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Luangwa River

Luangwa River

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Leaves all over the place, just got back from Europe, left here in summer and so the season change is striking. In both England and Spain, the countries I visited, seasonal transition is much less emphatic. Flowers bloom all over, jasmine bouganvillea and citrus trees in gardens and orchards and wild thyme, rosemary and heather on the mountains in Spain. Wild plants flower at this time to take advantage of the expected rain during October and November after the long dry summer. In Somerset in England roses and other garden plants just keep going, though wild flowers are a litle more conservative. Spain seems to have very few birds, at least in the area south of Valencia where I was. There is a strong tradition of hunting and trapping birds of all sizes for food, snares and bird lime were demonstrated on local television as Part of Our Local Culture, so small birds are few and wary. Insecticide use on the crops probably plays a part in this, and of course the need to protect the local speciality, rice, which is very vulnerable to birds.
Somerset in England swarms with wildlife by comparison, though much more heavily populated. Rain comes year round there, snow never lies more than overnight, a much more hospitable enviroment.
Both lack the excitement of seasonal change, the special importance of warm days during a time of fading and the sight of the geese passing over.

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