25 May 2010

Wild for the city

I live in London and, despite the fact that it is one of the biggest cities in the world,there is a lot of wild-life here, that you might not expect to see. Foxes are quite common - we have a family living at the foot of our garden and they often come out to play on our lawn, much to Snoopy's annoyance. I can recall our niece coming down from her home in the Lincolnshire countryside to stay with us and being surprised at seeing her first fox close up.... in London of all places. She said she never sees them in the countryside. People around here often deliberately leave food out for them and they become quite tame. One used to come to our garden gate every night, when I put out dogfood for it, but we stopped doing it as it seemed unfair to mess with their natural routine of hunting. It's quite usual to see them trotting across the road at night, or standing on the pavements, watching and listening. We have seen a badger walking across the road late at night - only one, mind, but nevertheless, proof that they live here. We are inundated with grey squirrels, so that we don't even look up if one comes into the garden. Snoopy has great fun in the park chasing them back up the tree trunks,if they dare to come down foraging for food. They often sit on our garden fence and taunt him, daring him to chase them, which of course he can't, because a patio window divides them.

Over the last ten years or so, we have had an ever-growing population of exotic parakeets. It is said they escaped during filming of the African Queen here in 1951. They hang out in our local park and can be seen squawking in the treetops or flying around in search of food. They often visit my neighbour's garden to peck at wild cherries on their tree or snatch a nut or two from the bird-feeder. There is a down-side to all this in that a lot of familiar species like sparrows and blackbirds seem to have disappeared from our gardens, where once they were in flocks, but it is lovely to see the colourful parakeets in the heart of the big city. In warm weather, you can almost imagine you are somewhere exotic. They, for their part, don't seem to mind the cold and snow in the winter!

When Greg was quite ill towards the end, he used to sit in the kitchen/diner (bottom level right - see my previous post) and watch the wild-life as it came to our garden. It was the only distraction he really had, apart from the television or looking into the bottom of his whisky glass. He always used to sit on the same dining chair from morning till night - sometimes all through the night. It was HIS chair - close to the television, close to the garden, so that he could go out for a cigarette. Kay and I have not felt like sitting in that chair since he has gone. There is not a day that has gone past when I don't come into the kitchen and half expect him to be still sitting in that chair. I sometimes pat it when I walk past and ask him why he became an alcoholic and why he left us.


About a week after Greg died, I came down one morning to the kitchen and lying on Greg's chair was a green parakeet feather. It had not been there the night before and we had not even had one in the house anywhere. I tried to rationalise that maybe the cat somehow had brought it in, but she has never even brought in so much as a mouse or dead bird before, let alone a feather and why leave it on that chair? Furthermore, I have NEVER seen a green feather lying about outside for as long as the parakeets have been here. The cat would surely be unable to wrestle killing such a large bird and if so, where was the rest of the bird? I am not a believer in the paranormal, so I tried to dismiss it with logic, but it did spook me a little. I kept the feather - it is rather pretty - and put it on a shelf in the kitchen.Then, after the funeral, Kay and I took my mother home at Easter. When Kay and I got back home again, the feather was back on the chair. Now, I don't know about you, but I have absolutely no explanation for that.

21 comments:

Nota Bene said...

No explanation either...but it does seem a good, re-affirming thing...and something to treasure for the future.

Around here foxes seem to think they own the place - they all seem well fed (well there's plenty to eat in the forest and no doubt in people's bins). When we lived in central London...London Bridge...we saw them regularly, they seemd more nervous and a bit scrawny - but I thought they were brilliant to see anyway!

nuttycow said...

Nope, I'm at a loss too!

Kelloggsville said...

I believe in things like that happening and having a reason. I have never called it paranormal because that has some sinister overtones to me but there is something in these odd happenings. I'm with Nota Bene, when things like this happen they do tend to have good and positive connotations.

I love hearing the fox pups playing at night.

Flowerpot said...

