Who am I?

My photo
An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. 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, 5 June 2016

New light through old windows

I've used this header before, during the Non-conformist period, and I offer my sincere apologies to Chris Rea for blatant plagiarism. It is a phrase which captures my feelings, 100%, when looking back at my old photos; there are some amazing memories triggered by these images and not just restricted to my fishing exploits! My digital archive spans little more than thirteen years, yet contains some incredibly powerful and important (from a personal perspective) stuff. Those older slides go back to the mid-70's and are capable of transporting me to a period of utter lunacy and laughter, not that my ex-wife would agree? And even before that time are the tatty, and hidden away in a cupboard, photo albums - containing those, cringe-worthy, holiday snaps, Christmas, Weddings and Christenings pictures, all blurred and discoloured, due to age and the lack of original quality. They won't mean anything to a stranger, yet to my family, they are our past, our heritage and our legacy; replicated by every other household in the UK (World?) It's an oft used quote " a picture paints a thousand words" and I can't add, or detract, anything more to that sentiment?
This re-acquaintance with carp angling has encouraged me to look back at my past experiences. Old diaries have been dusted down, as I've traced my journey from very lowly beginnings, slides have been reviewed and my photo albums have seen light of day for the first time in years. I've got this desire to re-discover the idyll which Dick Walker & co had enjoyed during that formative period of the 1950's and, thus, the birth of the, present day, carp angling phenomenon! Obviously, I wasn't part of that initial period of discovery, yet there can be no disputing that the current "scene" lacks the romanticism of those early years. The modern incumbents, who grace the highest echelons of this carp angling circus, are ruthlessly efficient, single-minded yet, extraordinarily talented, carp catching clones. They lack the soul and charisma of those characters, who were such an integral part of the carp fishing that I grew up with and, subsequently, experienced during a very brief dalliance in the mid-80's. This is a hugely personal viewpoint, in no way meant to cast doubts about the level of enjoyment that the present day carp anglers are able to derive from their own angling. This is not about a right and wrong situation  - I just don't get it, therefore, my problem, not that of others!

I don't get it! There's a theme going on here, because it is also my reaction to botany. God created plants to stop my shoes getting muddy - very thoughtful. However, there are many on this earth who derive immense pleasure from "botanising" and my opinions should play no part in someone else's chosen pursuit. Plants have always been a strange one to me. I acknowledge their presence, understand the vital role they play in keeping our ecosystem in kilter. They provide the basis, via the food chain, for the entire diversity of life on earth - so not to be underestimated. Everything I see and enjoy is because of the existence of plants but, I still can't get enthused about looking at them. Every now and again, a plant will momentarily catch my eye, but these are very fleeting encounters. A little while back, I'd made a promise (to Steve Gale) that I'd do a post about plants (flowers?) and so this is it! My garden isn't likely to be winning any awards from "Gardener's World" any time soon. It exists to provide space for the grand-children and habitat for moths and myriad assorted inverts. Tidy is not something which comes into the equation. I've not cut the grass for a couple of weeks and, having the recent "xylostella" invasion has meant that I have taken to searching through vegetation for these tiny creatures and come across a couple of plants that I've never previously noticed. If my ID's are correct, and please feel free to come to my assistance if they are erroneous, then these are two very common species? The one thing they have in common is that they are bloody tiny, so easily overlooked by a complete heathen!

Common Storksbill (Erodium cicutarium) - NOT!
Steve has offered a corrected ID - it's a Cranesbill sp. I'll survive

Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis)
This dabble with plants has been rather amusing, making me realise what a hugely diverse subject UK botany encompasses. Hat's off to those who've taken up the challenge - my life's too full for any more obsessions. What I have promised myself is that I'll make some kind of effort to keep an open mind, possibly use the new macro lens to also record flowers, as well as butterflies, that I encounter along life's pathway. Because of the upsurge in bloggers posting about Diamond-back Moths, I have been scouring the local web offerings to see how my own observations compare with those of others, very much the same in the majority of cases. One nice little coincidence (?) occurred, this morning, as I discovered two Painted Lady butterflies on the Red Valerian in the front garden then read that the first, of this species, had been recorded yesterday at Samphire Hoe!

Painted Lady on Red Valerian
The only other snippet, worthy of mention, is of a newly fledged Robin coming to the feeding station. Typically fearless, it allowed me to grab a nice portrait with the macro lens - so how close is that?

Recently fledged, juvenile, Robin in the garden today.


  1. Hooray! A Dyl flower post! Sorry though mate, the Storksbill is not a Storksbill, but a Cranesbill sp... more please!!!!

  2. Your opinion of botany is pretty much the same as mine on mothing. All very well getting excited about the larger and beautiful moths but when it comes down to all those micro buggers, forget it, boring. There were many hundreds of those Diamond back ones getting up from the grass as I crossed the marsh yesterday morning. Wild flowers are just fantastic, as Steve's blogs are proving but we all have our likes and dislikes in natural history, I mean, I've never seen the point of spending so much time catching fish just to throw them back, a bit like ferreting and then letting the rabbits go again.

    1. Opinions - the very essence of being an individual and long may it continue! The world would be an incredibly boring place if we were all the same. Dyl