Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Natural history (avian bias)

Let us have a brief Wednesday nature interlude before I have to go and prise the children away from whatever ill-advised digital slaughter they are engaged in.

Bastard Service

Because we have an unsophisticated and largely barren inner life, we spent a portion of yesterday evening trying to troll a leaf identification app with eg. the dog's ear, our own hands, a fork and finally, a leaf drawn by my eldest son on a piece of kitchen towel. We think, though, that the leaf identification app is trolling us back:

What the hell? Who are you calling a bastard service tree? It also said a picture of a small bird was a "dragon fruit", yeah, sure.

That episode of Portlandia come to life 
I wanted to write a card to someone today and got out my card collection (the kind of thing I cling onto as a proof of some degree of qualification for basic adulthood) only to discover:

I have some kind of avian monomania. This is very shortsighted! Not everyone likes birds and what if I have to write to someone with a bird phobia?

I thought I was getting somewhere when I located this:

But on closer examination it turned out to feature at least seven and possibly more birds.

Hen names

It got worse when I started looking more closely at the hen cards, because seriously, you wouldn't need to be terribly over-sensitive to wonder whether this is in some way pointed:

Anyway. I'm not going to send any cards. It's probably safest. Here to finish are some real birds that came to sit in the tree today, preventing me from doing any work for a good 45 minutes of my available Wednesday 2 1/2 hours:

They live very nearby and I see them flying around in the street all the time screeching at each other like a hen party on its ninth round of WKD Blue, but this is the first time they have deigned to approach my fat balls. The chickens were sickened by the whole business, predictably.


5% Malteser
10% Guilt, various
20% Financial improprieties
65% Festive fatalism



Ellie said...

We have a colony of Monk Parakeets here in Austin (they look quite similar to yours but I'm not sure) and they had for the longest time made their nests in the cozy lights at the university's Intramural Field, about 1.5 miles north of my house. They have been turfed out-- the lights were deemed a hazard to public safety, being rickety and old-- and we were all quite worried that we would never see the parakeets again, but they are resourceful and it has worked in my favor. They have begun to rebuild, quite low to the ground, in nests all around my house, and on my way to the grocery store now I can stop and watch five parrot nests being built all at once in a tiered light-pole. Nobody else seems to notice or care that they are there and so I am the lone lunatic standing on one of the city's busiest streets with my head thrown back, staring into the sky and making squeaking noises because they are so adorable that I cannot stand it.

MJ said...

Well, today so far is:
50% fretting about Christmas and the buying (and paying for) of presents
10% trying to communicate with my neighbour's mentally challenged daughter so I could get key to let myself into my own house
10% repeating to myself "buy cat food, buy cat food" multiple times so I don't forget..again
5% going to gym
25% now thinking that I need to add "get bird feeder out" to my to-do list

And, it's just lunchtime here. Totals may vary by the end of the day. I may need to add "have glass of wine" to percentages.

Jonathan Lethbridge said...

Best post ever, I think you're getting the hang of this blogging thing. Have you tried birdwatching outdoors yet?Last time we discussed this you fainted but I think you might be ready now.

Waffle said...

Don't push it, Lethbridge. I do now own "binoculars" though.

CJ said...

All the really cool birdwatchers call them bins I believe. Your back garden birds are incredibly exotic, I am now suspicious that you actually live in some tropical paradise and are just making up the stuff about Belgium. Percentages here: 95% financial improprieties, 5% bite-sized stollen. CJ xx

stacy said...

Bastard Service Tree? Wasn't that a grunge band from the 90s?

Flora Fauna Dinner said...

I have a pile of evil-looking crow and lone magpie cards that were purchased when I confused what I would like to receive with what everyone else I know would like to receive. My favourite avian card, though, is the one with a Victorian gentleman holding a rooster and greeting a lady with two blue tits on her head. Because I'm sophisticated like that.

Ann said...

I half read this whilst talking to a mad customer: "time screeching at each other like a hen party on its ninth round of WKD Blue, but this is the first time they have deigned to approach my fat balls.". Brilliant.

We have the odd bird of prey around here. Feel very Helen McDonald, but in Sainsburys wellies with a goofy greyhound.

Anonymous said...

There's a flock of parakeets round my neck of the woods too. In my head they're all called Bruce and can't tell each other apart, in the manner of the Springbok in Khumba.

Anonymous said...

Dear Waffle, your writing is one of the good things in life, the things that are guaranteed to lift the clouds and let the sunshine in.
Have a wonderful holiday and a very Merry Christmas! said...

That leaf identification app looks pretty interesting. Do you have the link please? We got lots of plants around the house. The kids will surely have a blast lol.


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