Common as muck!
It’s not only landscape colours that change from drab to bright with the start of a new mating or growing season; animals also exhibit a new vibrancy that shows in behavioural changes and in the colours of plumage. The colour of a breeding heron’s beak, for instance, will change from yellow to orange, and its legs to pink; the shag’s plumage will change to a dark green; a drake mallard’s head plumage will have a purple hue during courting and mating, and then it changes to black after the female has laid her eggs. These exciting facts are worth knowing if you have more than a passing interest in nature. These subtle behavioural and colour changes pass on important information using a non-verbal language that we, and animals are capable of understanding – we have to spend time learning the language, though. It does help, when trying to see and understand these changes in nature, if you spend as much time as possible studying nature, preferably outside in the countryside – not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s a fact.
People tell me that mallards are as common as muck; pigeons and squirrels are vermin; herons, and cormorants steal our fish. I don’t care! I’m interested in all animals, including the pests, the vermin, and the chicken and the fish stealers. I don’t see that one animal has any merit over another, unless we are eating them. I do see the necessity of managing the animals and their environment, and even the need to cull, to ensure their survival, but whatever we do now or in the future, Mother Nature will win in the end. However important and superior we human beings think we are, Mother Nature will win in the end, unless we find a means of vaporising ourselves and our planet.
I will put the landscapes in a separate post, perhaps later today.