online: 26 june 2007
modified: 25, 26 june 2007

25 june 2007 wildlife and human

pencil notes:

Pond 1... sun after heavy rain... there is a film of water , or droplets of it, on everything... grass, seats, trees... and the ground is very slippery... so i walk on the grass, not the muddy pathways...

...i search for the eight cygnets and see that they are sleeping together (as a single feathery mass) in long grass beneath an overhanging tree while the parent swans stand by...

Pond 2... one of the Pool 2 swans is on the raft and the other is in the reeds with three cygnets swimming beside her...

as i cross some long grass (walking towards the sun) i see that the droplets of water on every blade (or leaf) of grass are shining in the sunlight*... and, as i write this, a ladybird (orange with white spots) is crawling across the paper... i blow it away and it spreads its wings as it falls...

*the 'unprecedented' rainfall (4 inches or 10 cm in 24 hours) created floods in Sheffield - and elsewhere in central and northern England...

19:17 after the pencil notes:

a dry seat on Pat Dooley's hill*

*the seat is in memory of him and his political family - he for speaking many times on Parliament Hill and his family for volunteering to fight in the International Brigade in the Spanish civil war of the 1930s.

i stood for about 5 mins while a large crow with a dangerous looking beak perched on a seat and did not fly away even though i was within 4 metres of it... then it slowly hopped to the other end of the seat and turned round to face me... It remained there even when i spoke to two people who paused to watch... (and occasionally it swallowed a fly that ventured near to its beak)

(these slowly accumulating records of city wildlife and humanlife, what is their purpose?... 'wrong question' say my thoughts... it's not a question of purpose... these are opportunities to forget purpose, in favour of living, or of being a part of what's happening... our cohabitation of reality, the indescribable whole... including these things and these words... )

...looking round now at the great panorama of Highgate, set in woodland, my attention goes to a church steeple, a radio transmission tower, two tower cranes, and hundreds of treetops... all silhouetted against the sky beneath low clouds approaching from the northeast... and the larch tree above me looking dark green against the greyness... and closer to the ground the air is full of swiftly moving insects...

at the station:
a freight train consisting of about half a kilometre of empty flat cars, or wagons (adapted i think for carrying long lengths of rail already welded together) is rusty, harsh, and noisy, and utterly 'inhuman' (i.e. mechanical)... a necessary survival, i suppose, of the kind of technology i most dislike, deplore, and feel totally diminished by!... (though i like electric trains)

and when i got home i looked at the moon and thought yet again of the people who went there (in those nearly totally incapacitating space suits of was it 15 protective layers) and consequently they were barely able to do anything, while there, that a simple robotic extension of people on earth could not have achieved for a fraction of the cost and effort, i guess... oh why this hurry to SUBject ourselves to every feasible reduction of the freedom and capacity we were born to?... there's no hurry!

see the essay on spaceflight on pages 162-9 of the internet and everyone

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