Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Bermuda Petrel

Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina
We went to the talk on the Bermuda Petrel at the Arundel Wetland Centre on Monday night, picking up Jacks and Terry en route.  The Centre always gets brilliant speakers, full of knowledge and enthusiasm, and this one - Andrew Cleave - was up to their high standard.   But what was especially good about it was all we learnt about the island of Bermuda.

I had supposed it to be in the Caribbean.  It isn't. And I had no idea it was so small, so low-lying, and so highly populated. And also that it was so orderly and so well looked after.   It was discovered by the Portuguese in 1503, but it was an uninhabited island, with flock upon flock of the Petrels, and it wasn't actually settled until the Brits arrived in the next century.  It is a tiny island, packed with people from end to end, and the Bermuda Petrel was almost extincted.

However, they are now doing a great job of conservation under the circumstances.

The Centre gave us mulled wine and home-made mince-pies in the interval. And Terry won me a Poinsettia in the raffle, which is now sitting redly among our orchids.

Yesterday, I did not go out on the Field Service- but made the fruit cake instead.  That took me all morning somehow.  Col and I walked on the beach in the afternoon - wonderful high and stormy seas. The river was starting to flood on the opposite bank.  And then I got on with polishing my dive thriller.  I am having to cut and cut and cut, and just hope it doesn't end up as a short story.

It is also about how we are ruining the earth, but as I was writing this (I began it years ago, am a very slow writer), I was learning what the Bible really says, and of Jehovah's promise that he will "bring to ruin those ruining the earth".  So it ends on a hopeful note, where "Till" does not.

I am planning to visit Maggie today and hope to do some more calls on the way back.  The Captain will be occupied with his Conservation work, clearing Downland for the Duke (of Burgundy - butterfly - not Member of the Aristocracy).

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