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Sunday, 16 November 2014

the grapes of wrath

We must have planted the vine at the back of the house twenty odd years ago and although it's produced fabulous leaves to stuff things in -  {dolmades - hah! as if I'd have the time or the talent)
this is the first time it's produced grapes, and I have to say - only this small bunch - that they were delicious. I can feel a Chateau Pixie coming up.

 I don't quite know why I'm posting up so many pictures of the ducks -perhaps its because they're the only animals actually doing anything. The others are all lolling around telling me that really, they'd been up ALL night guarding the house and protecting me from unwanted intruders.
Mr Walters deciding what he really wants is a proper swim but has got stuck in the bucket

now they've decided to come in and have a snoop around the house. Pixie lolling under a table and not bothering to raise a head

Now doing proper duck things like searching for worms and admiring the planting scheme.

Went to a wonderful book festival in Wimbourne the other day - they had a 'Nature Day" with a fantastic line up of writers. I never thought that dragonflies could be so interesting.

One of the writers - Jim Crumley - talked about the introduction of sea eagles into Scotland. This was particularly interesting to me as I've featured a couple of them in the book I'm working on at the moment. He said that although introduced to the East coast of Scotland they were migrating to the West Coast. Perhaps, he thought, because Norway, where they have come from, doesn't have an East Coast.

Jim has written many books and apart from his book on eagles has written about the last wolf in Scotland, killed by a huntsman in 1743. The result, as we know, has been a drastic change in the eco system, throwing the balance of nature to the wind. A barren, treeless landscape has arisen due to the huge amount of deer destroying the landscape.

There is talk of re-introducing the wolf which has had fantastic results in other countries, restoring that balance to include the return of other animals, the course of rivers, the re-growth of plants and trees.

The wolf has been the victim of black propaganda - in folk tales particularly -as a slayer of babies, devourers of the dead. But in reality no one has been killed by a wolf.

Pixie obviously has her own reasons for wanting them re-introduced - after all - as a wolf hound - her ancestors used to hunt them - but we'd all benefit from their re-introduction.

Sign anything that would bring them back.
Pocket - too small to hunt a wolf is stalking a poor mouse who has hidden under the cupboard.

Beezle, feeling a little hemmed in by Pocket and wondering when that walk is going to happen. But as he and Rainer Maria Rilke would say - "The only journey is the one within."

Some Questions You Might ask

by Mary Oliver

Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak o an owl?
Who has it. and who doesn’t?
I keep looking around me.
The face of the moose is as sad
as the face of Jesus.
The swan opens her white wings slowly.
In the fall, the black near carries leaves into darkness.
One question leads o another.
Does it have a shape? Like an iceberg?
Like the eyes of a hummingbird?
Does it have one lung, like the snake and the scallop?
Why should I have it, and not the anteater
who loves her children?
Why should I have it, and not the camel?
Come to think of it, what about the maple tree?
What about the blue iris?
What about all the little stones, sitting along in the moonlight?
What about roses, and lemons, and their shining leaves?
What about the grass?