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!


Monday 1 June 2015

How is this important?

It will require something akin to a miracle if I'm to change my mind about this particular subject. Natural history records - what purpose? Let's get this very clear, right from the off, I've absolutely no problem with any individuals who are involved with this data gathering. If they are able to derive enjoyment/fulfilment from the process then I am in total agreement that they have the choice to indulge their passion and long may it continue!

If you know, then the id is easy - I don't but still enjoyed the encounter.
However, for me as an individual, I don't get it? I have no desire to become famous (infamous) nor do I seek to discover an inner truth - I simply want to be allowed to follow my passions without outside interference. What I've seen and experienced is of no consequence to others - my life, my journey. That I choose not to join in is my decision, and mine alone - I don't ask, nor expect, others to follow my lead. I hope that this makes sense? - It does to me.

This little chap was discovered inside the shed of my aviary.
I derive incredible  pleasure from watching wildlife, of whatever genus, and am totally at peace with myself when I am looking at a creature that is new to me. I'll do my best to get an id - but it isn't going to detract from my enjoyment of the original encounter if a name is unable to be applied to the subject of my attentions. Ignorance is bliss - well not quite! For me it is all about priorities - is knowing what a creature is called important? Can it possibly make the experience better? Even more weird - will sending in a record make the encounter any more relevant?  From where I'm sitting, it's all a total nonsense. My garden isn't a Nature Reserve, our bungalow isn't an Obs! - quite why outsiders keep thinking that I should get involved - join their silly little clubs - no can do.
I can not understand why individuals get so animated about this nonsense - the Earth is 4.54 billion years old - we (humanity) have been recording wildlife for less than 4,000 years - and that includes the stone age cave paintings! Important? Making sure my grand-children are given a decent education - that's important - moth/spider/beetle id - Get a life!


  1. "I have no desire to become famous (infamous) nor do I seek to discover an inner truth - I simply want to be allowed to follow my passions without outside interference."

    Well that's all well and good, I too am not in it to become famous or infamous or to seek some deep and mysterious inner truths. Hurrah, we agree on a point! Regards your quote above, best way to get away from outside interference would be to take this blog down. Nuff sed.

    Anyway, not wanting to incite any more usage of words such as twat or cunt, I shall remove this blog from my viewing list and won't bother you again. Sorry for any offence buddy, happy wanderings, tight lines and all that. Adios.

    1. Seth,
      This is all rather sad. It will take far more than a comment on my blog to offend me and, as for my use of industrial language? It is who, and what, I am - it certainly isn't a deliberate reaction to criticism, I'd be just the same in the pub!
      As for taking down my blog? Why? The ground rules in a free society allow for freedom of expression; as an Englishman I am proud to use this ability to place my slant on subjects, via my blog, without censorship. That we can disagree isn't an issue from where I am - it's a healthy demonstration of individualism.
      It is obviously your choice if you choose to read my stuff, or not, but please don't feel that I have targeted you in my post - you are one of many who have tried to get me into submitting my records.

      God bless - Dyl

  2. Hi Dylan,

    Maybe it will become easier to understand if I relate it to fishing.

    I've no doubt, since you've stated many a time on this blog how you don't 'follow the crowd', that you choose many of your best fishing spots based on your own experiences and experimentation. You've found a quiet, secluded spot that no one else goes to, and you enjoy the serenity. However, I'm probably right in thinking that you also visit sites that are well known, well fished. You've come to know about these places through the act of others sharing information with you (either first hand or through word of mouth), and you've benefited from it.

    Think of it as being similar to natural history record sharing, except that in the case of natural history it's the fish that benefits from the sharing of information. You'll already be aware of this, but it is fundamentally important because it helps us to find out where things live, and more importantly where they are disappearing from as a result of us fucking up the planet.

    Forget about this record collecting 'rat race' that you seem to base all your anger around for a minute. Whether you'll accept it or not, it goes deeper than that. If nobody ever shared information about wildlife, how would we be able to educate future generations about the subject?

