Tag Archives: love

Trails of Destruction

This isn’t going to be a sad post. It is going to be quite an interesting post, I just need to tell you about what happened yesterday.

You remember the little black lamb that I showed you a few days ago? Well sadly I found him dead on the roadside, hit by a car. It happens and I guess he was always going to be the last one that they saw.

Black SheepIf you walk in the countryside you get used to seeing  Badgers, Foxes and Rabbits lying by the roadside and this is not really any different but I did feel sorry for him.

What really spoilt my day was what happened next. His Mum was not going to leave her dead lamb and she was wandering up and down a busy road with her other lamb trotting along behind her, it was pretty obvious that there was going to be another accident if we didn’t get her off the road and I got met with a bit of a  negative response.

Eventually Jeremy (for that was his name) came out and picked up his dead lamb and moved the others to safety. So that was that.

I hear a lot of, “Oh you townies just don’t understand our country ways,” but I do.

Sorry little lamb, I should have stolen you.

Black Sheep

Then my day picked up, when I went to see the little dog downstairs.

Fizz is a philosopher and she ought to be studied in universities. She is a bit like that Frenchman, Jean Paul Sartre but brighter and she doesn’t use so many words, in fact her whole philosophical argument could be summed up in a single sentence.

“The world is full of stuff that is not Fizz but that is not important.”

It is perhaps not as complex as existentialism but it is true and it helps me to exist.

So off we went to La La Land…..

Dr FizzFizz knows some nice places to walk and she can make even an angry heart forget.

Trail

Orange TipHelp me little animal for I have been hurt.

Orange TipAre you magic? How come you are there when I need you? Why do you even exist?

Orange TipThank you and here, have a nice flower.

Orange TipHello!

Was that butterfly called Fizz?

I don’t think so.

FizzI am going to crawl under the gate now.

If you follow me you can tickle my tummy.

I want to look at flowers.

Bush VetchBush Vetch, It’s a pea and so it has those grab onto anything tendrils and I think that it is wonderful. It is one of those plants that helps to make the jungle an absolute mess.

Bush Vetch

Bush VetchI can’t wait forever.

Fizz

Fizz

Bush VetchOkay I am just going to take a few moments out to check that they did her hair cut properly. Sometimes people are slackers and they miss the little important bits, you know what I mean?

Fizz

Fizz

FizzEverything seems to be in order and they have done a good job.

Fizz

FizzGet down little Monkey! I am fixed.

FizzI am ready to begin my tale.

We are walking along the track, observing nature and playing games with the flowers….

Dog’s Mercury,

Dogs MercuryThis is the female of the species.

Dogs MercuryThis is a Dog in Mercury.

Dogs MercuryAll right! I am fixed all ready.

Dogs MercuryAs we are walking along I have been noticing signs of animal activity. Little holes everywhere.

Snuffle HolesIn my mind I am seeing “snuffle holes.” These are little holes that Badger’s make as they dig for worms. They sometimes look like little animal burrows but they don’t go anywhere, they are only about six to eight inches deep.

There is not much that is unusual about this. We are very close to a Badger main sett and there is a lot of activity further along the track but there is a lot here and I am a bit surprised because we are still a way from the sett. Very active Badgers, I think.

Then I noticed something beside this hole.

Wild ArumThis isn’t actually a “snuffle hole,” this one is where an animal has dug up and eaten the root of Wild Arum.

Badgers do eat the roots of Wild Arum. I have read of this described as a winter activity when food is short and we are in Badger country.

This is Wild Arum (Arum maculatum)

Wild ArumTo us this is a deadly poisonous plant. Every part of it contains toxins that can kill a Human. The reason that it doesn’t kill people is that those toxins cause immediate and painful burns and blisters and if we accidentally put it in our mouths then we quickly spit it out again.

However we can eat it. The roots are edible but they need preparation (I think it is roasting but that is only from memory). This is not a good one to eat unless you are starving  but remember that most animals are starving.

Wild ArumThis next one is very edible and in fact if you don’t eat this then you are an American Donkey (an Ass).

Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic

Wild GarlicThis is Wild Garlic.

