Wednesday, 30 September 2009

..May Safely Graze

Sheep, it is said 'May Safely Graze' according to Johann Sebastian Bach. This morning saw proof of this as Malcolm and I enjoyed a sunny walk around Mapperley reservoir.
Our walk around the reservoir today, turned out to be warm and wonderful - particularly as we managed to see two birds of note. Firstly was a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher as it flew low and fast across the water. Secondly and quite a surprise, was a Peregrine Falcon (the same one we saw the other day?). It caught our attention as it chased a Jay into a tree. The Jay had an extremely lucky escape as it flew at top speed into the branches squawking and squealing as it went. The Peregrine then turned it's attentions to an unsuspecting coot swimming across the reservoir. The coot obviously didn't see the approaching falcon as it dived, with breathtaking speed towards it. At the very last moment, the coot suddenly became aware of it's imminent death and dived beneath the water to escape. What a lucky bird!
Returning home, we walked past the group of six man-made ponds near our estate which together make up slurry settlement pits. Sounds nasty, but the idea is a good one. Waste water and slurry from the farms around the area, is pumped into the top two ponds and is allowed to settle as it fills them.
As they fill, the first two ponds empty into the next two at a slightly lower level. Again the 'solids' remaining in the water are allowed to settle out before the water flows on into the last two.
Water fills the last, lowest two ponds and is allowed to settle some more becoming beautifully clear by the time it reaches the end of the system. At this point, the water is pumped back into the Nutbrook stream system. A brilliant system which works very well with the minimum of fuss. You just don't want to be around when the pits have to be dredged to clear them out!
Slurry never looked so good!
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