Sunday, 2 May 2010

Wong Chuk Yeung revisited and birds in flight

Some readers may be aware that there is an election imminent in a remote, developing kingdom called "The United". And so my top image is the door to Number Ten, dedicated to nobody in particular.

Yesterday was my birthday (please send cake) and in the morning Mrs. Ha and I did a long ramble up the hill and on to Wong Chuk Yeung. Hazy on the way up and clearer on the way back the road was busy with walkers, dogs on (and off) leads, runners, mountain-bikers and the occasional motor vehicle. Everybody it seemed wanted a Saturday morning constitutional. The village itself hasn't changed much. I had already learned that the site is under option to a developer (very sad) but I was also told that as long as the last remaining resident doesn't sell up there is little chance of impending clearance.

There is a great deal of broken glass and both dogs and people need to tread carefully. The lizards were out yesterday, basking in the warmth of the May Day sun. I hope they avoided the shards. One letterbox remained with a hopeful bill (I suspect) from CLP stuffed into it. There is no escape. The other word of warning is that mobile phones may not work so as this is quite remote do take care.

I am not sure what the root in the (brandy?) bottle is and I found it slightly odd that such a thing would be left. Likewise the sole rubber shoe. Why would a single shoe be abandoned in this way. It is quite obvious that this is a beautiful location. I have not walked beyond the village but a neighbour tells me there is a marshy area that buzzes with dragonflies. Something else to explore. I can well see why people would want to bring the village back to life and I suppose it depends exactly what is intended. Small dwellings matching the height and footprint of the old ones would be fine. But expanding the village would mean more traffic on a very narrow road. I can see that the next step would be road widening and then perhaps a filling station for petrol, a 7-11 or a Park'n'Shop, a restaurant or two, and why not a "war games" area, where toy soldiers can pretend to act out the horrors of war - give them one of Don McCullin's books to read along with every ticket. Rumour has it they are already "invading" Yeung Chau at night and have driven away the breeding White-bellied sea eagles. Personally I'd put the lot of them on Lap Sap Chau.

I also mentioned birds in flight - a more demure version of Pigs in Space.

It is the season to be breeding and the birds are actively nest building. The swallows are building their mud-cup in our garage on top of the security light. Each evening when I park the car they are already roosting and give me never an "evenin' all" as I trigger the lights, unload the day's junk and stagger exhausted up to the front gate, maybe checking the mailbox on the way. They are very tolerant, far more so than I. The shots were all taken from the comfort of my home, where I can sit with a cup of coffee and the 400mm lens, patiently waiting for the next fly past. Swallows, by the way, are tricky. They don't fly in a straight line, they are small and they are more difficult to train than a dog. Shouting "heel" has so far had little effect. Strangely it does little for our Pomeranian either. So there we are. Enough for one afternoon. Goodnight campers.


Private Beach said...

I agree entirely with your view of the war games crowd. The otherwise lovely Sha Lo Tung is knee deep in BB pellets.

Jason said...

Hah, you seemed to have wandered into the front porch of our ancestral house. Not sure what the 1 shoe left out is all about though.

John Li said...

Hi Andrew and Jason,

I left a message on your blog 'Birds, bugs etc' dated Saturday 9th January 2010. I would be grateful if you both could have a read of it.

dgny said...

I love the nest-building photos! I've been trying to take pictures of birds for you, but I have to say, it's very very difficult (I did post one for you the other day, though!). I admire your shots even more!

Jason said...

John Li. Sorry I did not see your comment reply and no means to view your message. Please email me direct on "jasonlee183 at yahoo dot com". (and sorry to hijack your blog for this purpose Andrew!)