Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Not so Ordinary, Ordinariness

Well, as you can see. No pool design here, but I do include a photo of some of the more prosaic wildlife in these parts.

Pigeons may not be exotic or dangerous, but nonetheless they inhabit our world with a constant frequency.

They waken us from our sleep every morning, with their gentle and not so gentle vru-cruuing. It can be amazing how loud they can be. Of course everything is magnified in the narrow street we now call home as the slightest whisper echoes back and forth across the passageway. Sometimes at night I awake with a start as it sounds like there is someone in the room with us as conversations carry upwards in the night air. At times you can even hear breathing or the shoosh of a match as it is struck to light a cigarette.

This photo is taken from our bedroom window. I think that this pigeon must have eggs which she is incubating for she hasn’t budged in days now, but I noticed her suitor one day bring a piece of straw for her inspection. I am not sure it passed as she still just seems to be sitting in a drainpipe. Luckily we do not get much rain here otherwise she would be rather wet, sitting beneath a downpipe as she is.

One morning I awoke and went downstairs to open up the back doors. The first thing I noticed were a few pigeon feathers scattered on the ground. “Oh dear” I said – “I think that a pigeon must have met his maker.” I presumed it was a cat got it until I looked up and noticed feathers hanging from some of the rough brickwork of our back wall. Vic also awake now and coming down the stairs took a look up towards the skylight. It was splattered with blood and a few more feathers! Eeek! And so we assume it was one of the larger birds of prey that hang about these parts. I have not yet formally identified these but I believe we do have eagles, who swoop in off the mountain behind us, but I am not sure that there are not other types, buzzards or hawks. Time will tell.

So that is a little bit of our birdlife. As I say, perhaps pigeons may seem ordinary and even boring – some people even call them the rats of the sky in a rather derogatory way – but I have always had a bit of a fondness for rats anyway. It all began years ago when I was just a wee girl and one of my friends had a pet rat, piebald in colour. His name was Gilbert…..

But that is another story for another day I think.

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