Anna (the_royal_anna) wrote,

I happen to own the world's least flattering pair of grey tracksuit bottoms, and on chilly, dark evenings when I know I am done going out for the day, I retreat into them like a toad slinking into hibernation. Today was bright and warm and beautiful, but here I am, grey-legged and toad-like. Autumn's in the ai-ir, as we used to sing at school.

avrelia, thank you so much for the puppy! I hope your birthday was wonderful.

I had a crazy, busy summer that I will come back to at some point, and pretty pictures a-plenty, Wales and Cambridge and Bath, which I shall save for a rainy day. In plants news, the chard was ravaged by slugs, went without water for a month and then without sun for another, and (as you all reassured me) is doing absolutely fine and has yielded me a whole summer's worth of rainbow-stemmed salad. My pepper harvest is also looking hopeful at this point, so much so that I dare to commit as much to print even with frost poking its fingers round the corner.

I can't explain what it is about birds of prey, but they mesmerise me. I think it's larks that collectively are an exaltation, but the sweeping of kites, the swooping of falcons, the soaring of eagles, the circling of vultures – I make these nothing short of an exultation. My birthday outing this year was to the Hawk Conservancy which was very much like having a fairy godmother and a genie. I spent my day as wide-eyed and spellbound as any of the children there. (Not-very-eagle-eyed small boy near me, watching vultures ripping chicks apart: "These vultures eat grass, not people!")

Vultures eating lunch:

We were asked to fill up from the far side for the "Valley of the Eagles" flying display, so I clambered over hordes of people who had plumped themselves nicely in the centre of things, wondering how much I would miss sitting right on the end. There are days – and they don't come very often, but they do come, and you live off them for months afterwards – when everything goes your way. It turned out I was sitting in the choice position, right next to the perch where the vultures would sit in between flying over our heads.

This close:

Bald eagle (the one on the right):

Barn owl, for beginners:

To finish: I love – have always loved – rockpooling. Browsing through my friendslist lately has been a little bit like a spuffy rockpooling excursion. Every now and again I come across a reference to a pincered beast that might be lurking in the shadows, or something sharp underfoot, but it barely registers because all around is a sleeping world come to life, glinting, gleaming, glittering with unexpected treasures. There are posts big and small that make my spuffy heart sing, and it is deeply, delightfully good to sit and bask in our ship again. Now I am mixing my seaside metaphors, and why not? :)
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I wanted to sneak the owl away with me. And there was a vulture with deformed legs who I am positive would have been quite happy living in my garden. Although I can see the endless supplying of dead chicks would become a problem. ;)

I'm very impressed with your childhood bird detection skills!

Ooooh vultures! And an eagle and an owl! (We have a picture of Impish Girl holding an owl - it was almost bigger than her! *g*)

There are days – and they don't come very often, but they do come, and you live off them for months afterwards – when everything goes your way.
This makes me very happy! Yay for perfect days! (It's late, my articulate is broken...)

And the rockpooling metaphor is adorable! ♥ The Spuffiness is indeed heartening. Esp since Spike's in character! ;)
Hee! My entire investment in the comics has been, lalalala, oooh! Spuffiness ::swoons:: ::covers ears and eyes again:: lalalala! But the posts-upon-posts of spuffy-themed goodness it has brought on have been a delight.
When I was a child, I used to love it if my parents would take us to visit with a particular aunt and uncle -- not because of the aunt and uncle, but because they lived just down the road from a castle that had a mews; and I'd sneak off to find and 'help' the falconers, which usually involved just following them around and occasionally being allowed near the birds. There were 5 birds in all, 3 peregrins, a merlin and a kestrel; and I was absolutely fascinated with watching these birds and their training. And I still am, of course.
How wonderful! A castle sounds magical enough in itself, but with falconers and the five birds besides - it sounds almost fairytale-esque.

There is something about the relationship between falconers and the birds they fly that is riveting to watch - there is so much trust involved, and yet the birds don't seem to lose that sense they have of being wild and free.
Vultures and eages and owls - oh, my! What a great birthday outing.
Thank you! It really was a perfect day.
Birds of prey are fascinating, and it is always such a pleasure for us city dwellers to see one flying free. Or sitting on a tombstone. ;)

Glad you had such a great birthday outing. Happy belated birthday - I kept thinking that I must write something to you, and then it was already too late, and there were cute puppies... So there. Thank you for your kitten and wishes! very appreciated.

/been missing you
I can imagine a tombstone makes a particularly atmospheric perch!

The puppy is adorable, and made me smile from ear to ear. Thank you! I couldn't find anything quite as exciting but I hope you had a lovely day.

I was thinking of you recently and saved you a postcard from my Welsh holiday in the summer, then remembered I no longer know where to send it!
What amazing pictures, especially you holding an owl. How incredible!

Just stopping in to appreciate a post from you and leave you a hello :)
Thank you! Dearest Ali, it is always so lovely to hear from you. Know that you are in my thoughts every day. {{{hugs you tightly}}}