Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

Search This Blog


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Open gardens, poorly turtles and other things

Yesterday was the first day of the bi-annual Open Gardens weekend. I have always enjoyed this event, but yesterday was more than slightly fraught.

I have just spent a happy half hour listening to British Sea Power and leafing my way through Menagerie Manor by Gerald Durrell trying to find a specific quote that seems ridiculously appropriate to describe the events of yeasterday. But Sod's Law applies (as it so often does), and I can't find it. But the quote reads something like this:

"Animals, like humans, get ill. But they seem to choose the worst possible time in which to do so".

Flump, the softshelled turtle who has been living quite contentedly at room temperature (in the summer) in my varied premises for five or six years, decided yesterday (in front of a party of old-aged-pensioners from Ilfracombe) that it was time to get a chill and become seriously ill. Luckily (for everyone involved) we had a couple of friends of mine from the zoo mafia on hand, and crisis was averted. This morning she is back to her old self, she tried to bite me, and has tucked into a dinner of prawns like they were going out of fashion. But it was not an auspicious way to launch the first public outing of the CFZ museum.

For, after two years of the top of the CFZ grounds looking like a cross between a particularly unsalubrious building site, and a First World War battleground, the CFZ Museum is finally open for business, albeit in a fairly rudimentary state.

We had about 40 visitors, and even sold a book, so we must be doing something right, and I am limbering up for day 2 of the Open Gardens weekend, which starts in about fifteen minutes..

Hey Ho, Let's Go!