Fool on the Hill is a ranting anarchist blog which attacks lies and dissembling of all kinds and exposes the environmental destruction that threatens life on Earth

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July 16 2010

Observing the wildlife 2

I saw a heron on the river a few days ago, then the next day there were two, and now there are three, the smaller one must be their baby. They take flight as soon as they see me and the dogs, their huge wings flapping, long legs hanging underneath ready for the next touch down. The picture below shows two in flight and the other still on the bank. A beautiful sight, such graceful birds. The river after the recent heavy rains has risen from its previous few inches to several feet deep now and is probably stuffed with fish. As I've seen them around the same stretch for some weeks I assume they are able to get enough food locally.


Foreign immigrants threaten indiginous Brits

On the plant front Scotland, it seems, has the same problem with invasive species as England, and Himalayan Balsam is rampant along the river banks. This morning I pulled out several dozen, but there are many hundreds left and I shall have to make more trips with them in mind. It's a plant out of its environment which would normally keep it in check, and in the UK is is smothering indiginous plants and taking over huge swathes of countryside. Yet few seem aware of it and fewer concerned at its rise and rise. Each plant, if left to grow, makes thousands of seeds which spring out from the plants and then grow the following year. In one season it reaches a height of around 5-6 feet, topped with pink flowers which, although quite pretty, are a portent of what's to come. No point pulling it out when the seeds are set, so now is the perfect time as most aren't flowering yet. The only good thing is that they pull up really easily as the root is tiny and comes out of wet soil easily. I have much work to do, but it should be the council doing it and it should be a lot of people involved as it's widespread. Now there's a job for all the unemployed youths who otherwise are only going to create trouble. Everyone should look out for it and pull it up wherever it is spotted.

Himalayan BalsamHimalayan BalsamHimalayan BalsamHimalayan Balsam

June 29 2010
Observing the wildlife keeps me sane – I think

Today I watched a hawk, motionless in the sky except for the beat of its wings, being dive bombed by a group of playful swifts, those aerial acrobats, who swooped and plunged past the hawk sometimes passing no more than an inch from its beak, other times soaring up from below, like a cloud of angry gnats, until it moved off. I doubt it represented any threat to them, but more a large unmoving target to play with, they being unable to hover like that. Unlike the crows who vociferously saw off a fox who happened to be going through 'their' territory and who they plainly considered a threat to their young, the swifts made no sound, but performed extraordinary twists and turns, like gymnasts taking their turns to show what they could do. Yesterday, during the daily swift feed over our large lawn, one flew low and straight under a vehicle parked in the drive, reminded me of pilots showing off flying under bridges. Another top gun!

The birdlife is plentiful, I suspect because of the twelve mature trees that ring the garden. They also attract squirrels, who do their damndest to prize open the squirrel-proof bird feeder for the peanuts, and have actually twisted and cut steel wire mesh in their determination to get at the nuts. Perhaps if we leave a bowl around to help themselves from they'll leave the bird feeder alone; probably not as they seem to have unlimited capacity to feed. All the beech nuts from last autumn have long gone getting them through the winter [winter is bad, this blog could well turn into a survival blog], so nuts are probably most rare now, and along come these humans and start hanging them everywhere! It seems that the non-flying squirrel can still get to all places a bird can to which we can attach food and take it. Typical Americans.I had expected to find our indiginous red squirrel this far north, but clearly the grey invaders have moved in up here also. It's not their fault, humans introduced them and they just do what comes naturally; build a home, have kids, eat whatever is going, have more kids, build more homes, have more kids. Much like humans really.

The deer are much more shy and at the frst sign of man or dog from two hundred yards away they are off, springing and pronking like African gazelle up the hillside. Lately they have been mostly absent, no longer walking past the garden in a group, although I occasionally see one springing away when the dogs haven't spotted it due to the lush undergrowth. I suspect their absence may be the result of youths moving in on quad bikes, those infernal machines that were a gift to louts everywhere. Once the weather turns cold they will be back sheltering in their nests watching footie again and the deer will probably return to graze the rich flood meadows.

The world continues to fall apart, and there are too many issues to give a shit about, so I can feel myself shutting it off, losing interest, not bothered about expressing an opinion. I watch it all of course, and predicably the world of man is going downhill at increasing speed as I have predicted countless times. I want only to speak for the animals now, all the rest is primate crap and unworthy of attention. The Titanic is on course for the iceberg...

