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!


Friday 8 July 2022

The joy of learning

I went back down to Jade Lake yesterday, late afternoon/evening, for another session after the "scamps" which inhabit this "carp puddle". Armed with my B. James & Sons "Dick Walker" Mk IV Avon, split cane rod and a choice of ABU Cardinal 66X (loaded with 12 lbs b.s. floating mono) or 155 (loaded with 5 lbs b.s. mono) to see if I could improve on my bite : fish hooked ratio. Well I think it would be true to say that I might have made some progress but, boy, did I have my pants pulled down on so many occasions? The use of a Nash Bolt Machine was a waste of effort, the fish treating it like a warning sign despite me using a 4 ft hook link of 5 lbs b.s. mono. I ended up fishing my baits free-lined, as on Tuesday, but actually casting to specific fish which either elicited an immediate take or the individual simply melted away from the offering. By the time I packed up, I'd landed in excess of thirty "scamps", the best one being a chunky little mirror which might have made eight pounds, had I bothered weighing it. So what did I learn? Well, the most obvious thing has to be, for me, that the Mk IV was far more capable of dealing with the antics of these fish than the Hardy "Palakona". However, this will almost certainly be due to the fact that I'm willing to push the Mk IV way beyond anything I'd attempt with that iconic piece of angling hardware.

Our third garden record of The Delicate this year

Back home just after 20.00 hrs, giving me plenty of time to get some grub down my crop, water the plants before getting the moth trap set up and the Hedgehog & Fox feeding stations prepared. Thus far, in 2022, Elephant Hawk-moth numbers have been off the scale, within my experience. Double figures, on most nights since we got home from Corfu, means that well in excess of two hundred of these stunning moths have graced our garden. Before anyone gets out of their pram, moaning about recaptures, every morning after examining the catch, I release the trap's contents in a small copse, out on Newlands Farm, some 800m north of our garden. So, yes, I'm sure that some will return to the trap due to the array of plants we've chosen purely for the purpose of attracting moths but, the vast majority won't! 

Our first Smoky Wainscot of 2022

The micro moth journey of discovery continues to gather pace as every day passes. Being able to dismiss multiple "Crambids" as Garden Grass-veneers is quite comforting, plus the various other, very common, occupants of the egg trays. It is this growing level of familiarity which allows focus on those moths which don't quite fit the bill? My starting point, for any id conundrum, is with the superb twin volumes of "Field Guide to the Moths/Micro Moths of Great Britain & Ireland" illustrated by the incredibly talented Richard Lewington. Once I think I've an id then I'll move onto the computer in order to endorse my thoughts. First port of call is Kent Moths. If I'm still struggling then UK Moths has to be the place to go? Still can't clinch it? I chuck in the towel because it ain't that important - they're only moths after all! Always willing to learn? Yes I am, but I'm not seeking a degree just having fun looking.

Thistle Bell (?) - Epiblema scutulana

Hoary Bell - Eucosma cana

I hated school, first time around, but now am quite enjoying myself. If I'm interested, then I'll happily pursue a train of thought. If it doesn't flick the switch? I can't get detention because of misconduct. End of the day, I set the bar for what I wish to gain from the experience. No rules - just how I like it!

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