Monday, 24 October 2011

Island seasons

All the signs are in place on the island which put the turn of the seasons beyond, as they used to say, peradventure.

When I crossed Ringhaddy Sound this afternoon it was in a chill rain. Nothing unusual about that, but when you add that half a dozen cormorants were watching at close quarters from recently vacated mooring buoys; a pair of herring gulls has replaced the terns (gone to Africa) on our raft; the faithful dabchicks (or at least one of the pair) have returned to their fishing beat opposite the cabin; the brent geese, back from Canada's Northern Archipelago, are in Pawle Sound for the winter; and the mushrooms between the jetty and the cabin, after a heroic flush of growth, have succumbed to the wet – then you know it's time to layer up and hope that this winter doesn't live up to the forecast.

Another development this morning: Lynn saw a seal pup in the shallows just to the north, so we're hoping we may have company for a while. Grey seals pup in October/November, and after a few weeks on a high-fat, high-protein diet of mother's milk, the young are left to fend for themselves. When they get hungry enough, they teach themselves to fish – no hand-holding in the seal world. We're hoping we may be the beneficiaries of this post-abandonment hiatus in their life cycle...
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