Friday, July 30, 2010


Good evening all,
I was not going to bother with writing a post this evening, nor probably this week. Tis not writers block (I’d have to be a writer firstly and then get a block!) nor was it that I’ve been resting upon my gluteus maximus, indeed far from it I’ve been a busy little bee of late what with ‘the grind’, starting on project number 5076 (fishing trailer for a cycle), E-bay, a little fishing and of course the odd ramble with she who smells of fox shit (yes the bog monster found something far more er ….. intoxicating shall we say, than stagnant ditch water, bless her).

But ‘the grind’ doesn’t merit a post unless I’ve actually shot a manager, project 5076 is still in the development stage and requires some more head scratching before becoming even remotely reportable upon, E-bay? I really don’t want to be telling tales of the folks that I’ve fleeced er I mean sold exceptional high level goods too do I (far to incriminating), the fishing has been steady but would be more a post on the ones that got away than any great catches and Lucy reeking of fox shit? my humble scribing would in no way do the resulting stench justice. So I was to remain postless in a happy cider induce haze.
But I hadn’t reckoned on my friend from across the pond Wolfy over at Flowing waters and his comment upon my last post. He expressed his feeling concerning the abundance of ‘wildlife’ in a more suburban setting beginning to rival wildlife’s abundance elsewhere. Now regular readers (2.5 I think) may have picked up upon the thread that seems now to have started running through my posts as this scratched together blog evolves. Basically it’s to do with my desire to lead a simpler life with a much reduced impact upon mother earth and some of my basic attempts at achieving it. Part of this drive is to reduce the use of my chariot of steel; the old fun cruiser. With this in mind Lucy and I have been taken more walks around the pavements of sunny Buckley instead of heading off to the hills and as always I now seem to have the camera in hand when we’re on the prowl. Without even realising it I’ve been snapping away and already I’m getting more pictures of animals around town than what I ever have out on the trails.
I’ve given the reason to this some timely thought (‘bout 5 minutes now I reckon) and so far I’ve come up with two possible reasons for the very small increase of fauna that I’ve been able to capture in a digital sort of way. Firstly the animals around town are living with humans twenty four seven and are much less wary than their country cousins, after all it doesn’t take a great deal of figuring out that the majority of humans around town are not interested in the wild flora and fauna around them regarding it as nothing more than either weeds or vermin and certainly not as possibly food or just plain ol’ natural beauty. The second is that for long parts of the walks Lucy is now tethered to me via her lead (not a happy bunny at all!) and so is far less able to dash ahead dispersing everything in my path to the four corners, cue smug feeling. So to the photographs, not many but enough I feel to start showing the diversity of townlife and not wildlife, hopefully as these town walks increase then so will my knowledge of ‘townlife’ which I’ll share with you all as and when.

On a footnote its funny how my perspectives have changed as time has shaped my thoughts through this life of mine, I now seem to view neatly trimmed front lawns as deserts devoid of interest containing just one plant, the rest ‘weeded’ or herbicided into extinction, the ruler straight borders containing a galaxy of imported flora which have little or no benefit to the insects which form such vital links in our biosphere as wasted opportunities to grow far more beneficial plants or even food crops on a small scale, the vermin I now longer see as the animals but instead the self preserving, at the cost of this planet, humans driving themselves forward to oblivion thinking faster, bigger and more shiny is the answer to all our woes. I have no answers myself except to try and change my own impact by learning new ways to live in harmony with mine and your world, some by trail and undoubtedly error and some by learning from people who’ve taken this path already. Thank you for reading thus far.

Your friend,



2 Tramps said...

Wonderful photos - thanks for sharing your side of the pond... I must say, I think that dear Lucy has the wisest eyes I have ever seen. She seems almost human - bet she would have a few words to say if she could put pen to paw!

Murphyfish said...

Hey 2T,
Thank you for dropping by (so swiftly at that)personally I'd dread to think what Lucy would pen as regards her side of the tales of our adventures! Maybe I'll get a translator for her one day!

