the near things around us

To: Vader Willem Jan Marinus <>
Subject: the near things around us
From: Marie Tarrant <>
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 06:29:37 +1000
That made for a really beautiful read - thanks for sharing it Wim.  Brought
to my mind this small verse

There is symbolic as well as actual

Beauty in the migration of the birds….

There is something infinitely healing

In the repeated refrains of nature – the

Assurance that dawn comes after night,

And spring after the winter.

Marie Tarrant
Kobble Creek

On 30 July 2011 22:26, Vader Willem Jan Marinus <> wrote:

> Dear friends
> There is an old Chinese curse, that says: 'May you live in interesting
> times!' Here in Norway we have all experienced this last week the force of
> this curse, after the country was hit by a double act of terror: a very
> heavy bomb in central Oslo followed by an utterly callous massacre of 69
> youngsters in a political summercamp on a nearby island. After the first
> shocks, the country and people of Norway have reacted in a beautiful manner,
> IMO, with solidarity, flowers and the firm conviction not to let ourselves
> be swayed by these tragedies into giving up our open society, with small
> distance between those who govern and the governed. (As you know, I am
> originally Dutch, and still am, in spite of my 46 years in Norway, so I am
> not praising myself here). But it has taken almost all our energy and time
> this last week, and for people like us, it is then extra good to flee to the
> near things in nature around us.
>  The nearest is of course the garden, where I still fill my tube-feeders
> with sunflower seeds. Amazingly, they are now much more popular than in the
> winter, and the birds empty the two feeders almost in a day. There are lots
> of feral pigeons on the lawn (Northernmost in the world,, as so many things
> here), that look for spillage, but on the feeders themselves the absolutely
> dominating bird species is the Greenfinch. There may be as many as 20-25
> birds at the same time jostling for the sticks. A lot of them are stripey
> youngsters, some apparently only just fledged (I don't think Greenfinches
> nest in my garden, but they must do so close by) and still begging from
> their parents. They are clumsy and unwary, and I have already twice seen one
> caught and killed by the resident pair of Hooded Crows!. There are a few
> other birds on the feeders:  Bramblings and Chaffinches (mostly 1-2 weeks
> earlier), Siskins, a few House Sparrows, a family of young Great Tits, and
> the odd Redpoll, Twite and Willow Tit. A whole family of Magpies also
> frequents the area---also here the young still beg, although I don't think
> the parents feed them anymore as a rule)---but they do not manage the
> tubular feeders. Common Gulls and Fieldfares feed on the lawn , but ignore
> the feeders.
> In the neighbourhood the vegetation now has gone into summermodus, the
> carpet of pink Cranesbills in the Folkeparken has disappeared and has been
> replaced by the offwhite sweetsmelling flowers of Meadowsweet Filipendula
>  and by the large violet patches of Rosebay (Fireweed) Chamenerion, so
> conspicuous that one can se them from the air on flying in to our airport.
> Along the roads the enormous 'Tromsø-palms' Heracleum are now a beautiful
> sight---and Tromsø is full of them, campaigns to get rid of these aliens
> have not helped anything as yet--, and the late summer flowers are also out
> by now: Goldenrods Solidago, the Melancholy Thistle Cirsium heterophyllum
> (in which I fail to see anything melancholy at all), and Sneezewort Achillea
> ptarmica now joining the Yarrow, that flowers all summer, as do the clovers
> and buttercups.
> This morning I walked for a while in the area near the airport at Langnes,
> about which I have written before. There is a lot of rough grassland there,
> or rather maybe forb-land, full of Cow Parsley Anthriscus, now all in seed,
> nettles, dock and again Meadowsweet, but here in the open these are already
> fading fast. There are also small copses of various species of willow, with
> some birches and alders, and there are birds everywhere today. The majority
> seem to be Meadow Pipits, but there are also many Greenfinches and Redpoll,
> and i also see a few Twite, and lots of young Wagtails. The tide is halfway
> out, and to my surprise there are quite a number of small birds in the
> intertidal. For .the Rock Pipits this is of course normal, but I had not
> expected so many Willow Warblers here. They fly like small helicopters over
> the rockpools and Ascophyllum clumps, and probably feed on the Clunio midges
> that live there.
> There is a broad stretch of foreshore here, partly muddy, partly stony.
> Close to the waterline there is a large flock of Arctic terns and of course
> the usual gulls: Common, Herring and Great Black-backed. Grey Herons stand
> with cat-like patience  here and there along the shore,and there is a
> sprinkling of Oystercatchers and Redshanks; I also see a small flock of
> Ruffs, some small Calidris sandpipers too far away to identify, and I hear
> the unmistakable tju-WEET of a Spotted Redshank. On the other side of the
> peninsula there is a small sandy beach and here the Ringed Plovers still
> warn and the terns half-heartedly divebomb me. Along the coast eider mothers
> swim with young of various ages, and farther out large flocks of males are
> ready for moulting. Here and there a Cormorant fishes. All very normal
> indeed, but a most welcome relief from the TV pictures with their long lists
> of photographs of laughing youngsters, all killed by this misguided loner.
> On the way back home a small surprise: two Collared Doves along the road.
> These arrived in Tromsø as early as the late sixties, and have kept a
> precarious toehold ever since with just a few pairs, partly thanks to an old
> lady who feeds them all winter. But I had never seen them on my side of the
> island.
> I am most grateful for those of you who have mailed me this last week.
>                                                                    Wim
> Vader, Tromsø Museum
>                                                                    9037
> Tromsø, Norway
> <>
> ===============================
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
> send the message:
> unsubscribe
> (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
> to: 
> ===============================

Marie Tarrant
Kobble Creek,  Qld

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU