Sunday, 13 April 2008

More wildflowers out as April showers continue

Exactly a week ago I was commenting on the snow showers we had seen this month and also contrasting this April with the same month last year when there were so many glorious sunny days. Now the weather is a little warmer than last weekend but hardly tropical, at least it's moving in the right direction but still with a showery regime in place. We are promised a drier day or two before it goes downhill again midweek.

On one of the better days of the past week I walked the couple of miles or so to a favourite roadside stall to top up my supply of vegetables and eggs. This is a pleasing stroll not only from the scenic point of view but it is usually not overburdened with traffic either. The hedge bank flowers are starting to come into their own now with swathes of the bright yellow of lesser celandine adorning them. Stitchwort and bluebells are not at their maximum yet but there are quite a few in flower.

With dense woodland across the valley and many mature gardens around with bushes and ponds there is always a chance of some good wildlife stories. Chatting to an acquaintance who lives around the corner from here it was good to hear about his sighting of a fox curled up asleep under a shrub in the garden, this I think was just before dusk. Also a young peregrine circling around their garden.

On the subject of wildlife I must mention a rarity that's arrived on an RSPB reserve this week. It is a little crake which has been spotted on Exminster Marshes just south of Exeter. Reports say that this water rail type of bird hasn't been seen in Devon since the mid nineteenth century! Naturally word has got around and the twitchers have turned up in force. Luckily for them it has been not too difficult to spot. I have to say that though I thoroughly enjoy seeing all manner of wildlife I don't get desperate for these once in a lifetime chances to see such a species. Yes there are people totally fanatical about such interests and thank god there are because their knowledge on a particular subject can add so much to human learning. The big problem if you are 'narrow and deep' is that you can get far too preoccupied with one type of interest to the exclusion of so many others. I know someone in this area for example who probably knows more about their specialism than anyone else in the parish and that knowledge is, to me, extremely interesting. But that same person doesn't always appreciate that others might not share the same passion!

I like to think that my interests are relatively broad and not too shallow! There are a few people who are both 'broad' and 'deep', and I class a special friend as one such, but I don't think that I have the mental capacity to be one of them!

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