Sunday 15 May 2022

Naughtiness in the Landscape: GARDEN INTRUDERS


The development of the private garden as an important element of the sophisticated home reaches its apex in the "Charleston Garden", praise for which is expressed poetically in our previous post. The current collection features elements of the downside of investment of time, effort, hope and dollars in the private gardening enterprise.    


CURRENT CONTENTS:
Stinkhorn fungus
Glossy privet
Lantana spp.
Papyrus
Common moles
Deer (agricultural fencing)
Squirrels in the garden
Leaf-blowers
Garden gnomes 
More to follow








  
Authors' NoteClathrus ruber is a startlingly shaped species of saprophytic fungus that resembles an orange plastic toy ball. Its interior surfaces are coated with a foul-smelling slime that attracts flies, which then disperse the fungal spores. The characteristic fetid odor of the fungus resembles that of rotting meat. Other common names include latticed stinkhornred cage (fungus), and basket stinkhorn. 







Authors' Note:  

Lantana camara, native to a few regions in the tropical Americas and Africa, is tolerant of varied growing conditions other than harsh winters. After extensive blooming of multi-colored flowers (yellow, orangy-pink and purple), each plant produces hundreds of berries that are loved by and distributed by birds. Introduced commercially as an ornamental, it spread invasively in 50 other countries, and with foliage toxic to grazing mammals, became an agricultural detriment, particularly in Australia.

In the US, although hybridized with less-obtrusive species native to south Florida, Lantana spp. continues to be an environmental threat, but a favorite in plant nurseries.




                                                                                                 





 




Authors' Note:

specs: frequently used jargon for specifications

  The specs for deer fencing, also known as deer fence, agricultural fencing or deer exclusion fencing, include a height of eight feet (250 cm), with no sharp protuberances that might injure the deer.




Authors' Note:  The authors bemoan the ongoing arbitrary depredations of the human garden by these untutored rodents. Although they have not personally participated in violence against squirrels, they reluctantly admit that they sympathize with other human victims who are drawn in that direction. Where are the hawks when we need them?



urban-dwelling squirrel in a Canadian tree














                                                                                                                    

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Tuesday 10 May 2022

Poems about Avian Life: BIRDLORE, part#2


 Our postings at this blogsite will pique your interest for a longer duration with entire collections, generally eight poems per blogpost about a particular topic (the individual short poems, usually with illustrations are published at 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense'.) But, even devoted readers can develop fatigue, so as verses are added over time, we tend to invoke binary fission, and split the group into two informative servings.

This post represents the continuation of an earlier series, from September 2021  dealing with LANDBIRDS.  

previous poetic posts (part #1)
American goldfinches
birdfeeders
bird droppings
California scrub-jays
cattle egrets
cedar waxwings
dawn chorus
de-snooding (domestic turkeys)
 
CURRENT CONTENTS:
Eagles and eaglets
Eastern towhees
House finches
Pigeons
Red-tailed hawks
Red-winged blackbirds
Robins
Toucans
(for continuation, see the link below)

Please bear in mind that these accumulations only represent a portion of our outpourings for birdwatchers and -lovers. You can view an even more extensive collection concerning WATERFOWL by following the links at the end of this post. 














Authors' Note: The gregarious house finchHaemorhous mexicanus,  originally an inhabitant of the western US and Mexico, was introduced into Long Island, New York, in 1940. Although the female is not showy, the male is distinguished by the rosy red coloration of its face, neck and upper breast areas. The species quickly spread across the eastern US and southern parts of Canada. A strict vegetarian, this species is now the most common visitor to birdfeeders in many parts of its current range.







Authors' Note: Regal in appearance, the red-tailed hawk, the most common North American member of the raptor genus Buteo, is a year-round denizen of southern Ontario, and is frequently seen in urban residential areas. 











Note that Fred the robin has also appeared with his colleague Carl the cardinal in the blogpost "Curtained Verse", a collection of illustrated verses that you can find by clicking HERE.



Authors' Note:   This is a true story. I very recently received from friends vacationing in Costa Rica an e-mail with a marvellous attached video closeup of toucans shot with a cellphone camera. I felt compelled to pass the photo on to others.

  In fact, no toucans make a sound that would be described as a 'tweet'. With respect to sound production, members of the more than forty species comprising the family are divided into 'yelpers' and 'croakers'. The social networking entity, Twitter, on the other hand, highlights in words and with their logo the tweetiness of short, chirping birdsong communication.

   The bird-photo above was kindly contributed by Betsy Crosswell.


Bird-watchers, academic ornithologists, wordplay enthusiasts, wildlife photographers, Giorgio's relatives, and just everyday folks have united in their demand for still more verses on the topic of landbirds!
So, please follow this linkfor the collection 'birdlore, part#3' 


DIRECTION FOR WEB-TRAVELLERS: 
To resume daily titillations on our related blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 to the present. (As of September 2023, there are over 1200 unique entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.) The 'Daily' format also has the advantage of including some videos and other material that are not shown here on this topic-based blog.

