Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Going for a walk!

And here's another guest blog from my dad, Graham Raven.  I'll just briefly ask that if you haven't already viewed & liked my Guild synopsis video on Youtube that I'd be really grateful if you do :) Thanks!

The favourite one will be played on the Geek & Sundry channel on the 29th of September, I can't imagine that mine is going to be best because there's some seriously decent ones been submitted (and mine is a bit... variable shall we say) but I'd like to at least have a decent number of views and likes.

Over to you dad!


It was a typical grey autumn Sunday morning. ‘Mellow’ seemed to describe it well enough, neither hot nor cold, with just a suggestion of breeze, just mellow. It was too early for frantic human activity and even the eternal traffic noise from the nearby dual carriageway seemed muted. Birds sang, a profusion of berries shone in the sunlight, tree tops moved gently, the air was good, fresh and clean without threatening to scour your lungs with needles of ice. All seemed well.

I mused how wildlife increasingly wakes with the first smear of the days light as the Sun creeps over the horizon, rat and toad, stoat and minnow arise from sleeps embrace, but humankind is sluggish and was therefore quiet.

We arrived at the Great Humber Park soon after breakfast. It is easy to let oneself become mazed with nature’s wonders. There are several million species of trees out there, all indistinguishable from one another. They are full of Penguins or so I’m told – or possibly or Magpies. I remember years ago I used to wander the pathways collecting examples of wild flowers with which the park is so abundantly blessed. I once collected a daisy, and fifty-nine things that weren’t. Of course, such activity is strictly illegal these days and to be abhorred.

The parks information posters tell us that Horseshoe Vetch, Charlock, Sea Urchin, Hemlock, Water-Dropwort, Mango, Cat's Ear, Wall Lettuce, Pineapple, Loon, Yam, Nettle-Leaved Selfheal, Cactus, Twayblade, Bougainvillaea, Saxifrage, Breadfruit, and Tundra are all to be found within the parks confines. One day soon I really must search for these wonders in earnest.

But I digress. Regardless of natures evident beauty everywhere I looked, such wonders were quickly passed over, for my colleague and I were on patrol today, and in the guise of ordinary dog walkers.

The anti-RBSD squad began patrol a little after 8am. The park is disarmingly quiet at this time of day but this was the very time when miscreants seek to do their foul deeds.

Location 1A was reached quickly and nothing was found to be amiss.
I mentally ticked off the first stop of my check list. So far, so good I thought, but remain vigilant, I felt in my bones that out there somewhere would be our ‘prey’.

Some distance further we came to the lake (ok pond). The only sign of life, apart from the odd owl paddling in the reeds, was a solitary fisherman.
We exchanged greetings and I enquired in an equable manner whether or not the larch were biting, and he turned and stared at me for a long time.
There is much inbreeding in these parts, and I put it down to that.

The dogs were excited, a walk in the park is a big treat for them as rarely do they have so much freedom, so much of ‘everywhere’ to explore. As we proceeded we encountered other dog walkers who came and went, greeted, fussed dogs and continued their way. It was beginning to look as if the park was clean today and we were making our way back to the car when we spotted them! 

Oh so innocent! An elderly couple walking quietly through the park, she with a sturdy carrier bag half full of bird seed.

For goodness sake, there must be 5kg of the stuff in there, that’s almost enough to feed a Roc*

Modern protocol forbade the urge to tie them to the nearest tree and douse them with cold water as they richly deserved, so we hurried in the direction they had come from to uncover their misdeeds. And yes indeed, there was a trail of park benches all but smothered in bird seed, squabbling birds and bird droppings.

Some of the birds too full to fly, scuttled out of the way of curious dogs.
We hurriedly swept the illicit mounds of seed onto the ground thereby making the benches useable once more for park visitors.
I bid my companion to remind me to boil my left hand in Domestos for 24 hours when we got back to base, you can’t be too careful with potential bird disease you know.

The park administrators provide ample bird tables and feeding areas throughout the park to satisfy bird feeding fanatics. There is simply no need to cover every park bench in bird seed.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. Rest assured dear readers, the anti RBSD** squad will maintain its vigilance and strive to keep park benches free from offensive bird seed.

*Legendary two-headed bird known for carrying off humans and occasional farm animals to feed to it’s young on mountain tops. Sodding big!

** Rogue Bird Seed Droppers.

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