The Cormorant, The Coast and The Heel Lift Insert

As we were driving up to the coast today, it occurred to me that I have never before been so located in one spot. I have not been on a plane in nearly three years. We have only left the department a few times, twice to Rennes and maybe half a dozen times to Ikea at Brest. We did sneak over the border into Finisterre to walk around a lake and to visit a charming fishing village. Otherwise, we have been here.

Up at the coast today there was a lot of silver hair. People here do not die their hair anywhere near as much as in the UK. The number plates were mostly out of towners, plus some Germans, Belgians and few Dutch. A young German girl got in my way slightly when we were walking and said sorry in English to which I said entschuldigung. Her face…

My guess is that we will not be doing any traveling anytime soon. There is still plenty to explore within an hour’s drive. I will work on the photos from this afternoon tomorrow. It was blue and 22 degrees, 22 in 22. The implications of this lack of travel means that I have probably seen some people for the very last time, I will never see them again.

I tried out my in-shoe heel lift this afternoon and we walked for ~80 minutes over mixed terrain.  I did not think that a tiny thing like that could have much of an effect. My leg now feels very weird. It aches in places that I had forgotten. A simple 1cm lift changed the whole walking dynamic. My hamstring in the gammy leg feels like jelly. On the whole though I felt a tad more balanced. I’ll give it another go and see how that pans out. First pass is promising. I also have 5mm one which I might add next time.

At lunch time I went out for my customary after lunch circumambulation. As I approached the pond, I saw the cormorant perched majestically on the plughole in plughole corner. I turned slowly and headed back to the house to pick up the camera with the telephoto on. It must have seen me. It took off flying only a foot or so above the pond and then gaining height as it headed South. It was here in the middle of the day!! This bodes well for future visits. It may be possible to use the greenhouse as a kind of hide.

Watch this space there may be some groovy cormorant pictures in due course…

Transfixed By a Cormorant

I have just been given a massive gift by nature.

I took the coffee grounds out to the composter by the greenhouse as is my custom. I noticed something moving in the pond by the reeds about 5 metres away. The movement of the water was big, so I assumed that whatever was causing it was large. I then saw the head of a cormorant like bird through the reeds.

It dived and swam several metres back and forth underwater. I stood transfixed not moving. Literally five metres away its head popped up and looked around.  It did not seem to notice me. It was looking at me side on. It was a cormorant, for sure.

This magnificent animal then did another five or so dives and surfaces, presumably chasing the fish in the pond. It got out of the shallows. Each time it surfaced it looked around and must have seen me, stationary, like a statue, coffee pot in hand.

On one dive it surfaced and stared directly at me in stereo or hunting view. We looked at each other for several seconds. I could almost see its brain ticking. “What is that strange creature in combat trousers and with a dragon T-shirt on?” It decided and then made a take-off along the length or the pond, turning and flying over me at an altitude of less than ten metres.

What a treat to start the day like that…close and that intimate with a wild cormorant.