Saturday, 18 September 2010

Trapped snake

Note from Mark yesterday
Hi Simon , was out this morning walking dog and gun through some fields when I noticed Teal sniffing around the bottom of some olive netting that had been put over a row of grape vines (keeps the birds from eating the fruit, Jay's mainly) when I noticed him rear upwards and back which normally means "snake" so I called him off and went on to look and sure enough an unfortunate Dahl's whip snake* had gotten caught through the netting, not having anything sharp to free it I went home found my scalpel went back and quite easily freed it, fortunately only a slight tear in his skin from his snaring.
Having freed it I then picked it up and put it on a bush in the sun as I am sure it was there all night and with a heavy dew on the grass was quite cold and lithargic when I was handling it although you would not think so looking at the photo's. Good deed done for the day. Mark
*harmless to humans
***  ***
A report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London - conclusion:
Strategic Survey 2010 does not seek to lay out a new comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan. It does however argue that for Western states to be pinned down militarily and psychologically in Afghanistan will not be in the service of their wider political and security interests. The challenge of Afghanistan must be viewed and addressed in proportion to the other threats to international security and the other requirements for foreign-policy investment. With economic, financial and diplomatic activity moving at such a pace and with such varied outcomes internationally, military operations in general have to be all the more carefully considered. Precision and adaptability will be essential watchwords. For heavy, large, military deployment, the longue durée will be seen as an attitude for other times, other centuries. The Afghan campaign has involved not just mission creep but mission multiplication; narrowing the political-military engagement to core goals as described will allow for proper attention to be paid to other areas posing international terrorist risks, and indeed to other matters affecting international security.

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