Sunday, November 20, 2005

Beavers, potato crisps, sunset

Castor fiber, is the latin name for the European beaver, which I learn is being reintroduced to the British Isles. In April 2001, the Kent Wildlife Trust, according to Fauna Britanica, flew in a group of these dam-building , amphibious rodents , a gift of the Norwegian government. The aim is to carry out a five-year field trial, with the animals released into a fenced reserve of about 50 hectares. While welcoming the move, the same book says that, if beavers got out of control, they could cause immense damage. One animal can, apparently, fell a tree with a circumeference of 25 cm in about four hours. A single family may cut down 300 small trees in one winter. They cut down the trees to build dams in the streams where they live.

I have a weakness for potato crisps, which are becoming increasingly refined in quality. I like the the latest "Kettle" crisps, or as the packet calls them in the American fashion "chips". Today I find a packet, which boasts: "Just potatoes UNDRESSED" and qualifies this titillating claim with the addition "LIBERATED potatoes". These paragons have no added salt. The list of ingredients reads: "Select potatoes, sunflower oil".

I go out of the front door to view the sunset. I try to identify the spectrum of colours: yellow, rose, pale green, eggshell blue set against a darkening mass of dark red roofs and chimneys, and grey, green and brown trees on the Common.

No comments: