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The chirping of sparrows is a key human noise, a key human experience.
the essential noise of humanity (humanness)
most human of noises
the sparrow is the human soul. (id?)
throwing croissant crumbs/bits of chip/whatever to the sparrows. Chirping among the roof-tiles. dust-bathing.
I’ve been very conscious of sparrows since they disappeared from this part of London a few years ago. There were lots at the hotel in Egypt – the noise is so cheerful, and so deep-down familiar. People think of ‘chirping’ as a generic bird-noise, but actually it’s not, it’s very specific to sparrows.
Sparrows are only found in association with people – their original habitat is unknown.
From a US website: “Perhaps the most citified of birds, this import’s incessant chattering, quarrelsome disposition, and abundance about human habitations distinguish it from our native sparrows. Actually, it is not a sparrow at all, but a weaver finch.” Surely it would be more true to say that American sparrows are not sparrows at all.
Catullus. Some haiku? Who killed cock robin.
There’s a poem in there somewhere.
in Taba Heights.
Not having dived for 10 years, I had to do a full scuba review – a written test, and all those skills like the maskless swim, buddy breathing, etc etc. Which was probably a good idea but a bit tedious. But did four proper dives as well.
Highlights – Crocodile Fish (Carpet Flathead), quite a big squid, some attractive spotty morays, pyjama slug (a kind of nudibranch), partner gobies with their little shrimp friends, a good view of a stonefish, blue-spotted ray, juvenile Emperor Angelfish, some attractive versions of Lyretail Grouper (purple with little blue spots and a yellow trim). Lots of pretty fish generally. Christmas tree worms in lots of colours; attractive ferny-looking black crinoids. Lots of scorpionfish.
I get the sense that the diving at Taba Heights is a bit limited, really – all rather the same – but good enough for a short trip. And the snorkelling outside the hotel was excellent – when the water wasn’t too choppy.
List from Taba Heights (a dive resort in Egypt): House Sparrow, Blackstart, White-crowned Wheatear, Spectacled Bulbul, Laughing Dove, Collared Dove, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Rock/Crag Martin (not sure), Swift, Kestrel, Sooty Gull, European Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Mangrove Heron.
The Bee-eaters are probably the pick of that list, though I didn’t see any of them very well. The distribution maps in the book were clearly unreliable for the area, and I never managed to decide whether they were Rock Martin or Crag Martin.
One day I spent some time trying to track down a bird I could hear making a loud ‘chk chk’ call – I thought possibly a warbler. Eventually I was looking directly into a bouganvillea, not more than 4-5 feet away, and I couldn’t understand how I couldn’t see the damn bird, and I realised that on the wall directly behind the bouganvillea was… a gecko.
in case I forget
I cut a slice through my fingernail a few days (a week?) ago, while cooking. It’s nearly grown out. I read once that the moon retreats from the earth at about the same speed our fingernails grow. I can see that growth happening. I feel there’s a poem in it somewhere.
the hall of dancing horses
the windows rattle in the frames