Opposites Attract

I miss our quiet neighbours.

They were kinda quirky …

alpaca 6

 … they spent a lot of the time eating …

alpaca 2

… before keeling over and falling asleep as if dead, eating obviously took a lot out of them, however …

 … they still found the energy to revel in a dust bath …

alpaca dust bath

and scratch themselves with an agility that was remarkable.

alpaca agility

They were quiet neighbours, always there providing some kind of amusement.  They were shy but not of the camera, indeed a couple of them seemed to love getting their photograph taken and would turn and toss their head almost on cue.  One of them occasionally got dust in their nose and sneezed, but other than that they were silent.  Newly sheared they still sought the shade of the hedge a lot of the time, while we sought the shade of the magnificent oak tree.

alpaca cottae

The neighbours who frequently this tree were more noisy and more camera shy, and also unlike the alpacas they never seemed to stay still for a second.

woodpecker 1

There was not just one green woodpecker, however …

woodpecker 2

… nor was there only the two …

woodpecker 3

There was a family of at least three, and boy did they make a racquet.  Green woodpeckers don’t drum trees for insects they find tasty morsels crawling on the ground preferably ants.  The noise was their cry as they flew round their territory calling to each other.  Despite their red flash they all but disappeared when they landed in the oak tree and in flight they were swift almost dive-bombing each other.  When they landed they moved as quick as their prey hopping all over the ground.  While one of the youngsters was often seen alone the other was usually seen with the father and was still being fed by him on occasions.  The question we never discovered the answer to was were was the mother, was there more chicks not yet fledged and she was with them?  Was she out with them at times we didn’t see them only heard their yaffles.  Or where the sittings of the single juvenile a third older sibling now independent?  Regardless I miss their cheery call and trying to spy them in the oak tree and watching their acrobatic flight.

Quiet or noisy, still or forever moving, both neighbours were a joy to live beside for a while and all are equally missed, despite them being opposite in so many ways.

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July 2015
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