General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.

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37 Comments

      • phantom snowflake

         /  September 12, 2018

        Just perfect.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 12, 2018

          I like to see a boy taking pride in his appearance. He looks very gentlepookly.

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 12, 2018

          Thanks snowy. The gif-making process unfortunately always removes a lot of the bright colour from bird beaks, & I’ve reduced the pic size, and cut-edited, because of gif frame number, time and Mb size limits. The actual original complete video clip is stunning.

          Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 12, 2018

      5.20 pm, Monday 3 September 2018

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  September 12, 2018

        Eel Report

        No sign of Big Ella today, but her appearances are random. I cannot ignore her. When she appears I’m compelled by awe to rush inside, prepare food and scramble down to the eel spot. Something that has seen me nearly cannon into the water beside her when I’ve slipped on the creeper-covered, steep bank more than once. I have now seen the size of her fully opened mouth as she came out of the water, thrashing, & tried to bite out a piece of meat that the current had wedged between some underwater plant roots.

        I will never put my hand in the water anywhere near her because she can suddenly appear out of the depths in a rush and her fully open jaws are as wide as your opened thumb and the first joint of your forefinger. They have sharp teeth and have been known to bite people & not let go.

        Her smelldar is incredibly accurate, as you can see above – that is a half-inch square chunk of dog roll. I do not think I could could get my opened hands around her middle, she is really solid. A huge native longfin, beautifully grey & white coloured, clean lines – my river shark.

        When she appears I can throw one chunk of meat in and then call her over to the Eel Spot where she will stay, cruising around between food drops, & retreating into the depths during feed-breaks, until I leave.

        Eli is easily summoned up through the nearby downstream rapids at any time of the day, but particularly in the morning or late afternoon. All that is required is a couple of chunks of meat thrown into the water in a place & in water conditions where the strong current doesn’t immediately carry it off rolling and bouncing downstream.

        He appears within minutes powering up through the rapids – right below the new pukeko nest. He is less than a third the size of Ella, but still a reasonably large eel. He is sleek an quick, swims fast. She is slow and stately in her movements.

        Eli’s smelldar is not as highly tuned yet as Ella’s. He has difficulty finding meat on the rocky bottom or wedged in branches above him, has many “sail overs”, realises he has lost the scent and has to swim back downstream and start weaving from one bank to the other, tracking the scent over & over again until he finds it.

        (Ella is incredibly quick & accurate at locating food, by comparison. She rarely misses it on a first pass – if she does, she backs up quickly a foot or two and bingo, down the hatch.)

        It is taking me ages to train Eli to come to over me at the eel spot when I call, & to associate me with the food that keeps appearing in front of him when he does – although tonight I succeeded he kept coming back and circling around and was inches from my fingers as I dropped the meat chunks in to the root-cage – so I will try to repeat this success over the next few nights until he comes on being called.

        Ella will voraciously eat meat and dog roll and cat roll chunks. Eli tonight happily sucked in and gobbled up 10 or New World’s expensive diced beef chunks, and when I realised he was now waiting for more, I scrambled up the bank, quickly cut up 8 chunks of cat roll that Ella devoured the other night, and dropped some in the water for him.

        He found these quickly by smell – sucked them in – and every time, with every one – he then spat them out ! He is a fussy little shit !

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 12, 2018

          *10 of NW’s beef chunks.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  September 12, 2018

            How about the genericNW & P & S beef casseroles for pets (Value brand, I suppose it is now) ? It has chunks of meat and is quite cheap. I imagine that it’s really Chef or Pedigree under a different name. The dog has had it, but it’s a nuisance because it has to be frozen, he takes too long to go through a tin.It smells quite all right and meaty, even to someone who dislkes meat.

            I buy the dog those little cat 100g casseroles in foil, much more convenient.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  September 12, 2018

              I might try a small roll of dog meat on Eli – Ella will eat it (when she appears, not often enuf for me, sadly) if Eli rejects that too.

              I like to think Ella recognises me, but in fact – although all the eels seem to have slightly different personalities – I don’t think there’s anything in the way of limited reasoning (like with the birds) going on with Ella – it’s a very basic, smell it, find it, check it, taste-it, &-eat it-machine brain. She doesn’t watch what I’m doing & try to work out how to relate to it like they do).

              Diced beef is expensive for eel food, but if I go for, say, stir-fry strips, the current will often just whip that away downstream and I don’t get the opportunity to play with the eels and get them to stare at me and come half out of the water. I would like to see Ella’s jaws open again and am plotting how to achieve that.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 13, 2018

              The pet casseroles have cubes of meat in them, like casseroles for humans but smaller cubes. The dog greets his daily casserole with delight, as well he may. They aren’t as cheap as the big tins, but they are much cheaper than the single meal tins and very convenient. Beef and venison in gravy for the dog, chickpeas and tomato for the human….