That is quite extraordinary but I would take heart from that. It gives me a glow just thinking about it - hope it does you too.

Furtheron said...

No need for any explanation is there...

We see foxes all the time where I live - there was a little one we knew well who lived in the car park of the swimming pool but he's not been about lately sadly.

Gone Back South said...

I've just come over from Retired and Crazy, and she has a similar story to tell.

It does sound very strange, what happened with the feather. All I can think is that maybe Greg was still around in spirit at that time, and wanted to communicate with you.

When I went to my mother-in-law's funeral, the wind picked up suddenly and unexpectedly as her coffin was being lowered into the ground on this bright, sunny day. There were millions of flowers about the place, and this strong wind made them dance about and the autumn leaves on the trees swirled all around us we said goodbye. It was a dramatic moment I'll never forget, and it really seemed to me that she was there in spirit.

Elaine said...

WOW!

I wouldn't need an explanation...I mean... surely that is ENOUGH to know that...ya know....

Oh wow. That's wonderful, Addy. I'm smiling here just thinking about it.
((((hugs)))). x

Nechtan said...

Hi Addy,

I am not a believer in the paranormal either but I have heard of single feathers appearing before after someone had passed away. Nothing as exotic as that beautiful green feather. That is quite inexplicable.

It is great you have wildlife around you. We don't see too much here apart from the very rare fox in the dark. There is something quite calming in being able to sit and see nature out your window.

All the best

Nechtan

Monalisa said...

Very strange - maybe the wind blew the feather onto the chair, twice...

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

When my grandmother died, I was at work in Paris, and couldn't get a flight back until the next day. A couple of hours later I was sending a telex in the back office, nobody else was in the room. Suddenly I got a strong whiff of freesias, so strong that I turned around to see if someone had come in wearing perfume. No-one had entered the room, I was all alone.

No prizes for guessing what my grandmother's favourite flower was!

The jury's out on the paranormal. I suppose I could have been having an olfactory hallucination, but you can't conjure up a green feather out of nothing!

We have green parakeets here in Brussels too. There are many stories and myths about how these colonies came to settle in Europe.

Ellen said...

What a strange thing to happen - twice - but how reassurring. Watching wildlife in your own back garden is wonderful, and to have exotic birds too - you lucky thing.

Working Mum said...

How odd. You need to talk to Crystal Jigsaw!

Eliza said...

Strange but wonderful, just trying to catch up.

Angel-Star said...

i have read many stories about angels leaving feathers to comfort the living...did it comfort you? i hope you find hope - your writing is beautiful! a new fan, angel-star

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It happens. No scientific explantion found because our loved ones will always find a way to make us think. Feathers often indicate, in a spiritual form, protection and guidance. To have been presented with this feather in particular will most definitely symbolize just that from your own loved one who will wish to have you know he is now at peace. You should cherish it. You should also look out for other indications of his presence like televisions switching on by themselves (this happens often in my home), together with lights going on and off, things being moved. I know you aren't a believer in the paranormal but do take comfort in knowing there is no suffering on the higher plane.

As for the foxes, I hate the little blighters! They keep killing my hens and the Farmer goes out with his gun.

CJ xx

laurie said...

oh my. the feather. that's rather wonderful, though, isn't it?

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Hi Addie - I was interested to read about the feather and have heard of this happening to others too. I would take comfort from it and keep it safe.

You certainly do have a variety of wildlife around you - how lovely to be able to see it so close at hand. A x

Shammickite said...

Yes, keep the feather safe. And don't look for an explanation, it's too hard to comprehend. Just keep it and wonder....

dulwich divorcee said...

Oh my goodness! How mysterious ...but not sinister, if Greg loved to watch the parrakeets . I'm sure there is some sort of explanation somewhere .... we used to have those parrakeets in Brussels too, they get around!

怡君 said...
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Adamity_Bomb_Bomb said...

It. Was. Greg.

Twice.

He says the Afterlife is just fine--peachy.

He loves you.

More.