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collared dove

The Constant Cooing

Saturday, 24th August 2002, West Yorkshire

coldovfl.gif - 4498 Bytes Are collared doves territorial?

'I have one pair and they seem to be chasing their babies away,' reports Cath, an e-mail correspondent, 'In fact, I am looking at one now and it has just attacked a blackbird that was trying to settle on the TV aerial next door!'

Cath views their increase in her neighbourhood with some alarm; does 'their sound get on your nerves,' she asks me, 'or is it only me who is going mad??'

collared dove I know what just what she means. Their cooing can seem continuous, especially on a hot summer's day but I don't hear them as much these days; over the past ten years their numbers have decreased along our road, perhaps because so many overgrown leylandii cypresses have been felled. These once fashionable quick-growing conifers were a favourite nest site for the doves.



Spurred into action by the simplicity and humour of the in Dan Price's Moonlight Chronicles journals and books I squeeze in a sketch during the few minutes that I'm waiting in the car park in Horbury.

The rear of a house is often more interesting to draw than the façade. You can catch the architect (if their was an architect as such) off guard.



nigella seedpod The seedpods of nigella offer as much interest as its flowers. The name nigella comes from the black seeds. The common name of this annual garden herb is love-in-a-mist.

Puffball Soup

puffballOur neighbour Jim presents us with half a puffball that he's found in the fields of a nearby farm. By the time I've trimmed off the skin there's 12 ounces of it. Its flesh is white and has a texture similar to marshmallow sweets.We adapt a recipe for mushroom soup;
  • ½ a large puffball, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium sized potato, diced
  • 1½ pints vegetable stock
  • ½ pint milk
  • vegetable oil
  • butter or margarine
  1. First soften the onion, potato and puffball in a dessertspoonful of oil and a knob of butter. Add a couple of crushed cloves of garlic.

  2. Add a pint and a half of vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes.

  3. Puree the soup in a blender.

  4. Simmer for 20 or 30 minutes.

  5. Add milk - about half a pint - until you get the texture you're after. Reheat and serve.

We asked our guests to guess at the ingredients. It's closest to mushroom but one of our friends guessed that there might be celery in it. There was enough for 6 or 7 page

Related Link

I came across Dan Price's work via the Trumpetvine Travels website.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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