Monday, April 26, 2004

notes from a rural badger
Four and a half days: 58 miles walked, one set of lost marbles regained, one pub lunch, one swim in the (very cold) sea, one sunburnt forehead, one dinner out with my brother and parents, one upset, seven tarot readings (all saying the same thing), swathes upon swathes of beautiful woodland bluebells admired, one lost child (no relation) found and returned to anxious parents, two gin and tonics, four afternoon naps, many restorative deep breaths taken of sea and country air. Each day I was woken before five by the dawn chorus, each day I was out of the house before 7.30am and off on a long walk (day of arrival: 4 miles, day two: 14 miles, day three: 7 miles, day four: 14 miles, last day: 20 miles).

my family and other animals
2 hawks
2 buzzards
lots of trout
1 moorhen nesting on five eggs
4 other moorhens
a plague of pigeons (no change from home there then)
a goose
assorted doves, both white and ring collared
1 dead blue tit
lots of little birds (I'm no ornithologist)
1 red admiral butterfly and several other unidentifiable types
1 black hairy caterpillar
many more rabbits than people (rabbits being the coutryside's answer to rats)
enough pheasants for a mediaeval banquet
ducks - mallard (mostly) and other kinds
cows - black ones, brown ones (no fresian or hereford, which are the only breeds I can recognise) - and calves
sheep and lambs
seagulls
2 cormorants
clouds of midges (some unfortunately ingested)
1 black beetle
some swans (a silhouette of swans, a silver service of swans, a royal dinner of swans, a song of swans - what is the collective noun for swans?)

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