...yes I do always salute magpies.  I have to otherwise who knows what dreadful thing might happen.

And today it's Friday 13th, so, please be careful at home, at work and with your Friday night planning.  And be extra careful if you bump into any of our much maligned corvid species. 

Crows, ravens and magpies have played a significant role in the folklore, superstition, and mythology of humans for many years, with spotting one or more of these birds often been thought of as bad luck.  But the gang in the office have identified a few examples to dispel the myth that all natural sights are bad omens.

Here are four examples which we dug up...

If a blackbird makes a nest on your roof, it  is said to be a traditional sign of good luck.  Seeing the sight of two blackbirds together is also said to bring good fortune.  As very territorial birds, it is quite a rare spot, so keep your eyes peeled.

In addition to the legendary four-leaf clover, did you know that the kingfisher is seen as a very lucky bird?  In Europe it’s said that to carry feathers of the kingfisher will act as a good luck charm, believed to bring health and happiness.

And as the warmer months approach, keep an eye out for butterflies. If the first butterfly you see is white, you will have a good year.

In the current economic climate, most would do well to dispense with any arachnophobic tendencies.  It’s believed by some that a spider dropping onto your face or clothes - particularly a tiny 'money spider' - indicates your finances will improve.

The lesson from this is clear - if you want to get through today unharmed - get outside, have a walk and hang around with a brace of blackbirds and spider.  You see - nature is good for you.

Do you know of any other great nature surperstitions?

It would be great to hear your views.

P.S. If you do need a reminder about how to post a comment - this blog entry here makes it easy.

P.P.S. I salute you Mike Langhom (and the magpie) for your image below.

  • BlueWren - thank you for helping me learn something new today.  I had to google 'friggatriskaidekaphobia' and found out that it meant the fear of Friday the 13th  (Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom "Friday" is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen).  So now we all know!

    I hope you all survived the day.

    Have good weekends.

  • Doesn't matter if sheep are stocked very lightly if any are unlucky enough to get cast on their back then the wicked corvid of which there are far too many of perhaps due to too many vehicles completely unbalancing numbers with easy road kill then the unfortunate sheep gets eaten alive starting with the eyes.Surely no human would want such a end for themselves.

    Went to Arne Raptor weekend last Saturday and a Red Admiral was sunbathing on the bark of a large tree.On another subject it is nice that we are getting regular reports of farmers doing things for wildlife.Today reports of farmers doing things that look as if they have improved numbers of Barn Owls with more increases to come.These farmers putting 10% of their farm to improve habitat for wildlife.This 10% is a significant amount of his land and should be applauded.

    Think it is high time those conservationists continually carping about farmers destroying wildlife stopped their sad antics,think they have nothing else to write and find farmers simple targets,simply despicable.

    Of course I do not include yourself in the category of carping conservationists Martin,feel your work with farmers already paying dividends.

  • I'm not friggatriskaidecaphobic (?!) - but not worth taking chances - fingers crossed!

  • There was a time when Raven and Crow were called 'Bran' and were a significant God; Branwen (White Crow) was the Goddess and Bran could also signify alder which was a sacred tree; from a time when many trees or species held aspects of the sacred. Raven was the messenger of Thor ( Raven are strong and direct fliers) and a raven was carried on Viking ships to help them find land and was seen somewhat as the Inuit do as a species half way between this world and the next. The Inuit consider the Raven a most sacred bird and would have come with the hers of caribou, feeding on the afterbirth and weak north, a harbinger of summer and plenty. The crow is also linked to Apollo and cults in Ancient Greece.

                   I would argue that it is possible that we describe these birds now as "unlucky" because they were a very important part of the natural sacred order in a way that we perhaps can only half understand; it is significant that these are species that are sometimes a direct, if insignificant threat, on overstocked pastures, to old and very young and weak sheep. It is  as if Christianity and capitalism has turned the ancient world upside down; it is humanity that are the harbingers of doom surely, if we carry on as we do ?

                   Apologise to the Goddess Bran for speaking ill of her !

  • When you see your first butterfly of the year, make a wish and it will come true.