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Swallow chase

August 2, 2016 Leave a comment
Swallow in flight

Swallow in flight

Swallows throng above the olive grove, hunting through the clouds of insects.

This evening Galileo was wearing himself to a frazzle chasing them as they dipped low. In the end I had to shut him in.

The swallow in the photo, which looks rather like a fillet of plaice, was the best I could manage and does at least show the grace of the wings and tail.

Kepler and the slipper

November 3, 2011 1 comment

The sleep of the innocent

Fast asleep, Kepler is a cuddly bundle of innocence. Awake, he’s mischief personified.

His particular specialty is shoes. If I drop a slip-on on the floor ready to put on, it’s gone before I can get my foot in it.

The day he took my slipper for a long walk, I wasn’t in the house. I was in the courtyard and saw him trotting by with it in his mouth.

He laid it down tantalisingly just at the entrance to the orchard, then as soon as I got near, picked it up and proceeded with it.

He ran all the way through the orchard with it, dropping it on occasion for a rest and a chance to enjoy watching my efforts to catch up.

His timing was impeccable. He cut it fine but was never actually in danger of being caught.

I picked up sticks and tried to lure him into making an exchange, but he refused to be distracted.

I called and shouted, entreated and threatened.

Finally, more than three hundred yards from the house at the very end of the drive, just where a pipe goes under the road and marks the boundary of our land, he gave it up and left it sitting in the undergrowth.

If he’d taken it any further, and particularly if he’d gone onto the neighbour’s land, I’d have had to abandon the chase.

And if I’d stopped pursuing at any stage, the prize would have lost its value and he would probably have dropped it somewhere, to be discovered months later as a mushy wreck.

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