Bob Mc said...

John, it’s amazing how much wildlife lives in and around towns and cities, right under people’s noses, and relatively unnoticed. A friend of mine lives on the outskirts of a small town, actually within the city limits, while I live 10 miles from anything resembling a town. He has far more trouble with raccoons, opossums, and foxes getting into his chickens and pigeons than I do. These smaller predators make a good living out of people’s garbage cans right in the middle of town. While the wildlife in my neck of the woods tends to be bigger, in the form of coyotes, bears, and cougars, they are not as plentiful as the smaller versions living right in town.

CDGardens said...

Some musings we should all consider to be in harmony with our surroundings.

Well,I know Fox stuff isn't pleasant but wouldn't Lucy having a scuffle with a skunk be worse?

Great pictures!;)

Shoreman said...

Hi John. I think that if city folk would stop and smell the roses, they would find a lot of wild life in the city. They just don't. I remember one day while at work,(when I still worked) we had 15 wild turkeys walk through the 4 building campus. Work stopped and people lined up at the windows to look at them. They were awed by the fact that there were wild turkeys in the city. I didn't have the heart to tell them I had 52 in my yard one time.


Anonymous said...

Your photography skills are truly growing my friend. What some great shots!

I also want to say that I admire your stepping back and looking to see what you can do to lessen your impact on the plant. Seems to be with doing this, one finds themselves having a more full filled life. At least it has for me.

Take care and keep up the good work over here! (pat, pat to Lucy's head too please)

Le Loup said...

Thanks for the pics, I do miss the blackbird, plenty in Armidale, and we had one visit out here once, but have not seen one for years. We do have a grey Shrike Thrush which has a beautiful call, and a magpie that has learnt part of tune I have whistled and now repeats it every day!
Imagine being made imortal by a bird! The Lyre bird does the same, and passes the sounds on to others. So the sound of an early 19th century violin still plays in the woods nearer the coast.

John said...

What a wonderful post and pictures! Thanks for sharing and I am looking forward to being a regular here! ... John

Anonymous said...

I agree with 2 Tramps. Lucy's face gets me, and I think it's the eyes. My Lucy is envious. On our walks, she gets to roll in mud and pick up garbage, and there's the fun associated with evading her humans who try to wrestle the garbage out of her mouth, of course, but she has never played in fox shit...poor Lucy.

Murphyfish said...

Hi Bob,
I think that you’ve hit on a very valid point here that many animals are now thriving upon human refuse that seems to build up around us in the higher populated areas. With their increasing familiarity with most humans ignorance of their existence under our very noses these new ‘townies’ are losing their fear and are becoming far less wary and more easily observed to people that can be bothered to look further than the end of their nose. This in turn seems to be leading on more obvious ‘attacks’ upon domestic animals (and in some reports humans) becoming more widely reported. One only has to observe an abandoned garden over 12 months to see how quickly nature starts to reclaim her own to realise how fragile our man made artificial living areas truly are. I feel that there is plenty more in this discussion to come.

Not having the joy of experiencing the delights of skunk ‘perfume’ I cannot comment, but from stories I’ve heard tell it’s mighty potent. Thanks for dropping by.

52 eh? Must be a little bigger yard than my 25 foot square excuse for one. And yes if people would just pause for a while from their headless rushing to a heart attack then there is a whole host of flora and fauna just waiting to be gazed upon on their very doorsteps.

Kari me dear,
Thank you for your kind words my friend, coming from one such as yourself whose blog delights myself and many others tis high praise indeed. Early days with making the footprint smaller, but yes already just the trying has started to give me a sense of fulfilment. Oh and Lucy says thank you for the pat ;-)

Hello Keith,
It’s the starlings over hear that now seem to be mimicking suburban sounds, last year we had one whose call was a dead ringer for the neighbours phone (sorry about the pun) although I don’t think that its helped it attrack a mate as there were no ‘calls’ this year. I’ve heard before of magpies talents, but to what advantage it gives a bird to mimic other sounds is beyond me. But then again to hear that violin via a bird would raise a smile to my lips. Take my friend.

Welcome to my humble blog John,
I’m truly pleased that you’ve enjoyed your visit here, I can only hope that I can keep you (and the others of course) informed and entertained in future musings.

Hi Kim,
Them eyes have got the bog monster out of so much trouble it’s impossible to keep a record. Best regards to your Lucy, even though she may well be envious of Lucy’s antics with fox shit, a pound to a penny says that you’re not ;-) Me thinks that these Lucys are going to confuse things a little unless we can send smells electronically!

Bill said...

Sorry I haven't been around much John. Still a bit under the weather. Just wanted to say excellent work on the photos! Also that picture of Lucy is great.

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Enjoyed the pics , as usual, but this time I particularly like the one of Lucy. Low angle is perfect. I have to agree with're getting really good. I've noticed the improvement and the reading really is more enjoyable with pics. Glad you share! (:

Murphyfish said...

Hey Bill,
Hope that you're back to top form soon. Thank you for dropping by and the kind words.

Thank you so much for the encouragement, it really does mean a hell of alot to me.

Cheers Both,

Damn The Broccoli said...

Well I was going to wait til I caught up on our blog before commenting and saying hello but I think stable door closed horse bolted about sums it up.

Great blog, I've loved every minute of it so far and look forward to the rest as they come.

One reason for a great concentration of wildlife in the cities is that it is more likely the habitat is preserved!

Hedgerows aren't removed like they are in the countryside as we like our boundries. We don't spray endless chemicals everywhere that are only less dangerous than Agent Orange. And people tend to put out food for them.

The funnel web picture is absolutely stunning by the way.

Murphyfish said...

Hi Damn,
Just sent a lengthy reply via the link when clicking on your follower profile. Hope that you receive it, there's also a e mail change on it at the end of message (hope this makes sense)

Wolfy said...

Since I was (unknowingly) the impetus for another of your fine blog postings, I feel a certain need to weigh in on your post. And photos.

As always, you state your positions, ideas, and thoughts with a flair that I love to read. I truly DO enjoy reading pretty much anything you have to write! It always brightens my day. And, much like your findings, I believe I take better pictures in suburbia than I do out in the great expanses. I think its a mixture of timidity in the animals, lack of predators, and the fact that there is simply a lot of it around - mostly unseen (and unappreciated) by the folks in a hurry to go wherever it is they go.

I particularly like the frog photo and the spider web photo.

Reading your post has given me the (much needd) push to post a similar piece on my blog, which I'll be doing tonight. Thanks for the inspiration and another enjoyable post.


Murphyfish said...

Hi Wolfy,
Always happy to oblige my good friend, now over to your blog to see what urban life is like over in your neck of the concrete woods.

Casey said...

Love the post John! I can't make this long as I've got to run - AGAIN! Opening our eyes to our surroundings in town can be surprisingly revealing. The predator-prey ratio gets out of whack a bit, and therefore the flourishing, in my opinion.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Take care -


Murphyfish said...

Hey Casey,
Cheers for dropping by by, hadn't considered this ratio, I'm now wondering about the 'domestic' predators and their effects in the urban environment, primarily cats. Mmmmm food for thought my friend.
Catch you soon,

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

John you were wondering what effects cats have on other animals and their environment..... I saw a tv show once that had put a camera on a domestic cat to follow it for a year. Believe it or not, the study found that cats kill approximately 1200 small animals a year! Most of them were birds, but included mice, rates, shrews, minks and other small animals including grouse. I believe the study was done on your side of the pond, and was aired on the animal planet channel. People don't realize when they let their cats roam how many animals they kill. The sad thing is, most of the kills are not for food.

Murphyfish said...

Hi Karen,
That's a large number of kills considering that the majority of domestic cats are well fed. It's something to be said for the robustness of 'Townlife' that there are many critters around at all. I'll try and look up some more info regards this subject it's becoming more interesting the further i delve into it.
Thanks for the heads up,