(In fact the Americans do not use the word Ass to describe a Donkey but this is only because they have not mastered the English language and particularly spelling, to me “American Donkey” is just a euphemism, what I meant was that you would be a fool not to eat this wonderful herb 🙂 I said it crudely because I like crude it is very different from rude but I don’t like crudities, I prefer to dunk soft white bread into my soup. Consider this to be my soup. There are some very beautiful and expressive words in the English language and you would have to be an American Donkey to diminish them, you don’t always have to use them.)

Wild GarlicThen…

Here is another one.

Uprootedand another…

Uprootedand another….

Uprootedand another….

UprootedThis is getting weird. Something has walked along this track and systematically and selectively dug up and ate every Arum Lily that it could find. I saw more than thirty of these holes and photographed them.

What on earth does this?

If you know me then you might think, “Colin would know the answer,” but Colin does not know the answer.

PhilosopherStop it. I can see your beauty.

PhilosopherI choose my stuff carefully, I am not a fool and I love you.

PhilosopherI am trying to concentrate.

Something is eating our flowers.

We need to put our tracker hats on, Badgers are obviously in the frame but something doesn’t ring true. The other animal that would do this is Wild Boar and I know that they are also here.

printThese prints are partial, the ground has been quite hard. A Boar has dew claws that leave an impression behind the hooves and I can’t see them, but they could be Boar (or Sheep or Deer) I don’t know.

PrintIt is all a bit weird.

Mystery

Mystery

Mystery

MysterySo I don’t know what to say about all of this, except…

IdiotLet me take you by the hand and lead you through a place that doesn’t have any streets, I will show you something that will make you change your mind.

Fizz

Red Campion

Herb Robert

Greater StitchwortI wrote this through the night and it is now Friday. Yesterday we had a General Election in the UK. I have no idea who won.

Good people never win. Niceness isn’t a winning trait and I already know that the worst man in the country is now our President. That is the failing of democracy. Let them come into the Jungle and we will see who wins.

I haven’t told you about this but I once lived for a year with a Member of Parliament. It’s okay, my wife knew about it. He was a decent man and a friend who helped me out of a jam but I could tell you some stories (and they would include naked MPs, another day perhaps 🙂  but probably not)

One more deep breath and then I will go and see who is now my Glorious Leader.

Orange Tip

Yellow Archangel

Bluebells

Get out of the mud.Disrespect

The Leader is coming 🙂

Where’s my presents!

Hi,

“Happy Birthday to me, Happy birthday to me.”

It is not your fault, I didn’t say but she knew.

FizzYou can’t give somebody “yourself” as a Birthday present. That’s not a proper present!

FizzI got up early today to get my chores done. Wash the kitchen floor, quick hoover round, get the place nice and “don’t forget to get the dog dirty.”

I’ll get my own presents.

This is one of my favourite spring flowers. Greater Stitchwort,  Stellaria holostea. Pay attention to that Latin name and I will show you some other Stellaria in a minute.

Greater Stitchwort

Greater Stitchwort

Greater StitchwortThis beautiful flower has just five petals but each one is split to about halfway.

Stellaria holosteaObviously if there is a Greater Stitchwort then there must be a Lesser one.

Some people get confused between the species. This is the lesser one. Stellaria graminea.

Lesser StitchwortIt still only has five petals but now they are much more deeply divided and spaced apart. The flower is smaller than the Greater one.

Lesser Stitchwort

Lesser StitchwortIf there is a greater one and a lesser one then there is probably an inconsequential one too. We call it Common Chickweed.

Stellaria media.

Common ChickweedPeople call this one a weed (Bless) all of my flowers are weeds and this one is quite tiny. It still has the family resemblance and it is beautiful.

Common Chickweed

Common ChickweedWell thank you so much Fizz. That was just what I wanted, a bunch of flowers.

FizzA bit cheap though. I know you don’t got money but you could have stole some.

That is not the whole story of my Birthday.

Fizz and I went out to look at mushrooms and I found a good example of Trametes versicolour.

TurkeytailThat’s a Turkeytail Fungus.

TurkeytailI couldn’t get a decent photograph because I just couldn’t keep it still. I turned around and somebody was eating the other end of the branch!

Fizz

FizzWho is raggin’ on my tree?

It wasn’t me 🙂FizzI can’t believe that you would do that to me on my Birthday.

Who? What?

FizzThank you for the days.

Days

Does anybody really use Love Darts?

Well, yes is the answer to that one.

Yes they do.

The White lipped Snail uses Love Darts.

