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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...

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Monday, February 23, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER FLEUR FULCHER: Fit nature into your day

Over, once again to the divine Ms F. After a gap of a few weeks during which she has been about her studies, she is back and as charming as usual....

People these days often say that they don’t have enough time for such pastimes as birdwatching or looking at insects, plants and the other marvels around them. But if you use every opportunity you are given then even the most boring and unloved day can become something special.

The train line from Lincoln to Peterborough is not the most exciting in the world but I enjoy it as it offers an hour or so to gaze out of the train window, not just at the lovely farms and old industrial architecture, but as a chance to nature-spot.

On just one of these journeys I saw buzzards, partridges, deer, rabbits, pheasants, one startled looking fox and a barn owl who, oddly, seemed to be enjoying the midday sunshine.

Talking to my older friends, it seems that one of the best ways to incorporate a nature watch into your day is on the school run. Walking the children to school would be the best way to do this, buy a few cheap nature guides (I got the old Observer's ones from a charity shop) and get the kiddies to tick off things they see along the way. In this way they will not only learn about the different birds, animals, insects and plants we have in this country but they will notice changes throughout the different seasons and grow to love and respect nature.

If it is impossible to walk the children to school then why not get them gardening? Even if you live in a flat with no garden then a window-box is almost always possible. That is what I had when I was living in Epsom and the bees and butterflies that visited made me very happy and somewhat proud that they would want to come to my plants.

Something I would suggest to anyone of any age who wants to learn more about nature is to keep a notebook with you at all times to note down anything interesting you see, even if you (like me) just write excitedly ‘little speckly bird with sharp shiny beak!’ and then find out it is a Starling (my excuse being we don’t seem to have them in Devon! And they are now a firm favourite with me).

So, go and see how many different ways you can fit nature into your day

1 comment:

G L Wilson said...

I love looking out the window of the train. When I travel to and from work I often sit with the same people who will chat to me of this and that, but they always seem surprised and look at me as if I'm mad if I say something like, "Ooh, look a fox..." (...deer, kite, melanistic rabbit, or whatever).

It amazes me that so many people seem so unaware of their surroundings.

On a recent train journey back from visiting my parents in Wales I saw an otter swimming in the river running alongside the railway. I'd never seen an otter before and it made my day.