I don't know how obvious it is to regular visitors of this blog, but the current building project is really getting me down as it continues to impact on my ability to establish anything close to my normal routine. True, we already have a fully functional bathroom and the kitchen/diner is taking shape by the day. With luck it will be ready for decorating within the next fortnight? The extension, the room that is going to be my study, still awaits the footings to be put down due to the demands of the building inspectorate. Kevin and Andy have spent much of today getting a steel framework in place in preparation for the concrete base being laid. Fortunately it passed the inspection first time round and the brickies should be able to get started next week? All done by the start of September? It's a nice thought, although I'm not planning on holding my breath!
With nothing to show for three sessions, over the weekend, I am seriously beginning to consider a change of tack until the building work has been completed and I'm, once again, able to prepare any bait, as required, rather than simply using what's available in the freezer. I need to catch a few fish, of whatever species, just to feel a rod bending again. I've got until Friday to hatch a plan, as I'm currently on lates, thus have ample time to assess my options. As important as my desire to catch that carp is, at a very personal level, I really don't have the mind-set, or drive, to pursue an individual target fish, without a full armoury of tactics, and bait, at my disposal whilst my free time is so limited. On the plus side, however, was the sighting of my first ever Southern Migrant Hawker, patrolling a "Levels" drain. What a superb dragonfly with its' stunningly intense colouration and those gleaming blue eyes, a very pleasing, self-found, distraction from my angling short comings.
Beavers continue to entertain, in an irritating sort of way.
|Not the greatest image, yet it does show the size and width of that infamous tail.|
The novelty wears a little thin when one wipes out a carefully set rod at 03.00 hrs and smashes the surface with all the impact of a cow falling into the drain; that flattened tail is something else! It couldn't be any worse if someone threw a paving slab into my swim; every fish in the drain is aware of my presence after such an event.
Birding has been, very much, on the back burner since we returned from Mallorca, so the decent movement of Swifts, early on Sunday morning, was a nice reminder that Autumn is not too far away and the doldrums of Summer are soon to be over. My year list is nudging 200 species, following the holiday, but a long way short of my target of 300. Maybe I should go birding whilst the building work impacts upon my angling, in an attempt to fill a few gaps on the spreadsheet? Not a chance, I've been there, seen it and won first prize - never again. If I am to record 300 species, it will because I have travelled widely and been very fortunate in my encounters with the avian inhabitants of these holiday destinations.
|Speckled Wood - the Mallorcan version|
Butterflies have always provided peripheral interest, whatever else I was focused on. The southern form of Speckled Wood was a pleasant addition to my list, although obviously overlooked during earlier holidays around this region? 2018's most intriguing sightings of these insects, thus far, have, however, both been out on the marshes, this summer, with a Grayling along a farm track, near to where I'd photographed that Stoat, and Fritillary sp. feeding on Blackberry flowers out on the "Levels". Moth trapping hasn't even entered the 2018 equation, although the gear is still to hand and will be pressed into service once the grand-kids need a project for school holidays. I remember that thrill when I first discovered moths, and the kindred spirits who fanned the flames way back in the early/mid 1990's. Back then it was all about Macros and the species contained within the bible, that was the original Skinner. Micros were all science and gen. det. stuff, so ignored by the majority and thus off the radar. It was Francis Solly who first made me aware of this group and the fascinating challenge they offer. I can't recall my exact reply but "F*CK OFF FRANNIE" might have been close, when he showed me a Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner for the first time. I've long since mellowed and would probably say go away should he attempt to interest me today? The seeds were sown, however, and now even these insects are able to provide distraction whilst I'm outdoors. I would think that modern digital photography has made as much impact upon my own involvement as anything else. Being able to get up close and personal with such tiny creatures opens a whole new arena for discovery - just how far do you want to go?