Lamb Shoulder Technique

Common/vernacular names of beasties can be problematic and can become contentious. We have a particularly fine example in the world of dragonflies. Aeshna isoceles is popularly known as the Norfolk Hawker because it was, in the UK anyway, originally confined to the county of Norfolk. It’s UK range has now expanded to include Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Kent so Norfolk Hawker now seems less than appropriate. An alternative and better [IMHO] universally appropriate English-language name is Green-eyed Hawker because Aeshna isoceles does possess vivid green eyes when mature wherever it is.

The lesson to be taken from such examples is not to name things after attributes that may change, like geographic range, or attributes which are local to a particular area only. Aeshna isoceles is widespread in mainland Europe where Norfolk is irrelevant. Similarly, our so-called Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva) dragonfly is not scarce in continental Europe.

I have fallen into a similar trap myself.

Last night, after our first BBQ since Xmas, we had charcoal-roasted a shoulder of lamb in the Weber and were left with the shoulder bone as fox bait. Francine had the seemingly good idea of separating the bait into the blade bone and the knuckle bone so as to try to make the foxcam entertainment last a little longer. I threw out some peanuts as well wondering if Broc might put in an appearance, too.

After the (bloody) neighbour’s cat had sniffed around, rather earlier than seems usual, at 22:30, dutifully Limpy turned up to investigate our offerings. Limpy is now walking very fluidly with no sign of any limp whatsoever. If he’s a he, he looks very sleek indeed. Limpy now seems an inappropriate handle. Silly me. 😀

Limpy (1 of 4)Limpy (2 of 4)[The fox formerly known as] Limpy wasn’t having any truck with Francine’s little ploy of dividing the two bones, either. He first sniffed at the blade bone, left it and went over to pick up the knuckle bone.

Limpy (3 of 4)Mouth now full of knuckle bone, [the fox formerly known as] Limpy sauntered nonchalantly back around to the blade bone and, with some difficulty so as not to drop the knuckle, succeeded in scooping the blade bone up into his mouth, as well. He exited stage left with both prizes.

Limpy (4 of 4)[The fox formerly known as] Limpy wasn’t finished yet. Forty minutes later he reappeared and sniffed around further down in the garden. He stopped at a couple of points chewing briefly. This is where I had scattered the peanuts.

Surprising? Well, maybe not, they are scavengers, after all. They do say that jam sandwiches are a successful way of administering drugs to foxes.

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Posted in 2021 Fox Tales

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