Thursday 5 May 2022

MAMMALIAN WILDLIFE, part #2

This post is a continuation of "MAMMALIAN WILDLIFE part#1", posted for your entertainment on this blog on June 15, 2021.

previously posted poems (part #1)
angwantibo
bats
beaver
buffalo
California sea lion
coyotes, plastic
Cretan goat ("kri-kri")
gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

CURRENT CONTENTS:
Hippopotami / hippopotamuses
Hoary marmots
Mongolian gerbils
(concupiscent) Rabbits
Raccoons in the city
Raccoons in the swamp
Selfie with bison
Skunks
Star-nosed moles
Steller sea lions
Woodchucks



Authors' Note:  The above is iambic verse, unlike most of what we post here, which is anapestic (limerick-based); therefore this brief doggerel scans like this: 
'MOST of US to QUELL the FUSSes'
PreSUME we're HIPpoPOTaMUSes'.





Authors' Note: Living in the US Pacific Northwest, generally in sites 2500m (8,000 feet) or more above sea-level, and at lower elevations as well in British Columbia and Alaska, North America's largest ground squirrel (a relative of the prairie dog and woodchuck) lives an apparently idyllic life. An herbivore, it emerges to survey the mountain views while dining on vegetation, and spends its morning sun-bathing on the rocks. It avoids the inhospitable part of the year by hibernating in communal well-hidden burrows for seven months. The downside is provided by several predators, most notably golden eagles; unfortunately, its characteristic high-pitched alarm call (underlying nicknames like "whistle-pig") does not give complete protection when these dangers are present.

Whistler, BC, is a destination whose name is linked to this local mammalian resident. You can check out an illustrated verse about this town by clicking HERE (link available at the end of November 2023). 




Authors' Note:
Honest Herb(ie), a westponder, concedes that pronouncing the herbal 'H' in Britain and Australia may be the norm there, but he prefers the more common North American way to say it with the 'H' silent, as in 'hour', and 'honest'.  In fact, language detectives may correctly intuit that Herb is a Canadian, as he spells offence with a 'c', rather than the 's' used by Americans.
The Mongolian gerbil, Meriones unguiculatus, a hardy small herbivorous rodent  has become a popular pet. Originally a resident of Asia transported for use as a research subject, it was introduced from the US to the UK in 1964; its pronunciation preferences currently remain unrecorded.









Authors' NoteFor a somewhat different take on concupiscence, check out the illustrated verse 'Horny Rhino' by clicking HERE





Authors' Note: In the last century, raccoons have readapted themselves as urban denizens, often relatively unnoticed, but sometimes disturbing their neighbours. And be sure to review our subsequent illustrated poem with respect to their role as nest robbers. 






Authors' Note: We are indebted to Bill Wingfield for contributing the idea for the previous poem. 


Authors' NoteIt's hard to believe that there was a 'responsible driver' who let this young person out of the car to take this picture (isolated from a published video), but there you are. 

In national parks in both Canada and the United States, there are fines imposed for approaching wildlife too closely, and signage usually makes this abundantly clear.

A verse, and more pictures of the American bison (buffalo), can be found on this post








Authors' Note:  You can find a song about the star-nosed mole on our blog 'Edifying Nonsense'. Click HERE to access it! 



Authors' Note:  A falling birth rate due to 'nutritional stress' in females (along with ongoing hunting) has been proposed as a principal factor in the decline in the last century of Pacific Ocean populations of the Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus. Although wanton polygamy has, to be honest, always been an option for females of this species of magnificent marine mammals, the particular efforts of concerned individuals like our heroine Bella may have contributed to a recent recovery.

   Current ecological terminology denotes a species whose population is stable in the wild and not threatened as of 'lesser concern'. In 2013, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) took the Steller sea lion off its US Endangered Species List.






Authors' Note:  The woodchuck or groundhog is a large squirrel-like animal
best know for its extensive tunneling. Although herbivorous, it is not normally interested in eating or tossing wood, the latter being an activity for which 
it is poorly physically adapted. 

   Apparently, the name woodchuck is a corruption of the Algonquian word wejack; the name also is responsible for the American tongue-twister: 

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
 

You might also enjoy a post on a related topic. To review the brief saga "A Hellenic Paean: the AEGEAN CAT", click HERE


DIRECTION FOR WEB-TRAVELLERS: 
To resume daily titillations on our related blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 to the present. (As of September 2023, there are over 1200 unique entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.) The 'Daily' format also has the advantage of including some videos and other material that are not shown here on this topic-based blog.