars!

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Walking home I reached the pedestrian crossing, where the little man was red and the cars were trundling ahead. But as I stopped at the side of the road all the cars on my side of the road also stopped. The little man didn’t change to green, but I assumed it would in a moment and started crossing. I got to the halfway point when a car came whizzing along on the other side of the road. I thought ‘What a wanker! The lights are red, it could’ve hit me!’

Then I realised the little man still hadn’t changed to green. So the cars must have stopped on one side of the road even though the lights hadn’t changed. It was a whole line of cars, but nobody honked, they simply sat waiting as I crossed the road. Odd eh?

Bizarre word of the day: Camelopard  –  giraffe

Yes a giraffe used to be called a camelopard (or cameleopard) because most people hadn’t seen an actual giraffe, and assumed it looked like a cross between a camel and a leopard. That idea came from the picture of a giraffe below, drawn in 1655 .

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Hey la day la the mice are back

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No pressure.

The mice are back, so Mike spent lunchbreak with his feet up on the bench shouting. But look at the little fella, isn’t he just adorbs! The other two were quite cute too, although Mike’s sinister claim that they’ll ‘Get bigger, they start out all small, but they’ll get bigger,’ may lead to issues over space.

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Lurking mouse
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Bold mouse

 

Mini paradise

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Sub Tropical land. I need a short flower interlude from inspirational posters. So I decided to share with you some photos from our sub-tropical border, cos it’s beautiful.

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I also thought I should let you know the bloke I see every day, who walks slowly up and down with his head hanging, I haven’t seen him since I wrote about him. I’ve decided for simplicity to call him Brennan, since that name means sorrow and he looks like the most desolate man I’ve seen. I’ll let you know when he comes back. I last saw him on his knees facing a house at seven in the morning so I’m a bit worried.

Word of the day: nullibicity – state of being nowhere

Nature is odd

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I’m not sure this is a good idea. Where would I put it all?

Was reducing a twenty-five foot bay tree to about twelve foot high today. I didn’t have a ladder, so mostly I was cutting huge chunks out by sawing through thick stems lower down, doing a bit of climbing so I could reach. I could see there were two nests near the top of the tree, it’s past nesting season and there was no tetchy birds around, so I was sure they were empty. After a few hours of cutting and clambering I finally sawed through the branch with one of the nests on and those whole thing came crashing down and landed on the ground. But the nest had vanished.

There was the branch with a bundle of dead leaves next to it. No nest.

But then I thought having a bundle of dead leaves in a tree was weird, not like they’d been pruned and left there, they must have been put there. I was working with Ezekiel (don’t think I’ve mentioned him, he’s very mellow and knows a lot about nature) and asked him what he thought.

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See? It just looks like a pile of dead leaves

‘Well that,’ he said ‘looks like a squirrel’s nest, he’d have built it for the winter to hibernate in. Looks like he never properly used it though, there’s no poo.’

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When we broke it open you could see the leaves were rolled up.

Ezekiel even found a nut in it. So there you are, a squirrel’s nest is made up of dead leaves rolled up.

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Ez finding the nut

The other nest was just a bird’s nest and was only used by woodlice.

Nature’s bubble wrap. And ants.

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“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise”

Word of the day: myrmecophilous – having a symbiotic relationship with ants

This morning my train got cancelled! Which means I ended up sitting in a carriage with all the wrong people, going from the wrong station. I’ll have to wait until Monday to see Angry Staring Man and the twins again.

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Melianthus seed pods ready to be stamped on

 

However I did make two interesting discoveries today. One was that the seed head of Melianthus (pic above) makes a very satisfying popping sound when you squeeze it, far more delightful than bubble wrap. I showed some to Dan and his eyes grew wide as he began popping feverishly away, then I showed Jessica and she was soon jumping up and down on them. I reckon I could market them:

Melianthus bubblepop! The all natural way to relax.

Bubblepop, no plastic, no toxins, just soothing pops to ease your mood.

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The other discovery happened when I pulled back a dead leaf and discovered an ants’ nest underneath. They hadn’t even bothered burying their army in the ground. The swarms of flying and pedestrian ants quickly fled to hid under another leaf, but I got a  photo.

Oh AND the brilliant Calmgrove has been doubting the veracity of some of my words of the day and has challenged me to use them in a story. I’m not sure how that would prove anything, but I think it’s an excellent idea all the same. It won’t be easy, but I’ll see what I can do.

The teddy bears of the insect world

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“First of all nothing will happen and a little later, nothing will happen again.”

Leonard Cohen

Word of the day: oose – furry dust that gathers under beds (from Scots)

There’s a bumble bee nest under our tractor, if you watch the ground for a while, bees will bumble in and out of a crack in the ground. I was too inept to get a good photo, so I took one of them on an Eryngium as well.

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And then it poured with rain, I got a headache and fell over in a puddle, so the bumble bees were definitely the highlight.

Sorry for the short blog today, here’s another Eryngium to make up for it.

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