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ANIMAL PLANET
At a crayfish party tonight, the discussion somehow turned to whether hedgehogs eat meat or not, (turns out they do, even though they're classed as insect-eaters), and after talking a little bit about what strange names they have both in English and Swedish, I started to make a joke that Sweden doesn't have much in the way of fun animals. One woman started to get offended, saying, oh yeah, you have everything in America.

And I thought, well, we DO. At least, I mean we have all the animals that Sweden has, and then some. I didn't mean it in a MEAN way, but I do think it's true that Sweden doesn't have a huge variety of native animals. That's not a big deal, really, but sometimes I think it's sad that my kids won't grow up seeing chipmunks or black & gray squirrels (or any squirrels since they're so shy and uncommon here) or blue jays or cardinals or skunks or raccoons or porcupines, to name a few.

The one thing I noticed quite early about animals in Sweden is that the rabbits (or hares, if you want to be picky) and the birds are HUGE, and the deer are TINY. (I'm not talking about kronhjort, but about rådjur) There are always lots of giant birds all along the edges of the roads and highways: ravens, rooks, crows, jackdaws and magpies. Magpies are so beautiful, all that glossy blue-black and white.

Once, on the train going up to Stockholm, I saw a hare racing the train. It actually kept up with it for a short while. :)

Last year when we were in the States, driving around, I kept feeling like something was missing. Turns out it was the giant birds along the roads. Once I realized what it was that felt wrong, I could relax. Weird what you get used to.

***

Just looked at my quickly growing friends list and wanted to say hello to kissekat, dawnm70, carrieb, inflammatio and opheliasphoenix. I know some of you have come through storybookland, which I'm really enjoying, or Amerikanska. :) Welcome!
 mellow
mood: mellow
music: No Doubt—Don't Speak


Comments

I know exactly what you mean about the hares and birds being so huge. When I first moved here I had terrible jet lag and would be up at all hours. One morning I saw one of those hares in the parking lot and couldn't figure out if it was some kind of weird dog or what.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Oh! I'm sorry, I'll do it right now. I'm fairly behind on everything at the moment since I don't want to do anything but work on my book, LOL!

Yeah, I've noticed what some people get offended by throughout the years. But they shouldn't be surprised that there is a much larger selection of wildlife in the US than in Sweden. It's huge! Would they get offended if someone from Africa said that they had many more animals there? I doubt it.

The admiration/animosity thing with the US is interesting.

Well I must say that Sweden has quite peaceful animals and not so many variations. The wild life is not so "wild" actually, the most poisonous snake makes you only feel a little bit sick. I think it is like a back yard wild life, you are pretty safe wherever you walk.

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