    Even is there is an element of competitiveness to data collecting for some, it's all in good nature. Much in the same way that we find an insect and identify it, you find a fish and weight it. Why do you bother weighing it? After all, it adds nothing more to the experience than a statistic. Ignorance is bliss after all.



    1. Bill, I am very flattered that you've taken the time to offer an explanation of your viewpoint. However, any attempt at using my angling as an example does nothing to assist your arguments. The fisheries that I visit are either commercial ventures or club/syndicated fisheries of which membership and knowledge of their existence is well publicised in the national angling press; they are, so to speak, the equivalent of RSPB and NNR's, National Parks and SSSI sites if you like.

      I have never said to anyone, don't submit your records! If it floats your boat - then who am I to interfere? My own reluctance is based upon several experiences, over many decades, and now sees me "doing my own thing". I still maintain my lists, be it garden, patch, life etc.. but do so purely for my own reference - exactly why I weigh my fish. You won't see my photos in the angling press, club secretaries aren't informed and many of my catches don't make it onto my blog. My fishing, as with all aspects of my outdoor experiences, is purely for my personal pleasure.

      As for educating the future generations? The major task facing the RSPB and other conservation bodies, assisted by anyone who wishes to get involved - your good self no doubt? I will ensure that my grandchildren, as I have my own children, have a basic understanding of what their natural heritage is all about - this is my role. What they choose to do with that spark is entirely up to them.

      As for getting angry - frustrated definitely, possibly, bordering on total disbelief, at times, this absurdity in expecting everyone to see the world as you do. Have the same passions, same level of commitment - totally crazy and the cause of so much wasted emotion. My blogging is nothing more than a release for my opinions, my escape from the mundane reality that is life.

      So let's agree that we disagree? You carry on pursuing your dreams, seeking knowledge of all that is connected with our natural history and sharing your records with whoever you wish. If you make it to sixty, and God willing you will, then maybe your views will have been altered by the journey that you will have experienced - just as mine has changed my perception of what is important?

      All the very best and keep blogging - Dyl

  3. Dylan,

    As you know, I'm a great fan of your blog and I have similar views on life and some of the anorak naturalists out there, but I also found your latest posting a bit of a backward step that said nothing new, you've made those points so many times and basically say it with every posting in the opening header paragraph.
    Over the last 6 months or more, your postings have been extremely well written and even though I'm a non-fisherman I've enjoyed reading them purely because of the quality of the writing, and it seemed clear to me and others, that you was close to writing a book of some substance.
    So why the sudden reminder of the old Dylan, of two fingers and use of the "c" word - did you feel that you was becoming too normal or too accepted, or had someone suddenly wound you up. Mate, you had become a good writer, let's have some more of that good stuff - those prats that you spoke about will always be there, and will always be smugly thinking from their armchairs that they are the real experts on the countryside.

    1. Derek, Good to hear from you again. Your praise is welcome, as is your criticism. I will never be able to be anything but true to myself. The Non-Conformist is still who I am, although I have consciously attempted to remove much of the angst from my bogging. Sometimes I just can't help myself - there are some subjects which really do wind me up. I'll take on board your comments and attempt to move on in a more controlled manner, but won't promise anything more.
      As for "becoming too normal" - my normality is far removed from that of the majority - it's very unlikely to change any time soon!

      All the best - Dyl

  4. I have been following the correspondence to this particular post with some interest... I must come clean here, I like to see a bit of argy-bargy on a blog, a show of emotion and a venting of frustration. If all blogs were 'been there, seen that' then I would stop reading them. I've never met Dylan, I've had my own spat with him (a few years ago) and can see where Seth, Bill and Derek are coming from. However - Dyl's 'right' to voice his own opinion, using industrial language if he sees fit, is to be protected. We can choose not to visit if our sensibilities are hurt. Maverick is one word we could use for him, although he wouldn't necessarily think of himself in such terms. (I've deliberately not addressed this comment to an individual to try and keep it neutral.) Derek is correct - Dylan has produced some fine words recently and long may he continue to do so. There aren't too many blogs where a new post gets my immediate attention, but this is one of them.

    1. Cheers Steve - we'll get that beer in soon, when your back at Dunge perhaps?