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 13, 2018

              How about holding it on a skewer ?

            • Gezza

               /  September 12, 2018

              Another slightly smaller eel turned up with Eli. I thought it was Eli – he’d gone into the shadows in the water. Then I realised it was a bit shorter than Eli when I spotted Eli coming along the side of the stream behind it. It got one chunk of NW diced beef, touched noses with Eli, and swam off downstream. There wasn’t any scrapping or anything, it just turned around and quickly swam away.

              They have lips, Kitty. Prominent lips all the way around their mouths.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 13, 2018

              So I saw when I looked up the photos to see their blue eyes; I hadn’t thought of eels as fish before. I thought that they were a different breed like cats and dogs.

              They are beautiful in their own way, Much prettier than lampreys.

              I really want to see a yellow one.

            • Gezza

               /  September 13, 2018

              How about holding it on a skewer ?

              How the heck you can frequently randomly insert comments made today in between comments made yesterday still escapes me completely. I haven’t seen anyone else here able to do this.

              No point. It’s already difficult enough getting down that steep bank trying to keep one hand free to grab onto tree trunks and creeper holding other supplies and equipment.

              Besides, I actually like repeatedly taking the calculated risk of dropping meat down in front of them from my fingers just an inch or two above their staring eyes, in the daring hope they won’t rear up suddenly and bite me. It’s a boy thing, I think.

            • Gezza

               /  September 13, 2018

              How about holding it on a skewer ?

              Oh, I beg your pardon. I didn’t read up & see that in its proper context. You mean, so that I can get Ella to fully open her jaws again instead of just vacuuming the meat in as usual. (They nearly always just touch it with their lips & then suddenly suck it in, without biting at it.)

              Yes, that is what I am thinking. I will try using a knotted stick from down there as the skewer, so that she has to work to get it off the stick. She is extremely powerful twisting in the water, so I need to remember that and possibly brace for it a bit,

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 13, 2018

              A nail on a stick would work, as they couldn’t hurt themselves on the blunt end of the nail. My bird fruit holders are pieces of wood with nails on them.

  1. phantom snowflake

     /  September 12, 2018

    For a moment I thought this one was a photo, but it turns out to be a painting done in a style known as hyperrealism.

    Reply
  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  September 12, 2018

    In a shocking display of bullying, three sparroughs were setting on a terrified little screaming sparrette in town. Nobird was raising a feather to help (disgraceful, not a gentlebird in the flock) . so I intervened. They seemed to be trying to take something off the poor little thing.

    They all flew away together. You can’t help some girls.

    Reply
  3. High Flying Duck

     /  September 12, 2018

    Reply
  4. phantom snowflake

     /  September 12, 2018

    Karaoke night at my local again:

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  September 12, 2018

      Is that another painting ? I love this one, too.

      I must reread the story about how wolves transformed the national park.

      Reply
      • phantom snowflake

         /  September 12, 2018

        I think this one’s an actual photo.

        Reply
      • phantom snowflake

         /  September 12, 2018

        You may have seen this; it’s a 5 minute clip about the restoration of Yellowstone National Park brought about by the reintroduction of wolves.
        https://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/wolves-yellowstone/

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 12, 2018

          That’s probably it. It was a real revelation. Wolves are wonderful….those that survive trigger-happy people to whom the only good wolf is a dead one.

          Reply
        • I’ve seen a documentary (maybe this one) about the return of the wolves, fascinating.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  September 12, 2018

            They are moving down the American continent and back into areas they have been absent from for decades. They are running foul of some ranchers.

            Reply
            • phantom snowflake

               /  September 12, 2018

              I saw a documentary in which members of an organisation ? Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition, or something like that, were interviewed. The level of hatred expressed towards wolves was quite astounding. I guess Redneckus Americanis can’t accept any challenge to its status of Apex Predator.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 12, 2018

              Alas, no. May Heaven forbid that they should allow anything that can be shot at not to be. Thank goodness that not everyone in the US thinks like this. I seem to remember that there is little evidence of them killing stock, but can’t be sure of this.

              Collum Ruber Americanus, the King of the Predators.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 12, 2018

              My mistake, they do, but small numbers. Let’s hope that the wolf murderers don’t make wolves another endangered species. Haven’t these people heard of fences ? You know, those things that keep predators out ? Barbed wire, that sort of thing ? The wolves are a national treasure, or should be.

            • Gezza

               /  September 12, 2018

              The most dangerous animal the planet has ever had is running it.

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