Saturday, January 20, 2007

I had an email the other day from someone remonstrating with me that I haven't posted on this particular blog for a heck of a long time. They are, of course, completely right.

Yesterday, I wrote on my main blog about the goings-on at the CFZ over the last few months, and why, perforce, my blogging activities have been somewhat curtailed of late. In fact, the more I think of it, there are various people I know who have voluminous blogs which are updated several times a day, and which probably stretch to something in the region of half a million words a year. Now, I don't know how they do it, but I suspect that some like Loren Coleman are driven, ever so slightly obsessed - as am I - and get very little sleep. I am incredibly impressed with the sheer volume of material that Loren gets up in his blog, and I really don't know how he does it.

Other bloggers, who shall remain nameless, are convinced that the general public are going to be fascinated with the dull minutae of their tedious little lives, and, although in a world where a vacuuous guttersnipe like Jady Goody can ammass a reputed £7million fortune, quite possibly I am wrong, and people are indeed interested in a blow-by-blow account of the daily events in these people's lives. Even so, for these people to blog with such gusto and enthusiasm, and in such a volume, would suggest that they do practically nothing else but sit at the computer tapping away.

I hope that I do not sound too horribly conceited here. After all, I publish a blog (three in fact), which is - at least in part - an account of my ongoing activities, but I do so for one important reason. Because the CFZ is funded by public subscription, I feel that we have a duty to let everyone know what we are doing with their money!

However, I have drifted dreadfully from the main point of this blog entry. Before I got distracted and wandered off along different thought trails (which is something, I am afraid, I am wont to do), I was trying to explain why I haven't done an entry on the `Wild Woolsery` blog for such a ridiculously long time.

Basically, although the CFZ has a long term committment to researching, and publishing, material on the local ecology here in North Devon, we have been very busy in the last few months with getting our publishing schedule up to date, and preparing arrangements for the visitor centre which will start construction here next week. In all this hurly burly of activity there has been practically no time for any natural history work at all.

However, I am sitting here in my studt, typing this, listening to an album called Brain Capers by a band called Mott the Hoople, that most people have forgotten abot, and looking out onto the garden.

Even though it is onlya few weeks since Christmas, and the whole of North Devon has been battered alkmost into submission by a succession of brutal gales, the first signs of life are beginning to be visible in the garden. The snowdrops are out, the first green shoots of the daffodils are beginning to poke tentatively through the soil, and the lawn is even beginning to look ever so slightly shaggy.

One thing is noticeable, however: the world is beginning to make sense again. Althpugh it has been a very mild winder, and - believe it or not - there has been one of the rose bushes that has flowered against all odds for most of the winter, this year things seem to be happening in their proper season a bit more.

At the end of 2005 we had the first frogspawn before Christmas, and by this time last year - just before my father was taken into hospital for his final illness - there was frogspawn in every ditch we passed. This year, the first frogspawn reported in the village was in the garden of Ivy Cottage, by the Rev Gerald Smith, at the end of last week. Unlike last year, there are no signs that the birds are beginning nexting, and the world (or at least Woolsery) aooears to be having a more conventional January than usual.

OK, it could be argued that last year, when the frogs spawned in December, and the birds nested in January, the cold spell in February killed the whole lot, and that is why there ain't any to be seen here this year, but I think that his would be un-necessarily pessimistic. I hope that it merely means that Mother Nature is repairing herself, and that the ecosystem is returniong to some semblance of normality.

One mildly interesting aside that occurred to the boys (and girls) of the CFZ during last year's long, cold winter, was that maybe the prolific early spawning by the common frog has a purpose. Maybe the first batch of tadpoles are meant to die prematurely in order to introduce a burst of protein into the ecosystem? After all, the frogs seemed to spawn again quite happily at the beginning of March, and this time the tadpoles hatched and matured perfectly normally.

It makes you think, doesn't it?


Anonymous Matrika said...

People should read this.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

8:50 PM  

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