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April 22 2010

It's been some time, I hadn't realised how long, since I wrote anything here. Life's demands have increased recently, and my writing muscle has been tucked away unused. Blogs seem to become increasingly irrelevent, and I doubt many stop by to read what I think anyway; the world seems to be Twittering to disaster quite happily.

We moved three weeks ago, 350 miles north to outside Glasgow, and it's c-c-c-cold here! When we left, the snowdrops had long gone and daffodils had replaced them. We arrived to see snowdrops, and since then they have died off and the daffodils have bloomed, and are still blooming. What a difference 350 miles makes. A long time since I've been that cold, and it isn't nice. But we have to harden up, wear more clothes, get used to it.

We are in sight of the Campsie Hills, a range of almost mountain-size hills north of Glasgow still with traces of snow. The wildlife is plentiful and surprisingly calm around us, and we have already started feeding the birds. Magpies and crows are in profusion here, but there's still plenty of others; blackbirds, robins, sparrows and tits, and on the river one day a heron landed like a seaplane, gently touching down at the front of a wake that spread out to the banks, it's unfeasibly long legs trailing behind.

We witnessed an interesting confrontation yesterday. In the field outside the house a cat stood close to two magpies - really, only a matter of a couple of feet separating them. The cat was poised, twitching its tail as cats do when angry/poised to strike, but the magpies appeared unconcerned. Then one walked towards the cat with an aggressive swagger, deliberate footsteps, head held high and large beak menacing towards the cat. The cat turned and moved away, both magpies following, a face down which the birds won. I wonder if this is common with magpies, I do hope so as cats kill hundreds of millions of birds annually and it's gratifying to see there are some who aren't scared, and are in fact more dangerous to the cat. Good for them. The more cats are chased away and put in their place the better.

I'm trying to avoid all election garbage, which is difficult as the media as usual are over the top and treating politicians as if they are credible, intelligent and capable, which none of them are. They are whores, trying the same old promises in order to land well paid jobs still with ample expenses despite what we are told. They are professional liars, always they will say what they think people want to hear, never will they answer questions honestly. They are not to be trusted. Life goes on, and little these half-witted arrogant amateurs do has much effect on it for most people. That's if you ignore the laws they repeatedly bring in to criminalise yet more activities the rest of us choose to engage in, and I do. They are not only incapable of responding to the ultimate challenge homo sapiens is facing, climate change and ecosystem collapse, but are actually working against any solution with their short-termist attitudes and obsession with 'the economy' and growth. None of them have a clue what's going on, and are thus irrelevent and must be ignored as much as possible.

This blog will inevitably become an 'exploring Scotland' tract, with photographs. So anyone interested should pop by occasionally to see if anything interesting has happened. A metal detector could be involved as well as cameras, a telescope and dogs of course.

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Anyone wanting to understand the Palestinian ''problem' and Israel's role in it, need only look at the four maps below, which show how much Palestinian land has been taken by Israel since 1946.


Anyone wanting to understand the Palestinian ''problem' and Israel's role in it, need only look at the four maps below, which show how much Palestinian land has been taken by Israel since 1946.




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Time to move to higher ground

The time to move to higher ground link will change from time to time, illustrating how this phrase is becoming more and more common and relevent; from New Orleans, to Fiji to East Anglia to Holland and not forgetting other countries which aren't low lying but which can suffer devastating floods from too much rain, even Native Americans are affected.

I moved to higher ground in 2000 when it was clear that flooding was becoming the norm and climate change was happening now.
On the journey west, we passed flooded fields right across the [UK] midlands, it felt almost apocalyptic.
Since then, floods have become common in the UK and many other countries.

When farmers get flooded out on a piece of ground repeatedly they know what to do – farmers are a very practical lot – they move to higher ground

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Fadhel Al-Sa'd: The sun circles the Earth because it is smaller than the Earth, as is evident in Koranic verses... No verse in the Koran indicates that the Earth is round or that it rotates. Anything that has no indication in the Koran is false. [evidently, Galileo Galilei got it wrong]

The scenes from this war will create thousands maybe even millions of militants intent on inflicting damage on the only superpower. The war will be waged across America and in any American outpost and embassy. It will be brutal and messy and will continue for decades. Bush doesn't know what he has unleashed.
Fool on the hill March 2003


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