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Response to Graham, and goldfinches
At least one person has read my bit about the Club in 1887! Yes, I too am grateful for many of our modern comforts and the (relative) equality we now share. I treasure lightweight waterproof clothing, a modern bicycle and much cheaper books and binoculars than all those late Victorians had. I think I could not have handled their long lectures at places they visited. And we never even think about the enormous stenches they had to endure from summer drains, horse dung in every street, and no regular rubbish and refuse clearances unless you paid someone to do it for you, not to mention the Thames! And what about home comforts such as electric lights, double glazing, central heating. I am extremely glad I am alive today rather than in 1887.
Fungi round here are distinctly hard to find at present, but we had a beautiful flock of goldfinches in the prickly shrubs just outside our kitchen window a few days ago. They were so close that we could see all their beautiful colours. We don't see them at all often, but it seems they are actually quite common round here.I have never seen a woodcock and would not recognise it if I did. I don't think of names like this being found in suburbia.
But thank you, Graham, for being able to get outdoors and see things more often than I can. And then to write about what you find. But, as a postman, Graham has been largely outdoors for many years, so he has had plenty of time to learn the things to look out for and how and where to spot them. I was a science teacher, shut up in smelly labs all day, artificially illuminated, and no time in the day to hunt outdoors. Maybe I would be a much better naturalist now if I had been a gardener or a postman or a milkie or a window-cleaner; almost anything that is not shut up in smelly labs all day!