Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to 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!


Sunday 28 April 2013

Am I really that different? (My Weekend stuff)

Saturday - Out in the garden by 07.30hrs; the weather could best be described as changeable - my day was all about getting my gear ready for the Loch Awe trip. Emily was to play a major part in my plans, she and Harry staying overnight. Unless you are actually a fisher-person, the amount of paraphernalia that accompanies an extended session has to be seen to be believed. We've had to hire a "Transit-type" van to ensure that we can get it all in. In 1982, three of us travelled up to The Isle of Bute in an Austin Allegro - how?
Knowing that I'd be going nowhere else I had my camera close at hand to ensure I'd be able to grab a few shots if any opportunity present itself. The stated plan is to try to capture images of 300 species (of animal - not plants!) within my garden in 2013. I am completely at ease with a situation where my id skills fail and that my sighting is no more than an insight into the natural world. A name doesn't aid enjoyment, however, it is always pleasing if an id can be clinched, that is an undeniable truth.
So where is this going? Well, over the weekend, I have taken images of at least 12 species; the majority  being solitary bees, which are busily feeding around the garden.  A spider, in the moth trap, and several hoverflies have all been "grilled" as part of my 300 species project.

"Tegenaria sp." - a very big spider in the moth trap. What would be gained by killing it for id purposes?
I am well aware of the amazing facility provided by the internet - id heaven if it floats your boat - but my simple approach is more than catered for by the superb WWW Garden Safari. com. Sadly, even at this base entry level, the complications of id leads to the required "genitalia details" to be ascertained in order for specific status to be proven. I don't know how you read this? To me it requires a dead specimen to be dissected, just so another box can be ticked. If you are employed as an entomologist - assigned to crop protection or some other worthy pursuit, then the killing of an insect has to be an accepted part of the process. If, however, this same treatment is purely to allow a "saddo" to tick another box, on a list of other sad boxes - purely to show the rest of the "saddos" how great a naturalist they are then this really is a F*cked up world! We recoil at the thought of shooting rare birds, purely to ascertain their id - we call for the "full force of the statutes" to anyone who steals a bird's egg, yet still accept that killing insects, for the purpose of box ticking is OK?
Ashy Mining-bee (Andrena cineraria) - a species previously un-recorded on Thanet. (BWARS website 2013)
Photographed in the garden today - 28.04.2013 
Well, not this bloke! I won't kill anything without a reason. Ants in my kitchen - I put down insecticide. A rat in my aviary - I will shoot it. This has nothing to do with league tables, this is about protecting what is mine. I have first hand experience of the Victorian values that still persist within the entomological circles. I lent Gadget a moth trap, in 2003, and on his fist night he took the 2nd Asiatic Nictioline for the UK. Great photos, no specimen - record rejected!

What possible reason can be given for rejecting one of these two specimens?
Oh yeah! - One is pinned within a collection, the other was released back from whence it came.
I will continue to look and enjoy, without any of the pseudo, crass, it's important shite! The local natural history societies do a fantastic job, yet are "pissing in the wind" if they think that they can shape the future.
Common Carder Bee - Bombus pascorum - in the garden today

Surely I can't be the only person, on this planet, who feels that competition has no role in natural history enjoyment. The simple pleasure to be had from looking is enough for a very simple soul - please let me be part of the "silent majority" and not a freak?

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