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Animals and birds live here (in Poznan) too

19 Jan 2007 /  #1
The men with the bulldozer and the digger have just finished extending Raszynski Park, which surrounds the old Prussian Fort VIIIA in Poznań. In December the snails are hibernating, but after all the disturbance I wonder if the big edible snails will reappear in the spring; I will miss them if they have gone even though my dog and I had to tread carefully to avoid them. The leaves are falling but there are some things that never change; every morning the lady comes with food and milk to feed the two black and white cats that live in the fort. The magpies strut and chatter while the rooks busy themselves with walnuts and acorns that have fallen from nearby trees.

Late at night the park and the surrounding streets are quiet, one is very likely to meet hedgehogs and encounters with martens and foxes are commonplace. It seems that at least these animals can live in close proximity with several thousand people living in the adjoining the eleven storey blocks. Not so far away is the railway line to Wroclaw, the service is frequent and the trains are long but apparently the animals are unconcerned. A little further away, to be precise one and a half kilometres there is a series of artificial lakes. These lakes, were created by digging out clay for the brick works, they form a random network of lakes that stretches for three kilometres. They are the haunt of fishermen and birds, the birds are like the fishermen, some are permanent and some change with the seasons. In the spring the migrants come, ducks, geese and others and in the autumn they go. Others are there all the time though it is easier to see them in the winter; they are the herons and bitterns with their characteristic booming call.

Beavers have returned to the waters of the River Warta both to the south and the north of Poznań, their presence causes some difficulties for the river and water management authorities, but according to one officer – the beavers have staked their claim and they intend to stay. The rivers are becoming cleaner, some would say and about time too, but late or otherwise the beavers approve. A few days ago I commented to a colleague on the reappearance of the beavers, I said how pleased I was about their return. I did not expect the reply that I received - It is fine for you in Poznań, you do not have the wolves and bears to worry about. - After some reflection I agreed that the people of southeastern Poland perhaps had reason for mixed feelings about the increasing local populations of wolves and bears. After all bears are large and unpredictable while wolves in large numbers are only too predictable. Thus the removal of pollutants from the air, soil and water of Poland brings the need to monitor the success of natural populations re-establishing themselves. For all that it is a positive achievement, I would still rather chance upon a bear or a wolf than a mass of toxic material.

Achilles Węgorz
SeanBM 35 | 5,792  
24 May 2009 /  #2
Interesting, thank you.

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