Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rainy days

Inula viscosa (ragwort type plant) in seed.

More rain over the last couple of days, thank God! Forest cool and damp. Today's range: About 10.5 -14.2 degrees C. Time of our walk: 12.5 degrees, humidity ~ 80% and rising rapidly, wind, W/WSW, ~4.7 knots.

Sunbird calling in the Bauhinia tree, Blackbird calling 'tzeeet' in the garden, white breasted bulbuls musical calls in the garden. Jackdaws, house sparrows and white wagtails also heard. Laughing doves and feral pigeons are also around but keeping quiet.

At the bunker a handsome male stonechat was busy hawking for flying insects from the rebars yesterday, not sure if he had company, didn't see a black redstart about. Woods have been rather quiet.. Eurasian jays and Syrian woodpeckers are about though relatively quiet and hooded crows pass over as usual. Great tits and graceful warblers are also about but also very quiet this time of year. The Rapoports reported owl sightings by their kids up by the cottages (farther up the hill from us) but not sure which at this point.. another Little Owl territory by Chofetz Chaim, or Long Eared? Must speak to the observer.

Our walk was brief today due to increasing rain but we did manage to clean up one area I had wanted to do and we got a nice shot of some of the ragwort type plant (Inula viscosa) that now has almost all gone to seed though a few individual plants here and there still bear yellow flowers. Those low broom type flowers still produce a constant modest flow of nice yellow pea like blooms by the road side but nothing else blooming, though some pink three spotted dianthus were still hanging on last week up north valley. Spitting cucumbers are thriving on the bank at the beginning of valley road, and foliage of numerous other plants developing all the time.

Full moon at perigee now (closest approach to earth) , though of course one can't tell with the naked eye if it's any larger. It did make for a nice walk all the way down to the bunker late at night, the pines casting moon shadows on the silvery grey path.

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