Weasels have their name blackened

At Marder she wrote, Martin Crellin confirms what I originally suspected – the animal that shut down the Large Hadron Collider was not a weasel (Wiesel) but a beech or stone marten (Steinmarder).
I must admit that I began to research the story when I read the report, but the only German versions I read did (incorrectly) say Wiesel.
And this is not the pine marten found in the British Isles, but another one, well known for chewing through car cables but apparently not eating them. I remember on the drive back to Fürth from Vienna we once had to abandon the car at Regensburg after flames came out of the bonnet, later detected as marten damage.

Sheep and lamb

Here’s a photo taken earlier this week by my friend in Donzdorf, on the Schwäbische Alb. The shepherdess is carrying a newborn lamb up the hill to the place where the sheep are put in an electric fence. The mother ewe apparently headbutted the sheepdog aggressively. Up the hill, the lamb stood up and began to bounce around.

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Even in the middle of Fürth I have seen shepherds and sheep – see earlier post. But I haven’t seen them moving along the roads.

Cat ownership cases

Wikipedia refers to splitting the baby as a legal term:

The expressions “splitting the baby” or “cutting the baby in half” are sometimes used in the legal profession for a form of simple compromise: solutions which “split the difference” in terms of damage awards or other remedies (e.g. a judge dividing fault between the two parties in a comparative negligence case).

But I suppose the judgment of Solomon would not work with cats.

A German judge, in Central Franconia of course, perhaps not a cat owner, tried two techniques to discover who owned a cat. First she took all the parties onto a car park roof and had the cat released to see who it would run to. The cat ran under a car, where it remained for a while. Secondly, she had both parties hold the cat to see who the cat preferred. The cat liked them both.

Auf Anordnung des Amtsgerichts musste die Frau die Katze nun zur Verhandlung mitbringen. Auf dem Parkdeck des Gerichts sollte sie das Tier dann frei laufen lassen. Die Richterin wollte damit feststellen, ob sich das Tier bei einem der Beteiligten zutraulich zeigt. Das ging jedoch schief, denn die Katze flüchtete sofort unter ein Auto und blieb dort auch erstmal. Erst nach längerer Zeit konnte sie hervorgelockt werden.

Eventually the original owner was able to prove ownership of Lumpele (‘Little Rascal’) with photos.

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had his phone number put on Freya’s collar. See
I rescued George Osborne’s cat and put homelessness on the map. Freya was microchipped anyway, but this didn’t prevent her being looked after as a stray for three years some time earlier.

They gave up hope long before moving into Downing Street last year, assuming the cat had got lost – or worse, been run over.

So they transferred their affections to the family budgie, Gibson, named after RAF Dambusters hero Guy Gibson, and two goldfish.

It appears, however, that Freya is a better mouser than the original official mouser, Larry. David Cameron was obliged to dismiss him (he was more tolerant with Andy Coulson).

But microchipping doesn’t always prevent court cases.

Hello World

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This blog has just been moved from Serendipity to WordPress. It was hard work, not done by me but by the organ grinder at kalebeul.

There is a script to move from s9y to wp online. This stopped after moving all the posts but comments stopped at 2007, and categories and comments weren’t linked. If I understand it right, Trevor succeeded in moving the rest by clearing out a lot of stuff from the databases, emptying things like spam comments from tables to reduce the amount to be migrated. Even the images came over, which I wasn’t expecting, but this was probably down to coding work on his part.

I’m hoping that if I get a wave of spam comments which the blog fights off, it won’t shut down the server again like it has done twice in the past. The system looks easier to use. It looks as if I don’t have to do so much by hand on an upgrade. Serendipity was in bad English (domainfactory offers an instant wp install, into bad German). I should probably write down all the steps for customizing the blog, since my brain doesn’t seem to retain them.

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Winter bird count/Die Stunde der Wintervögel

Stunde der Wintervögel. Birds spotted by me in the Stadtpark (lower level) on Sunday from 13.10 to 14.10 (largest number at one time) in a break from the rain, river running high, no sun:

Blackbird Amsel 7
Fieldfare Wacholderdrossel 1
Magpie Elster 3
Blackheaded gull Lachmöwe 4
Mallard Stockente 7
Coot Bläßhuhn 2
Moorhen Teichhuhn 2
Greylag geese Graugans 39
Great tit Kohlmeise 2
Bluetit Blaumeise 150
Tree sparrow Feldsperling 2
Carrion crow Rabenkrähe 7

The online list to register these birds is heavily garden-biased. Thank goodness I didn’t see any peacocks. Here are the most common birds in (a mere) 182 Fürth gardens a year ago (but the results for this year do show the greylag geese – don’t know where the Canada geese had gone):

House sparrow Haussperling
Great tit Kohlmeise
Blackbird Amsel
Bluetit Blaumeise
Greenfinch Grünfink
Tree sparrow Feldsperling
Magpie Elster
Jay Eichelhöher
Robin Rotkehlchen
Chaffinch Buchfink
Nuthatch Kleiber
Carrion crow Rabenkrähe
Collared dove Türkentaube
Great spotted woodpecker Buntspecht
Wood pigeon Ringeltaube
Goldfinch Stieglitz
Rook Saatkrähe
Long-tailed tit Schwanzmeise
Siskin Erlenzeisig
Crested tit Haubenmeise

The British equivalent is called the Big Garden Birdwatch