On The Brink

February closes

With unseasonable warmth

Dare peach buds open?

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n.b. A discarded peach stone, or was it a nectarine, I cannot recall exactly, has grown into this. The warmest February on record, (states The Met Office), has led to very early sightings of blossoms, amongst other things, even swallows have been reported. Tipping point for Climate Change, or are we already over the edge?

CLP 03/04/2019

On February

Fierce frosts bite morning

Noon sky wears Marian blue

Sun brings butterflies

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n.b. This arid track, these browned brambles and dry ivy leaves, the dessicated litter and parched grasses are the backdrop for a vivid yellow, medium sized butterfly. The brilliance of the colour was breath-taking. It is in the picture somewhere towards the right. I saw another, larger dark brown butterfly a few moments before.

A bee was exploring some early flowering plants too. The concern is that the burst of unseasonable sunshine draws bees from their nests, or hives early and they then perish from hunger due to the insufficiency of food, that is if the frost doesn’t get them.

Soon after the yellow butterfly I was surprised and thrilled to see a small group of bright birds also flashing yellow. They dashed from the field edge to the top of the trackside hawthorns and settled long enough for me to catch up, before they flitted briskly on again. Eventually, realising my route was persistently pursuing the path, they turned into the safety of the middle of the adjacent field. These were highly likely to have been yellowhammers. Their chirpy song a welcome relief to the unremitting tedium of the Great Tit call that provided a backing track from Bognor to Bloxwich for me today, (apart from when I was on the train).

A little later, between Ford and Arundel, seven deer stood gawping at the passing train trundling atop the Arun Valley railway embankment.

February sunshine, welcomed by all, even if a little mystifying to explain.

Incidently, Marian blue is the light, bright, blue used to colour the dress of Holy Mary, Mother of God in medieval European religious paintings. This February’s sky has often been such a hue.

CLP 24/02/2019

Sea Urchin

Diverse and varied

The echinoidea

Live long and prosper

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With acknowledgements to Star Trek

n.b. Echinodermata have origins in the Cambrian era (542 – 488 million years ago). They are a life-form that has no known terrestrial, nor fresh water relatives. The sea urchin is a type of echinoidea, of which there are over 1,000 species. They are omniverous, able to eat plant, meat and into rock.

Despite some having lifespans of over 200 years, echinoidea are not thought to have had any significant negative influence on this planet’s climate systems. The global rise in sea-levels can only be good news for sea urchins and their relatives. See, it’s not all gloom out there.

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CLP 27/12/2018