White Lipped SnailToday Fizz and I have been looking at Snails.  There are few animals more closely associated with notions of love and romance than slugs and snails and quite rightly so, they are very romantic creatures.

Strangely for an animal that most people consider to be the ultimate “sexy beast” they are totally hermaphrodite and can reproduce without a partner but perhaps that is the very reason that they do make such considerate, passionate and bubbly  lovers.

White Lipped Snail

Going back a long way now, when I was fourteen years old I had a job on the building sites. There were no computers then and video hadn’t even been invented. Men on the sites would gather in a garage to watch “Blue Movies” on a projector screen. That was my first introduction to Sir David Attenborough and the Leopard Slug.  You may still be able to find those old films, he used to have a blog that he called “The BBC.” Sir David made great slug porn and you should try and see it, they are fantastic lovers.

I suppose the Leopard Slug was my first mollusc love. I was very young.

Leopard Slug

But this isn’t a post about Sir David’s mucky movies or slugs this is a post about White Lipped Snails and Love Darts.

Love Darts are literally darts made out of calcium carbonate (The same stuff that snail shells are made out of and egg shells) that one snail throws at another prior to mating. The darts are quite big and can go right through one’s lover and come out the other side and they can also pierce vital organs. Snails have very poor eyesight and also very poor aim. Sometimes they miss the target completely.

I am not making this stuff up, it is true.

White Lipped SnailThe darts are sterile, made of snail shell but they are covered in a mucus. It is not exactly clear what is going on here but the thought is….

Snails are both male and female and the mucus changes the hormonal balance of the partner in some way that is beneficial to the outcome. There is so much that Natural Science doesn’t really understand that makes the whole world beyond the likes of me. Snails are just a little part of the stuff we don’t get.

White Lipped Snail

White Lipped Snail

White Lipped Snail

White Lipped Snail

White Lipped Snail

Being Liked

It is really nice to be liked.

Orange Tip Male

Orange Tip Male

Orange Tip MaleButterflies like me. This one is a male Orange Tip.

Orange Tip MaleJust put him back…

Orange Tip MaleHere is the female of the species.

Orange Tip Female

Orange Tip FemalePlease excuse the dirty fingers. I used to cover myself with insect repellent to avoid the Mosquitoes. One day I realised that this may not be the best approach to insects. When I found this little butterfly I had just been handling Wild Arum, a deadly poisonous plant that uses scent to attract insects and then I had washed my hands in a muddy puddle.

Orange Tip Female

 

Orange Tip FemaleNow there isn’t really very much to me. I don’t get out much and I only have one interest. I am just Nature Boy. I eat and sleep and live and dream about the wild.

People visit my blog and sometimes they press the “Like” button and when they do that they leave a little trace of themselves that I can follow, like I follow Badgers.

I am really enjoying visiting other peoples blogs and seeing the world through their eyes. I am enjoying artists and scientists and poets and photographers. I especially enjoy blogs that take me somewhere that I would never think to go. Plus it is raining outside. Thank you for liking my blog and for showing me yours.

This is Marmalade.

Small Tortoiseshell ButterflyShe spent the winter with me. I found her sheltering in my flat in November and she spent most of the winter behind my washing machine. Being indoors she woke up too soon, in February,

I put her in my bedroom and kept the curtains shut and the heating off, she went back to sleep. I released her early in March when there was plenty of sunshine and nectar for her.

Small Tortoiseshell ButterflyMarmalade was a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly. It was nice looking after her.

Small Tortoiseshell ButterflyNow I could be wrong about this but I think that this next one was probably a butterfly princess and that this was the one that told the other butterflies that I was nice and wouldn’t hurt them. Whatever.

I rescued her from the long wet grass and held her in the sun until she was warm enough to fly.

Green Veined White

Green Veined White

Green Veined WhiteIt was dangerous there might have been a snake in the grass.

Green Veined White

Green Veined White

21

Green Veined WhiteTake care.

It is nice to be liked.

 

 

 

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung

They are Weevils.

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7They are Weevils called Liophloeus tessulatus.

They don’t have a common name. I always think that it is sad when an insect doesn’t have a common name, it means that they have never made an impact and nobody has really noticed them. There is no folk lore. No villagers ever walked down a country lane commenting, “There’s a lot of those little Smut Bugs about this year,” “Yes, they say that plenty of Smut Bugs mean we are in for a good harvest.”

Oh well.