Now I was going to call this post something deep and eloquent along the lines of ‘after the rain has passed’ or ‘the woodland thirsts no more’ you know the sort of thing, something that draws the reader towards my carefully crafted words desperate to know more and quench their thirst for knowledge and to be able to dwell upon deep, sweeping and evocative paragraphs of joyous reading coupled with wildlife pictures beyond compare. And then I took the bog monster out for a walk, bugger!
It started off o so well, Clare woke me up as she was readying herself for work with a steaming mug of tea as I lay in that blissful state between dreams and wakefulness. I really had no need or urgency to stir, but the crisp, cool scents that wafted through open bedroom windows told me that the last couple of weeks of baking sun had been alleviated by rainfall during the night. I meandered from the bedroom to be greeted by a very excited Lucy, you’d have thought that time had rolled back and I had a mere pup to take to the forest such was the way her whole body twisted from side to side with every sweep of her frantically wagging tail. I took time to prepare myself a complex and nutritious breakfast (cornflakes, sugar and hot milk) and perused some blogs whilst I downed my second mug of tea, as you know by know this is necessary for me to function upon all cylinders. Then we were off, the windows of the fun cruiser fully open allowing the rush of rain freshened air to lift our spirits and soak our senses, I just love rain and the air following after a long, hot and dry spell.
We arrived at the trail head nice and early with the dawn chorus just petering out, and I strode out full of expectation for the wildlife that I would see and photograph for this evenings posting, hell I’d even thought of the blog title. Oh it was going to be so good; instead of just the flora of the woods I was going to bring you pictures of the vast and interesting fauna which had eluded my shaky camera work so far, it was indeed going to be a posting beyond compare. Er did I happen to mention that Lucy was along for the ride? I did? Bugger.
We’d looped around the trig point and were heading back down towards the dark canopy of old pines trees, Lucy had rushed on ahead obviously hoping that one of her favourite pits had been replenished by the evening’s rain, when movement from left to right across the trial’s floor caught my eye. I slowed my paced and edged closer to the small mammal carefully sniffing its way across, a common shrew! Not that bleedin common as this was the first live one that I’d seen in many years. I crept on further lowering myself down as I neared the beast (oh come on some poetic licence can be allowed), he paused as he neared the beginning of his tunnel like run into the undergrowth, I raised the camera and slowly depressed the shutter button. Now depressed is the key word here, for as I activated the camera at the precise same point in space and time the bog monster pushes past me intent on finding out why her master (yeah right o) was teetering on the edge of the undergrowth. Now if you look very carefully at the resultant picture’s lower half you can see the backside of mister shrew as he bolts hell for leather down his tunnel, bugger.
Mmmm never mind, so we strolled on awhile edging the forest hoping for a shot of one of the buzzards that I know use this tree line to spy out the more open ground.
As I glanced down the trail a noticed a butterfly alight in one of the morning’s rare patches of sunlight, managed to take a rather shaky shot of what turns out to be a Red Admiral.
As I was just starting to feel better about the day the hound of the mire steamed passed me covering me and camera with splattering of what I can only hope was just mud. The damn thing is, as I shut down the little photographic device to gently clean away the alien substance a buzzard, not three yards down the trail swept upward and away off the trial floor, its wings making a powerful wumpimg noise (it’s the best word I could think of) as it fought to gain altitude. A truly impressive sight, equally impressive was the speed with which Lucy turned tail and headed for perceived safety behind my legs! Did I mention that I was cleaning Lucy’s detritus off my camera at this point? I did? Bugger.
So with a slightly cheated feeling I turned into the canopy of pines trees with the feeling that this was perhaps not going to be a national geographic prize winning piece of literature after all! We wound our way through the woods besieged upon all sides by the fresh smells that only long awaited rainfall can bring, also everything looked fresher, more vibrant and my grumblings at the bog monster were soon wafted away.
From the corner of my eye I spotted a large, and I mean large, moth alight upon the trunk of a nearby pine. As soon as it had landed it vanished, its camouflaged wings so perfect that unless I’d seen it land there would not have been a snowball’s chance in hell of me spotting it. Keeping my eyes firmly fixed on the landing spot I edged towards the tree and when I got to a couple of yards away the outline of the moth could be seen, I raised the camera and decided to move to within a couple of feet knowing that the moth would not budge, confident in its own invisibility. Being this close I think that the moth is one called a Red Poplar Underwing (though it might have been Eric) as a tiny slither of red from its secondary wings could just be made out. I raised the camera but then had to reset it to macro mode as I was now within touching distance of the moth, I raised the camera once more…. Thwack or similar loud noises when your beloved pet runs behind you, large stick in mouth smashing it precisely into the bend behind your knees, I hit the ground like a sack of spuds, dropping the camera and uttering oaths and expletives that I’d not use in the work place let alone here on my blog for you sensitive readers to be aghast at, bugger. I dragged myself from the bracken, checked the camera was ok and then glanced about with retribution in my mind for the one from the bog. I didn’t have to look far (‘bout 2 feet) to be greeted by Lucy looking up at me in such a way I could only laugh, laugh at my own pompousness and laugh because that’s what friends do together.
I pounced upon her, rubbing her flanks, pulling her tail and just generally messing her up, in return she happily slobbered all over me and licked my ears. If anyone had seen us that have probably called for the men in white coats, me and Lucy? well we just carried on playing and laughing. We tramped on through the rest of the walked pausing frequently to chase each other or play fight with Lucy launching herself at me with ever increasing run ups.
We took some time out so that I could take some arty type pictures, trying to catch how fresh the day felt, but I’m not arty nor am I a great writer but nor am I a fool nor pompous and one thing I am not when out there with loopy Lucy, I’m not alone.
Thanks if you read my ramblings to the end.