|The peregrine chicks yesterday evening.|
You can also see their perching father's shadow.
For several years, peregrine falcons have raised young on the tower of St George's Church in the centre of Sheffield. I have blogged about this before. Bird lovers from around the world can watch the nest activity from the comfort of their own homes. Go here.
This year there are two hungry chicks and they are gradually losing their downy feathers, reaching the point where they will fledge and leave their lofty nest. Let us hope that they do not end up living on local grouse moors where covertly, landowners have encouraged the shooting of raptors that might affect the highly questionable "joy" of grouse shooting expeditions.
When I returned to Clint, high at the top of Shatton Lane, i finished reading "Yorkshire - A Lyrical History of England's Greatest County" by Richard K. Morris. Of course, being a proud Yorkshireman I had really looked forward to reading this book but I found it kind of fragmented. Good in parts but hard going in others.
Born on the same day as me but six years earlier, Morris is by profession and academic enquiry an archaeologist. That historical background is very evident in the book. By the way, it is worth noting that he is not a Yorkshireman but someone who has lived here most of his adult life having married a Yorkshirewoman to whom the book is dedicated.
Topics it swerves round include the Viking invasion, The City of Sheffield and the manufacturing of steel products, William Wilberforce the great anti-slavery campaigner, land ownership and grand houses, football, cricket, The Yorkshire Dales and popular music. It's as if Morris dipped his hand in the Yorkshire bran tub and came out with twelve parcels, leaving various others behind.
However, to give the book its credit it revealed to me many things I did not know about my home county and some passages were absorbing - including illuminating tales of wartime conscientious objectors and how the legends of Robin Hood are connected with the county's Barnsdale region between Doncaster and Pontefract. I also learnt about Inclesmoor to the south of The Humber - a large watery settlement of the middle ages of which there is virtually no trace left behind.
Yesterday, I planted out four healthy courgette plants and sowed three rows of seeds - white radishes, lollo rosso lettuce and purple sprouting broccoli. I gave everything a good soaking with my hose...no, not that one! After three months with very little rain, Yorkshire Water are already warning households to be sensible about water usage as our reservoirs are now only 70% full. Maybe we should all do a raindance.
Finally, R.I.P. George Floyd - cruelly killed by a policeman in Minneapolis on May 25th 2020. No wonder fires are now burning. The rage is always there - just waiting to be ignited.