Birds of a Feather

There is an old English-language saying ‘birds of a feather flock together‘.  But today in the Rhondda I briefly witnessed a small flock of black coloured birds, I presume were crows, flying amongst a flock of pigeons.  It looked like a ‘V’ flying within a larger ‘V’.  I noticed the contrast in colour of the two types of birds.  Were the crows attacking the pigeons, or vice versa?  I’ve no idea, as I’ve never noticed anything like this previously.

Another theory : two flocks were flying and collided.  These Rhondda birds perhaps need an air-traffic controller!  Some interesting research here from Cambridge University on mixed bird flocks :

The researchers discovered that birds prefer to fly close to members of their own species, and that the larger and more dominant rooks take the lead by flying near the front of flocks.

Birds fly as a collective ‘flock’ for a number of reasons : safety in numbers, to conserve energy as there is less wind resistance.


Thought Suppression in Rhondda

Azure skies above the Rhondda

Today was such a contrast to yesterday’s grey skies… the sun shone, you could see the azure skies above the Rhondda and Cynon Valley in the sunshine. To my mind the picturesque parts of the Rhondda look better than  Switzerland.  It’s how you notice and appreciate it!

I tried to focus on the shape and contour of the hills and mountains in the valleys from one side of the Rhondda Valley and give my attention to this and not to the man made elements : the patchwork of stone walls and hedges on the Rhondda hillside. 

My attempt at thought suppression was a failure, it merely made them rise more prominently.  This process is described by psychologist Daniel Wegner‘s ironic process theory.  See Wegner et al’s research too 1

Driving over Maerdy mountain in the afternoon, the sunshine was amplified by the dead yellowed grasses on the mountain-top.  The scene was ethereal.  The mountain above Aberdare seemed to glow.  

I went for a short run in the late afternoon.  I noticed the pretty pattern on the pink-tinged clouds above Treherbert mountain.  Making an educated guess, I think they were stratocumulus clouds.