Monday, 30 January 2017

Keeping the wolves from the door


My friend Thomas in Germany has just sent me this picture. Embiggen it and you will see five wolves strolling around a field - just outside Bremerhaven! Amazing. It must be bad weather in the East for them to come so far, but wolves will cover over 100 miles in a night, even in deep snow. They have been going for cattle, but there is a fear that if the cattle are sheltered from them, they may go for joggers. Oh well, they have to eat...

Last week I heard of the disovery of two intact Roman villas near Chichester, Sussex, buried deep beneath a field which must have been flooded or something for the walls to still be standing. Then today, I hear that only 10% of Tintagel - the legendary Cornish seat of King Arthur - has been excavated. Why only 10%?

In that 10%, over 90% of all the Byzantine artifacts ever found in Europe have been unearthed. You see, we have been trading with the rest of the world for millennia.

To be an archaeologist now - and bury yourself in the past as a form of escape - must be similar to Indiana Jones in neutral, WW2 Egypt. Sitting in a large, Alexandrian cafe with your Allied friends, nervously eyeing-up your Axis counterparts on the other side of the room...

27 comments:

  1. Hopefully wolves are not thinking of swimming the channel.

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    1. No, it will be the North Sea. Rachel will give us plenty of warning as they pass through Norfolk.

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  2. Haven't they been re-introduced onto a large estate in Scotland.

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  3. Yikes, crikey, scary !!! i'm glad I'm not a jogger in Bremerhaven .... actually, I'm just glad that I don't jog !! XXXX

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  4. Here in the US, occasionally the bears and mountain lions attack joggers/hikers, but have never heard of a wolf attack. Even the coyotes wouldn't attack a human, but I'd have to jump right into the fray if they got my cats or weenies. Farmers shoot them, which I think is sad.

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    1. It is illegal to shoot them in Germany. They are only a danger to livestock, I think. There are plenty of deer in the woods in Germany.

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  5. Wolves are as afraid of people as people of them. That would be an unusual kill, I think. I occasionally see a wolf crossing the road. They are beneficial in that they cull the deer population, which balances on overpopulation. That the deer no longer walk the village sidewalks is as attributable to the wolves as to the sharpshooters.

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    1. I have yet to meet a wolf which is as scared of me as I am of it.

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  6. A wolf was seen near in Wales near Flint. The beast ran across the road and was mistaken for a husky.

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    1. I grew up near a tame wolf, and believe me, there is no mistaking one for a husky. I agree with john.

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  7. Hm, if I may, we sometimes have wolves taking their rounds very close to people. Last time that happend was in november when one male was spotted slowly walking through our small town, stopping outside the kindergarten and then casually getting on his way , heading north. It was just before morning rush hour. A couple of times per year they cause great disturbance doing that!!! Never seen any bears though, thank God.

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    1. As I understand it, bears have become familiar with rubbish bins to scavenge. I would rather a pack of wolves than one desperate bear.

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    2. I think the people residing up in the northern parts of Sweden would agree with you, the bears are a pain in....the gardens. But a pack Tom, really?

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    3. Well maybe not a pack - at least not a hungry pack.

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  8. When I took a look at that photo, I was reminded of a Scandinavian thriller I read ages ago. The plot involved a death that might have been a murder or might have been the result of a wolf encounter. I can't remember the book's title...and now wonder if the memory is of a dream.

    I'll never know.

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    1. Don't give up. You could find out.

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    2. 'Wolf Winter' by Cecilia Ekbaeck?

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    3. Wolf Winter was relatively recent, I think.

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    4. Thank you all for the suggestions, but I don't think that's it. The book would have been borrowed from the library, and I think I can access my borrowing record...when I can drag myself away from following current events coverage.

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  9. Wolves were recently re-introduced into the Pyrenees, but the farmers shot them as they were killing all their sheep.

    Many years back I heard the story of a farm labourer (near Chichester) who noticed that he'd ploughed-up a load of mosaic. He told his boss, and the boss said 'keep ploughing and say nothing'.

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    1. That is the big problem - mixing livestock with wild carnivores. There are enough deer and rabbits in most lowland places to keep the wolves happy, but re-intorducing them in the wrong places is asking for trouble.

      Re the archeology, this happens everywhere. Mixing archeologists with speculative builders is also asking for trouble.

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