On the Broads

Sugar refinery

Unashamedly ugly

Birds seem more reserved

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n.b. Groups of bird watchers wander abroad armed with binoculars, telescopes, cameras with telephoto lens extensions, all studiously seeking out the latest over-wintering migrants amongst the reeds and ponds of the Norfolk Broads.

Meanwhile the sugar beet refinery, run by British Sugar, continues to churn out more of what we should eat less of in the background.

As manufacturers reduced the amount of fat used in food production, the sugar (or energy) quotient increased. There are important debates being held about sugar consumption and the health risks of the unhealthy quantities of free sugars in processed food and how they are used in domestic food preparation.

For more information follow this link to the UK based charity for diabetics and research into diabetes.

British Sugar is doing OK. Part of Associated British Foods, precise figures about its profitability are hard to come by, but as the sole purchaser and refiner of British grown sugar beet, they are in an interesting position when it comes to setting prices it will pay to UK farmers for their produce.

If you have the appetite to explore the topic of sugar and health and the complex economics of the sugar industry and its implicit historical relationship with slavery, a good place to start is in this Guardian article.

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CLP 24/10/2020

Crow

Light spreads into the night

First movement

Swooping from the highest crown

Black shiny crow

Floats nonchalantly to ground

Stretches wings

Lands with a bounce

Moves into a walk

Tilts its head to have look

Arrogant creature

Taint of the dark

What’s there to eat

In Milton Park?

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n.b. Mornings are noticeably getter lighter now, but the weather is too cool for sparrows, or blackbirds to announce the dawn. The first bird call this morning was a three-part drawn out caw of a crow. A bird happy to move in the early light of day before shadows form.

Crows are jostling for nesting positions in tree tops now. Despite the incoming series of storms that disrupt their building, crows are busy collecting twigs to weave nests before tree foliage arrives. Fascinating.

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CLP 13/02/2020

On Branches

Stripped trees glisten

Droplets swell then fall from twigs

Chirrups of blue tits

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n.b. Despite the buffeting gale that has persisted throughout the night and intensified with day-break, the blue tits https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/blue-tit/carry on their busy lives regardless.

Without cover, due to the autumn leaf fall, these stop-start little birds whizz from tree to hedge and back again in short, nippy flights. The filthy weather, whose deep roar fills the space behind this gloomy sky, is cut by short, bright ribbons of the blue tits’ cheerful cheeping. Not a tuneful call, but bright and optimistic. Autumn allows us to be able to hear and see this small, quirky bird at its best.

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CLP 26/10/2019