Who am I?

My photo
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!


Thursday 22 January 2015

The search for enjoyment

At 16.10 hrs, 20.01.2015, my daughter, Sarah-Jayne, gave birth to our grandchild number five (her third); a little boy, Rowan Peter. Mother and baby are doing fine; Bev, Dad and myself are headed off to pay homage on Friday afternoon. All the usual cooing and cuddling that's part of the ritual on these occasions - babies are the most photographed subject on planet earth - fact! He is not a Wrathall, by name, but very much part of me and my reason for being. Bryn, Emily, Harry and Evelyn Seren (Rowan's sister un-surprisingly) are the very essence of my being - they provide the spark that ensures I remain focussed on, and committed to, the future prosperity, health and happiness of my family. I can't see that this is a particularly radical stance - just something that becomes more prevalent with the ageing process?
(Derek I can't see this as a crisis - mid-life or otherwise? - just a realisation of the role that responsibility will play in my latter years; not a concept I'm fully at ease with!)
I had a chat with Benno - "are we fishing over the weekend?" It seems that I'm not alone in the desire to seek adventures new. "It should be about enjoyment; not going through the motions" was a quote from Ben - "I fancy a trip to Long Shaw?" The weather forecast is awful, our chances of catching are rather slim, yet at least we will be at a venue where the ambience is good and the fish are there for the taking if our technique is up to scratch. A carp rod, allowed to fish itself, and a float set-up, with bread/maggot or lob worm, to keep us occupied; surely one of us will see some action at this carp puddle haven? Benno hankers after a decent perch, I would love to catch a carp using a Mitchell 300 - all the ingredients for a very enjoyable session, if the elements are in our favour and the angling gods are smiling!
Kent ornithological "gold" - a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in an
East Kent woodland - May 2010
Emily and I took a wander along the Pegwell cliff-top, on Tuesday, and I was able to add Oystercatcher and Fulmar to my yearlist. I've given serious thought to my 2015 birding effort, 200 species is so easily attainable, given that I have no boundaries, yet if I decide to restrict myself to the UK then I'm going to have to put in a little effort. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was a "gimme" as a child in Hemel Hempstead - they used to nest in the trees around Cavendish Grammar School's rugby ground - less than 400m from our front door! Tree Sparrows were just that - Sparrows that could be found near trees. Tree Pipits, Crossbills, Willow Tits - all species which accompanied me as I grew up in, and around, the Hertfordhire countryside. How much harder will I have to work to ensure a sighting in 2015? What about the flip side? Little Egret, Cetti's Warbler, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Peregrine, Marsh Harrier and Raven - classed as "rocking horse manure" as I grew up, yet now I can deliberately seek them and expect to get a result?
I remember twitching my first Penduline Tit (there were two) at Farlington Marshes
in Hampshire. Since moving to Kent, I've found three - including a singing male!
Another sign that our avifauna is changing in line with our climate.
Evolution, the process by which things change - a situation with which I'm totally comfortable, purely because my being on the planet is contributing to the cause. Somehow, there is a major problem with the custodians of our natural heritage to accommodate this phenomenon - they just don't get it! Less than a decade ago the moth, Tree Lichen Beauty, was still a major rarity - it is now annual in our Thanet garden; such is the amazing ability for lifeforms to adjust and adapt to the rapidly changing climate and environment. Just £3/month could help save Polar Bears - bollocks; not driving a car or flying off on foreign holidays, reducing your carbon footprint - that's what will save Polar Bears. Are the human race prepared to forgo all these things, just so that we can save the polar ice cap - not a chance (sadly) The selfish, greed driven, culture of the entire world economy will ensure that, in the end, man will be master of his own demise. Earth will survive, and with it the dawn another era. Dyl; this is all rather cheerful - not! Stop now, I'm looking for enjoyment, supposedly?
Emily has still to see a Fox - I've promised to show her one this year.
If I am able to achieve this - I will derive immense satisfaction.
Firing up the 125w MV moth trap has vast potential to induce enjoyment? Geographically:- Thanet is in prime position to intercept wandering species (bird, moth or other invertebrate) from the near continent and further afield. I had lost interest, over the past couple of years, yet am rather looking forward to the season with refreshed enthusiasm. I'd always been rather lax with "micros" but, now having the photographic ability to secure usable images, I might develop a greater interest in this group? Moths are one aspect of my interest in our natural world which haven't succumbed to statistics - my original copy of "Skinner" has more ticks than not, yet the "Bradley & Fletcher" index has massive gaps? I have seen and caught some very good stuff - although not all in my garden(s). I've travelled around Kent and across to France - generator and traps in tow. Yet with all this effort, I've no formal listings for my troubles. It is the same with my European butterfly records - a Mitchell Beazley pocket guide with ticks aplenty - doesn't add up - African Ringlet isn't even depicted, but I've photographed it in Turkey! Numbers - they're not as important as the events themself. I simply want to enjoy, whatever it is, the moment. Grandchildren, birds, moths, fish, time with Bev, my family and friends - priceless and irreplaceable - seems that getting old means getting sensible - not too sure that I'll be able to cope?


  1. "getting old means getting sensible - not sure that I'll be able to cope with that" - nor will we Dylan, many of us read this blog purely to see the comments of a less than orthodox or sensible person. Makes a change from the tedious and routine crap on many others.

    1. Derek,
      In a mad sort of way, this is one of the nicest comments I have received - many thanks! Hoping that all is well out on Sheppey and you are keeping well?
      All the very best -Dylan