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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!

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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Pottering around

Bev and I spent the weekend away in Redbourn, Hertfordshire, so we could join in with the celebrations for the 60th birthday of my great friend, Steve Baron. It was a fabulous break from the reality of being carers to my Dad; great to spend time with so many old acquaintances and relive past times. If Unilever hadn't shut that Brooke Bond factory, we'd all still be there now, the village/community would still have a heart, a focal point; that's how good it was to be part of an incredibly tight knit community. We earned decent wages, but it was the good humoured banter, the feeling of belonging and a great team spirit which made it such a privilege to be part of that "Brookie" experience. More than a few light ales were supped as we reminisced and it got a bit messy before we all parted company. You're only sixty once - if, indeed, you're lucky enough to make that milestone - so best enjoy it - there are many, good men, from my past who didn't.
Redbourn has changed since I worked there (I left for Ashford in August 1993) and not everything has been for the better. The High Street has lost three pubs, there are new housing developments (as there are everywhere else!) and the village seems less intimate but, the one constant in all this time is the "Baron" household. A cup of tea and a warm welcome, without any pre-booking or fuss, Steve and Anne are a permanent fixture in this world of rapid change. One thing that is now very obvious, is the presence of Red Kites in the skies above the village - I still gain great pleasure from close encounters with these stunning birds. Familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt - very few other party guests gave them a second glance. A consequence of living in The Chilterns I guess?
Back in Kent, we very quickly got back into the routine, and my natural history fixes come from far less dramatic encounters than Red Kites feeding in back gardens. The feeding station continues to attract good numbers of House Sparrows and increasingly large numbers of Starlings, which is an interesting development from a local perspective ? - and the other bits - Great & Blue Tit, Robin, Dunnock. Wood Pigeon, Collared & Feral Rock Doves, Blackbird and a single, male, Rose-ringed Parakeet. I've spent some time pratting about with the camera kit, just in the hope of recording something, semi-interesting, to be worthy of a post.

Some type of small wasp species. The good bit is getting to learn the camera/lens combination
before Bev and I go back to Keffalonia.
We leave the outdoor lights on, overnight, and these have attracted a few moths - nothing major - and I spent a while with the macro kit getting images of a small mason/potter wasp that was visiting some garden plant. Sadly I'm just clutching at straws, in a bid to keep this blog going, There will be light at the end of the tunnel but, as yet, we have no idea how long that tunnel is?


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