Category Archives: Animals

Swing Low

The song of most small birds just sounds like a stream of tweets and whistles to us, but if you slow them down, you can get a wonderful feel for what’s going on.

Here’s a nice compilation of lots of them. I like the little wren at the beginning, the (rather quiet) skylark at about 17:57 has a nice rhythm when slowed down, and the song thrush that follows him is quite fun. If other birds can pick out these details, you can imagine there might be quite a lot of communication going on.

The real star, however, is the Veery Thrush, whom you can hear in this slowed-down clip. He’s the subject of the rather fun New Scientist article, which was what first caught my attention.

Now, I wonder if you sped up a clip of cows mooing, you could get a similar effect?

An unusual four-wheeled electric vehicle

What better way to carry a bicycle than in another bicycle?

A few months ago, I enthused about the electric cargo bike that I had tried out at a local shop. Being without a car for a little while, I started looking at them with more interest, and I discovered that the awfully nice people at Outspoken could actually rent me one for a few days. But they’re on the far side of Cambridge, so I cycled out there on my Brompton and came back with it in the front. It all worked beautifully, but I couldn’t help thinking about The Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things

Someone who wasn’t quite so sure about the whole idea was my spaniel Tilly, but once she settled down, it was a great way to transport her to one of her favourite walking spots, about 3 or 4 miles away, against a strong headwind, and bring her back afterwards.

(The rattling noise is the little bench seat for children, which I’d folded back for this trip.)

Accessorize

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This rather pretty sheep was wearing her new Christmas jewellery to breakfast.

The fens are alive with the sound of moosic

Yesterday we attended a rehearsal of the famous Grantchester Bovine Acapella Trio.

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Actually, they were trying to reach this particularly tasty tree which was growing just a bit too far out over the river.

An interest in cycling

I left my bike parked by a fence while walking Tilly this morning. When I came back, I found some very interested onlookers.

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They watched with interest as I unlocked it and then we started a gentle shuffle to get the bike out. (The photos don’t show the next row of spectators behind – another half-dozen or so.)

You can’t win, Vader…

If you let me bathe, I shall become muddier than you could possibly imagine.

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The Slow Food Movement

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At Linton Zoo, yesterday morning.

Tugging at the heartstrings…

Rose keeps showing me YouTube videos from Vet Ranch. This is a Texas-based non-profit which gathers donations to provide veterinary treatment for animals who otherwise wouldn’t get it — typically to take them from rescue shelters and get them in a condition where they can be adopted.

The videos they post are generally wonderful before-and-after comparisons, and, I imagine, a very effective fund-raising tool! Nicely done.

MollyMoo is a cutie, for example:

And here’s another dramatic transformation in a small amount of time.

Strike a pose, Sport

Before this morning, if you had shown me a picture of a kangaroo doing this, I’d have thought he was a stuffed one, probably taking part in an Australian beer commercial.

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But it turned out this was just part of his morning stretching routine.

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At Linton Zoo

Actually, I’m quite fierce!

I know I look small, but just get rid of this fence and I’ll show you…

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At Linton Zoo this morning.

Full of the joys of autumn

It was beautiful at Holkham Beach today. Everyone was having fun…

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Really wish I’d been the one in front of, instead of behind, the camera in some of these. I’ve never ridden in a place like this.

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Those having fun included, of course, Tilly…

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Click for larger versions.

Hearts at peace under an English heaven

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© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser