The Coypu, An Eel and Changed Acoustics

I am taking a day off gardening etc. because my hips are giving me gyp. Yesterday evening we had a plumber visit to quote us on some repairs to the central heating. We have a spiral staircase and three floors. It is difficult enough to explain how the system is configured in English, but I had to try in French with a largely sceptical audience. This necessitated him and I going up and down the stairs multiple times and at near “normal” speeds. As a result, my hips are very sore. I think we managed to communicate, and we now have a quotation.

{I must remember not to mention electrode potentials.}

Of late we have been seeing tell-tale signs of the coypu, by way of fresh turds. It has been absent for much of the summer and now autumn has started, it has returned. When we were out using the telescope the other night the wife heard a splash in the pond. Today I found a turd very close to the house and some signs of munching under the magnolia tree. I might arm the camera with the telephoto and set an alarm. I am reading the return as a first sign of autumn.

Recently we have observed a phenomenon in which the little fish in the pond appear to be being chased by a predator, one which does not surface. We watch for a long time and nothing surfaces.  A few years back Le Jaudy suffered a pollution incident with a lot of pig shit escaping into it. {There are an estimated 6 million pigs in Brittany, more pigs than people.} Today we have freshwater trout in our stretch, and the river is open again to fishing. I have found a survey that suggests eel, salmon and seatrout were found near here in the past. It is possible that the populations of these have started to recover. My best guess is that we now have an eel resident in the pond. The last survey found that the eels here were between 15 cm and 45 cm long, so it could be a little one and might try to predate the little fish by driving them into the shallows. Eels can “walk” across land on wet nights between watercourses.

Now that we have removed a lot of the bamboo the acoustics of the river flowing under the bridge have changed. There is less damping by bamboo and the river, although low, sounds louder. It flows under the road and through a big “pipe” in effect. If it is louder now, what will it be like when the level really gets up? There is a little more maintenance to do and then I’ll post a picture.

I have been contemplating getting a USB microphone power supply / recording set up to record voice, birdsong, rivers etc. I have a very high-quality microphone which I used to use to record spoken poetry. The level of birdsong by Le Jaudy and The Swamp in spring is high and I have an inkling to try to capture it using the laptop and my microphone.

The chicken fajitas have been marinating all afternoon and soon it will be time so sample them with a “virgin” mojito or two…