Wednesday, July 11, 2007

swan, swan, hummingbird...

... hurrah! sadly, there are no hummingbirds in today's blogventure, but when you have a picture like this, I certainly get inspired. And for those of you who don't know the line, it's from 'Swan Swan H' on what, to me, is one of R.E.M.'s best albums, Life's Rich Pageant (1986).

So, this picture is from yesterday. I don't know that Momo has seen the Van Cortland swans up quite so close -- but he was suitably awed by the large, gliding things. The day before we saw a mama possum with a raft of youngsters hanging off her as she waddled through the bushes. Momo was also quite awed by that, too. For the last two mornings, as well, Momo has pointed and stalked a very young rabbit on the golf-course. (Have no fear, the rabbit could see him from a mile off on the fairway and bolted for cover. But I had called 'whoa' on him beforehand all the same.) Vizslas, incidentally, will point rabbit as instinctively as they do game-birds.

Anyways, who says cities can't have wildlife?

TdF: Four stages down -- and my highlights are these.

a) Fabian Cancellera: yesterday's rocketship attack through the almost-successful breakaway was mind-boggling. Who knows, maybe Fabian figures he's going to lose the jersey in the mountains soon anyway, so why not go out with a bang, so to speak? In any case, an impressive piece of riding, especially for one in the yellow jersey.

b) First week crashes: as usual, lots of people are biffing and tasting tarmac during the first few days. It's a shame when folks get hurt and perhaps the organizers shouldn't have early stage sprint finishes taking place in narrow roads. The major loss, as far as I'm concerned, was Tomas Vaitkus from Discovery... this was his first Tour and I think he's going to be pretty dangerous in years to come.

c) The Fredcast: my first impression was that it might be a little stodgey. And while I don't like having to skip over the first minute of advertising, I know why it has to be there. But their play-by-play coverage of yesterday's sprint-win was actually still gripping even though I knew what was going to happen. I still like the two Charlies who do's blog -- although their technical editor guy, Jez Loftus, was about as exciting in his special appearance as Grimsby on a Tuesday night. Actually, I'm an equal-opportunity smart-ass: Mr. Loftus was about as exciting as Inverness on a Tuesday night (which is generally closed).

d) Nice to see Thor Hushovd get a win today. He's had a drought so far this year. But I still think his old Norwegian National Champion/Credit Agricole jersey was one of the coolest.

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