Sunday, January 12, 2014

Green Woodpecker

Yesterday, while out with Olga, I discovered a completely new (to me) bird in Hyde Park. This is a green woodpecker, which apparently lives throughout southern Britain.

You'd think a green bird would stand out like a sore thumb in winter, when all the trees have lost their leaves. But with that mossy tree trunk as a backdrop, he blends in perfectly! Evolution is amazing.

I saw him and took some photos, and then a group of birdwatchers came over to check him out. And then Olga got too close, and that was that. He flew. I shrugged at the birdwatchers, as if to say, "I'm sorry but I cannot control the wild impulses of my dog."

We had a dinner party last night with some folks from the music department. Yesterday afternoon Dave and I went on an expedition to Whole Foods especially to get beef short ribs, and as it turned out, they didn't have any, so we provisioned ourselves with the rest of the supplies and replacement lamb shanks. (Yes, I still feel guilty eating anything lamb-related, but they were good.) Gordon brought over some special bottles of Cote du Rhone wine -- a 2001, 2005 and 2007 -- and they were excellent, but to be honest, the differences between the three seemed minimal to me. I'm sure I'm horrifying a wine connoisseur somewhere by saying that -- or I would be, if any wine connoisseurs were intrepid enough to stumble onto my blog.

I slept in this morning until 9 a.m., and now the sun is shining and the church bells are ringing. Dave and Olga are still in bed!


  1. I read somewhere that only a small percentage of the population (like maybe 10% or so, I don't remember exactly) can tell the difference between an expensive wine and a cheap wine. I figured if that's the case, cheap wine for me.

  2. Doesn't it blow your mind when you discover something that's probably been right there forever? That woodpecker is amazing!

  3. That second photo looks bizarre -- like the bird was photo-shopped in! I agree with you that evolution is weird and wonderful.

  4. what a remarkable bird! It looks like it is made out of vegetables. Sunshine!!! what's that?