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Friday, 30 July 2010
In the yurt

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Making stick bread, and singing songs.

Posted by bigblue on 30/07/2010 at 09:30 PM
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Twenty

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On the way back from the pub.

Posted by bigblue on 30/07/2010 at 12:39 AM
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Monday, 26 July 2010
Findhorn

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I find myself at the Findhorn Foundation Park one mile from the village of Findhorn in Scotland. I’ll re-enter life in a week or so.

Posted by bigblue on 26/07/2010 at 10:25 PM
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Sunday, 25 July 2010
Stop worrying

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A sign in Findhorn Park.

Posted by bigblue on 25/07/2010 at 12:42 PM
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Friday, 23 July 2010
Forres Station

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So I’m not in England at the moment.

Posted by bigblue on 23/07/2010 at 07:30 PM
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Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Adder

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According to the British Wildlife Centre:

Britain’s most widespread reptile is also our only venomous one. It is found throughout mainland Britain, including some offshore islands, in a variety of open and man-made habitats. Although they have suffered somewhat from the reduction of moorland habitat in Britain, they remain relatively widespread.

Like most snakes, the adder can survive a fairly long time without eating, particularly in cooler weather and when hibernating over winter. It creeps up slowly on its prey and then strikes, biting and quickly releasing its prey. Its victim will succumb to the venom in up to three minutes and be swallowed whole. Their main prey are frogs, newts, lizards, small mammals and bird’s eggs.

Despite their venomous bite, adders will always attempt to flee from danger rather than confront it and its bite is rarely fatal for humans. Their main natural predators include buzzards and herons.

There are an estimated 130 thousand adders in the United Kingdom.

Posted by bigblue on 14/07/2010 at 08:12 AM
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Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Badger

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According to the British Wildlife Centre:

The badger is the largest member of the Mustelid family and Britain’s largest land carnivore. They are nocturnal, emerging at dusk in summer to spend the night foraging. In winter they are much less active but do not hibernate. They live in social groups of 4 - 12 adults and when not active they lie up in an extensive system of underground tunnels and nesting chambers known as a ‘sett’. The female is called the ‘sow’, the male the ‘boar’.

Badgers are now protected by a number of laws. The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 consolidated past legislation, which had made badger baiting and digging illegal and in addition made it an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct their setts.

This protection has enabled the UK badger population to dramatically increase to the point where it is said to equal that of the red fox. The issue of the badger’s role in the transmission of bovine tuberculosis to cattle is very controversial – there are other factors apart from badgers which need to be studied before a final conclusion can be reached.

The animal photographed above is a four-month old juvenile.

Posted by bigblue on 13/07/2010 at 08:06 AM
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Monday, 12 July 2010
Otter

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The otter came up and sniffed at me, then turned away and entered the lake where it swam up and down a few times.

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According to the British Wildlife Centre:

The otter is a large member of the weasel family (mustelids) with an amphibious lifestyle. In the wild they are elusive, secretive animals and live in undisturbed rivers, streams and estuaries. In the early 1960’s they were on the verge of extinction due to river pollution, habitat loss and hunting. Now with full legal protection, cleaner rivers and managed habitat it is returning to its former haunts, although its distribution will always be limited by the availability of fish
The male otter is called a dog and the female a bitch. They have large lungs and can stay submerged under water for 4 minutes, often swimming 400 metres before resurfacing. They can reach speeds of 12 km/h under water and can outrun man on land.

The males occupy large ranges, which may include up to 20 km of river bank and daily travel long distances along regular routes by the margins of the river.

There are apparently approximately 12,900 otters in the UK and they are slowly increasing in number.

Posted by bigblue on 12/07/2010 at 08:47 AM
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