Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Quoth the raven: I can has ur sammich plz?

You'll never believe what happened to me today! As I was sitting outside, eating my lunch, a raven landed on the telescope building. I recognised him (by the ring around his leg) as one of the two tame ravens around here, Carmelo. I tossed him a piece of my sandwich, and he flew down from the roof and eagerly gulped it down. Then he hopped closer and, stopping only half a metre before me, looked up at me expectantly. So I proceeded to put pieces of my sandwich in my hand, which he carefully picked up and ate. Then he started walking around behind me, and just as I turned around to look what in the world he was doing — he jumped up and perched himself upon my shoulder! Amazed I turned to look at him, feeling the light touch of his claws through my t-shirt. I was just about to tear off another part of my sandwich to give to him when he resolutely grabbed hold of what was left of it in his beak — glanced at me in what seemed like a triumphant manner — and flew away beyond the telescopes to enjoy his lunch, peanut butter and jam and all. Astonished and immensely happy, I couldn't help laughing for a good while. Totally worth the rest of my lunch!

That is however not the only animal-related adventure I've had while living up here. A couple of days ago, as I was brushing my hair in the bathroom, a mouse dropped down at me from an air duct in the ceiling! I'm not usually scared of mice, but when they fall from above I can't help getting a bit startled. I spent about twenty minutes trying to catch the mouse and escort it out of the building (since it's part of my job to rid the place of mice I happen upon in any way I see fit). It was hard though, and eventually it got away, probably into a crack in the wall or something. Not only was it difficult due to its quickness, but also because I was terrified of accidentally hurting it. It was heartbreakingly adorable, looking up at me with tiny dark eyes and with brown fur and small, nimble feet. Although I don't want it chewing on any of the hundreds of electrical cords around here, in a way it feels good to have it for company.

In other news, I've also spotted a rabbit, some lizards, crickets (or possibly catydids or grasshoppers, I can never tell the difference) and a bat. So apparently there are more creatures than astronomers live in this biosphere!

In yet other news: the weather finally cleared up, resulting in excellent seeing. Yay! So now I've been observing for two days along with Norwegian astronomers. It's fun and interesting, and I believe we have actually gotten some good data.


And just right now the mouse trap in the corner snapped shut. My gods, I feel terrible for that poor, poor mouse. Augh, whyyyy do they have to be killed? Going to bed now, will try not to freak out after just having seen a lovely little creature die...

Love and animals,

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