10 Feb 2014

10th February 2014


Monday 10th 36F, 2C, southerly breeze, clear bits in between the clouds as it brightens. We might even get some sunshine this morning.

The sky cleared to blinding sunshine. I saw a Nuthatch and lots of noisy geese flying around in circles. The hedges and trees were full of Sparrows, Great tits, Chaffinches,  Blue tits and Blackbirds as usual. Ducks laughing at the sheer idiocy of it all on the ponds.

The moraines of debris from the council hedge clippings, New Year fireworks and beer cans have now been joined by household rubbish. Several black bin bags had been dumped at intervals along the main road recently. Animals and the wind have scattered the contents over a wide area. Add in the still remaining debris from the storms and it's all looking really lovely.

You never see the council litter pickers which were once a common sight in Denmark. As were almost daily road sweeping machines. Uneconomically viable, I presume, when original Danish modern art and designer furniture has to be purchased for this year's council palaces offices.

The bill still has to be paid in countless other ways. The general air of dilapidation and depression adds to the already massive health service costs and number of sick days. A very large fraction of the <quote> happiest people on the planet <unquote> are on antidepressants. I don't know whether to laugh or cry about our totally screwed up world any more.

Three miles dawdling the lanes in one hour. Sticking (mostly) to the tarmac when not nimbly dodging the lunatic commuters coming at me out of the sun. Are people who let their dogs bark as inbred as their mutts?

Quite a head crosswind on the way to Assens. Finally found the special offers (which were advertised last week) in the 4th branch of the same supermarket. I disturbed a flock of 50-odd Fieldfares and three deer drinking from a field puddle. A crow was worrying a whitish bird of prey with pointed wings. (Goshawk?)

People I didn't know were waving from their cars going the other way. I tried to follow a young clubman on his racing bike but didn't have the wind on a long drag to stay with him. Mind you, he probably had a 40 year and 20 kilo advantage over the skinny old triker, trike + shopping. Mostly sunny for 19  miles. Going out again after lunch.

When it had  turned grey again. I saw two fairly large, all evenly dark brown, birds of prey . Both were perched in roadside trees about a mile apart. Probably just unusual colour variations of buzzards. Most are rather speckled or lighter bellied. I tried searching on Google images but nothing presented itself as a likely candidate. Plus 10 more miles.

Tuesday 11th, 36-41F, 2-5C, heavy overcast, almost still. It felt almost mild as I walked through the woods in a wide loop. There is sudden bird activity with buzzards calling and watching from the trees. Woodpeckers competed with birdsong in the wayside trees and in the garden. Lots of overhead, vociferous geese heading north. Masses of sticky mud on my boots today. I shall have to choose my routes accordingly now the annual "permafrost" has melted. Afternoon ride in bright sunshine. Lots of speeding traffic. 16 miles.

A pheasant plucker's tower for taking potshots at grossly overfed, obese pheasants on the ground below. Or perhaps the intention is to crush the birds as the tower collapses forwards under the weight of the hunters? I'm fairly sure fat pheasants are involved in dying somehow. Otherwise there wouldn't be pheasant feeders every few yards in the countryside.  

Wednesday 12th 36-40F, 2-4C, overcast and windy. Raining with showers forecast. Walked four miles in an hour and half on rough tracks. A bit damp underfoot and the traffic was hauling cometry spray trails. It hailed and it rained but I remained dry. I turned my back as a tanker passed and felt the whack of the spray on my coat. later I saw a Wren foraging amongst Blue tits. Also saw a bird pretending to be a Skylark but without the usual song. It can't be long now before the air is full of their rough attempts at Vaughan Williams.

Triking began late morning with another ride to Assens. A hare dashed across in front of a car coming the other way. The hare reached the field safely, hesitated while sitting to attention, spotted me and then dropped down to pretend it was a brown, furry stone. Not too convincing but who am I to judge? I'm seeing deer almost every day now. Head crosswind going. Tail crosswind coming back in sunshine. 19 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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