Double the Albeeno

Life has been pretty busy here for us, so sorry for the lack of posts folks.  We have loads to catch up on, and I have tried at least make a mental note of our happenings if I didn’t manage to capture it on camera too.  I have been crazy busy at work, and the remainder of my energy has been put toward a polished manuscript I hope to get out in the next day or so.

But just because we have been occupied with our occupations, does not mean we have not had a small chance to explore Oxford.  This past weekend (I think) Chelsea and I took a walk between incubations to explore one of the colleges here at the University.  Oxford has 38 colleges, and each of them sort of run as an independent entity within the University.  The colleges vary in age, assets, size, and discipline but are all interesting.  We will try to visit as many as we can as “Staff” (read: free admission) and hopefully will post on them as well.

For starters, we visited Magdalen (pronounced Maudlin) College.  I plan to do another post dedicated to that, but within Magdalen are two large fields that we were advised to have a walk around.

We were advised to check out this particular field because of the flowers that were in bloom.  The picture above is just a snapshot of the field, it really was covered in these purple and white flowers.  These flowers are called Fritillaria Meleagris, and I have been told that they are actually quite rare.  The conditions have to be just right for them to bloom, and we had a wet enough winter combined with the right temperatures to see an entire field of them.  This particular field has been home to them since the mid-1700’s.  Here they are a little closer:

The opposite side of the River Cherwell boasts an area called “Deer Park” so we tried to get a peek in.  Unfortunately, the best viewing points in the park are restricted to members of the college, but we did have a look around to try and see any actual deer.  To our surprise, way in the back of the field were a group of them:

If you look carefully I hope that you can see one of the deer is white.  I’m really bummed that we couldn’t get closer to the deer, as they were probably a good 400 yards away and our Canon only has 3.0X optical zoom.  I really wanted to get a good look at inbreeding in action.

Anyway, we had a nice break from the lab this past weekend, and saw not one but TWO albinos out in the wild.

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