Who am I?

My photo
An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Saturday, 19 April 2014

The more I look; the less I know!

I have endured (enjoyed?) yet another week of patch-watching, work and playing guardian to two, very young and lively, grand-children. I have no grounds for complaint - the bottom line being that you can choose you friends, but not your family! The situation that now prevails is something that comes with the territory - so I just have to make the most of it. Yes it is stressful and, yes it is "cramping my style" - I don't have the freedom that I've previously enjoyed. My time, outdoors, is now at a premium and I have to make the most of any free time that presents itself. It might mean that Emily is in tow; then so be it! Her simple, yet inquiring, mind is a great leveler! "What's that?" and "Why?" being familiar questions when we venture outside on our short wanderings. Sadly, my predictable answers usually contain the phrase "... I don't know ...." despite my limited id skills being enough to allow Emily to recognize a spider, beetle, bumble-bee; my own short-comings are very obvious as I look more closely at various invertebrate life forms which come into my consciousness as we go "bug hunting" around the fields and hedgerows of Newland's Farm. The availability of macro imaging has allowed odd specimens to be id'd, via the wonders of the Internet.

I'd managed to grab an hour and went in search of our local Peregrines.
They were not on site, but Fulmars gave me a chance to play around with camera settings -
so not a wasted effort.
Funny thing is that I rather enjoy this type of research - quite often I find myself drifting off at tangents as something, or other, catches my attention. The diversity of this unfamiliar group is astounding, so much so that I am in no way going to allow it to develop from a casual interest into a mainstream hobby - for the majority of my sightings I am lucky if I'm able to assign them to a family group, let alone the individual species involved! (I am certainly not prepared to kill something purely for the purpose of identification - a concept that I find obscene - yet as an angler I will stick a hook in a maggot or worm; so I'm also a hypocrite; "Guilty as charged Your Honour")

This centipede sp. was discovered in leaf debris on our decking.
Emily said "that it tickled" as it crawled over her hand.
With this simplistic outlook, I have discovered many creatures that are way beyond my experience/knowledge. From a very personal perspective; the more I look - there is the realization that I know so little about the creatures that share my world. It's no big deal - surely it's better to look and be amazed than not bother looking at all?
A Mason Bee that has been investigating some holes in the bungalow brickwork -
where rawl plugs have pulled out as a result of the winter gales
The images that accompany this post have been taken during the past week and reflect the diversity of subjects that have crossed my path. Nothing to get excited about, just simple photos of some of the creatures that make natural history the greatest show on earth and freely available, to each and everyone of us, should we choose to look.

An Ichnuemon Wasp (Hepiopelmus melanogaster) ? - photographed in the front garden

Is this a wasp or a "Nomada" bee? A fascinating encounter, but not one that will cause loss of sleep as
the id is unresolved.

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