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!


Thursday 17 December 2015

Making the most of it

Following on from yesterday's post, I have found myself thinking about other encounters, with natural history, which have been catalyst to elevating an ordinary situation into something a bit better.
Obviously, many times when I've been angling, the sighting of a hunting Osprey, a Kingfisher landing on the rods, or a Beaver, swimming through my swim, will have the desired effect. But what I'm alluding to is a little more subtle than that - it those unexpected, you had to be there, moments when something occurs; which is less dramatic, yet still causes a smile and a warm glow.

Not why I was there - enjoyable all the same
I think that a nice illustration is the up close and personal insight into the antics of a Wood Mouse, foraging around my feet looking for spilled pellets whilst I was barbel fishing, the capture (by Benno) of an Emperor Moth, whilst sheltering from a howling gale on the shores of Loch Awe or simply being there to witness the reaction when Harry(aged two) flushed a cock Pheasant from stubble, whilst out walking with my grand-children.

Not the bird responsible for Harry's reaction - just an excuse to use the image
These are examples of simple things, which make my life more enriched, and then there are those occasions which elevate everyday into the surreal! It will recall two events, one ancient, one modern, which serve to illustrate how differently individuals can view the world in which we live! I need to travel back in time to the mid-80's for my first tale. I was working for Kodak Ltd, at this time, in their Distribution - Southern Region warehouse (DSR - for short). They were crazy, happy times, when Health & Safety meant jack shit and anarchy ruled - it was a bloody mad-house! We were earning good money and the vast majority of the staff were young and totally irresponsible - the recipe for disaster. Somehow - we all came through this period un-injured, although some didn't make it un-scathed? John ? (I will stop here - to avoid a court case) was driving a fork-lift, on a particularly warm day, when a Wood Wasp (I know now to be an Ichneumon) dropped, exhausted from flying around in the sky-light, into his lap. Like a demented, screaming, school-girl, he leapt from the truck, swiping repeatedly at thin air and disappeared, rapidly, up the truck aisle - a classic example of over reaction, or is it?

Impressive - yet harmless!
Let's get this right up to date - "Middle Easton" - I don't think that this title is worthy of legal action? So there I am, along with a whole bunch of my colleagues, packing ink into the various packaging our customers require. It was around lunch time when said young man (all attitude, gym membership and tattoo's) ran out of the packing bay, waving his arms and squealing like a punctured pig! My immediate reaction was "Fucking hell - what's he done?" Yet there was no blood or floods of ink! It transpired that a "Money Spider" was on one of the boxes he had picked up - priceless! What a hero?

I understand that there are people who have a problem with these creatures - but really?
A pathetic display by my way of thinking.
Keeping things relevant - there are a few Redwings moving overhead, tonight, the first I've encountered for a while - horses for courses? It'd be a very boring world if we were all the same!


  1. I remember once, when I was a docker, unloading bananas from a banana boat. We were always encountering spiders in the boxes of dubious degrees of dangerousness and because I wasn't scared of spiders I used to pick them up and show off by letting them run up my bare arms. One time however, I poked the spider to make it run and it clamped on to my finger with it's mouth and fucking bit me - that frightened the life out of me.

    1. Derek - my first reaction is "it serves you right for poking it!" I too have fond memories of discovering foreign wildlife in amongst the palletised tea chests that we had delivered to the Brooke Bond tea factory in Redbourn (Herts). During my employment I saw multitudes of huge cockroaches, a few spiders and a very large lizard (which a guy from Whipsnade Zoo came and collected)- at no time did I feel the need to invite getting bitten/stung by picking the creatures up - great times. It was the closure of this factory which was catalyst to me moving down to Kent in 1993. Dyl