Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Nature Notes

A small bird (sparrow or blue tit- the procedure is the same) perches on the railing, flicks its head left-right, left-right as if crossing the road, then launches across the brief open space to the feeder.

We had snow last night- great clumpy dobs of it- but the ground was too wet for it to settle. This morning is cloudless and there's a frost. Tonight I'm putting an extra cover on the bed.

Last night- after a complicated, tactical fight- parliament finally banned hunting with hounds. The ban comes into force- earlier than the Government wanted- in February.

I have stayed neutral on this one. The class warrior in me wanted a ban and the libertarian opposed it. Besides, I have never lived in any place where hunting was an issue. This ain't my fight.

I don't really see it as being about animal cruelty. The ban won't stop foxes being shot or poisoned. All it gets rid of is the ritual- the red coats and the stirrup cups and the tearing to bits and the arrogance.

It's been a while since I last saw a fox. A few years back one came trotting down our street at night. I followed it and found it nosing round the dustbin in a neighbour's yard and we eyeballed one another over the garden wall. I was almost close enough to reach out and touch. The orange streetlights made its eyes shine blue.
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