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!


Wednesday 25 February 2015

Fascination and beyond

My jaunt along the highway of life has, as I've often said, been a blast. I've met, and crossed swords with, some extraordinary individuals - some of whom I am very fortunate to be able to call friends. Yet this trip has not always been about people - there have been so many other aspects on this adventure that are beyond personality and egos.
A Common Lizard photographed on the "Ramp" at Grove Ferry NNR
Looking has always been fundamental to my enjoyment of life; knowing how to look being more important than where? What I look at is as diverse, as it is important and inspirational. I quite simply lack the ability to put into words all of my thoughts about so many of the emotional influences that have played their part
Kruper's Nuthatch -  Icmeler, Turkey 
Luckily, cameras and photographs (now digital imagery) have also been a major factor in my daily routine and, as such, I am able to draw upon a massive resource when delving into my past. That old adage "Every picture tells a story" (cheers Rod!) has never had more meaning that where I am at present. As I rummage through the chaotic scrapbook of my past, I am rediscovering people, places, and so much more - all of which have combined to make my life such a rich and varied experience.

A male Common Darter - could be anywhere from Stodmarsh to Turkey!
There is no denying that fish and birds dominate my interests in the natural world and time spent outdoors, yet there are so many other creatures that have crossed my path for them to be impossible to ignore. It doesn't matter whether it be time spent watching Badgers with my children at a sett in Ashridge Forest, the joy of "boxing" Hares out on the Ash Levels, a hunting Mink beside the RMC, a Red Squirrel in the Scottish Highlands or coming alongside a mighty Fin Whale whilst Marlin fishing out of Funchal, Madeira. All of these, and so many more, encounters have enriched my time on this earth. As a very young man I decided that I didn't want David Attenborough to show me the wonders of our world. If I felt interested I would seek these things for myself - it doesn't mean I won't watch the brilliant documentaries which appear on our television screens but, instead of becoming envious, use them as a source of inspiration as well as education and entertainment.

Dawn on the banks of Wilstone Res. Tring
I would need to be a complete "dullard" to be able to sit here without taking in the other wildlife that shares this
wondrous environment?
One of the most amazing sightings, I've ever had, occurred along the railway embankment, directly behind Pixie's Mere, Herts. I could hear Blackbirds and Chaffinches alarm calling from a small hawthorn below which a Weasel was spinning around, chasing its' tail in much the same way as some dogs do? Fascinated, I stood and watched, the birds doing similar, calling loudly and getting ever closer. I must have been watching this drama unfold for some two minutes before the Weasel suddenly leapt up and caught a Chaffinch immediately dragging it off into the undergrowth. I have never met with anyone who's witnessed this behaviour nor seen it documented? (Although I readily admit that I'm not the most knowledgeable individual on this subject) There have been countless other encounters with wildlife, whilst I've been out and about, that have given equal pleasure although none as spectacular; behaviourally.

I will never have the ability to use words to describe the pleasure I gain
whenever I hook a decent fish. The Dick Walker quote "If ever I stop shaking, it's time to give it up!"
will do for me - man against beast, but without a casualty as a finale.
The key must surely be to enjoy each situation as it arises. Don't bemoan those missed opportunities - rejoice in the ones that have been experienced, have become part of your journey of discovery. It was August 1993 that I, as part of a group of mates from The Top of the World PH, Hemel Hempstead, ventured forth to do battle with the mighty Atlantic Blue Marlin. What happened on that trip is the stuff of legend, I can still get a pint on the strength of those antics whenever I go back  - it was an awesome experience which none of us have come away from without being changed?  The fishing was sensational, even Roddy Hayes - the skipper - had seen nothing like it. My lasting memory of that holiday is not of monstrous fish but of an encounter with a huge Turtle sp.! Annibal (a very successful skipper himself today) was the pilot and, I swear, could smell fish! He could see, some two miles away, a massive feeding frenzy by a large flock of Cory's Shearwaters - "Feeesh!" is how he called it and set course directly towards the scene.
On arrival, some minutes later - the boat could only do 16 knots - we discovered a huge turtle, floating on its back eating a sardine/mackerel and the hoards of shearwaters had all been attempting to take away its' prize. Absolutely priceless - I was there!

So what am I supposed to do? Sea-watching from North Foreland and this Singapore campaign Spitfire
flies past. Ignore it - not a chance - as magical moment as anything else that has ever happened to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment