Saturday, 28 July 2012

Early Morning by the River

Amazed to find myself wide awake at 6.30am after having stayed up to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony (glad I did) I slipped down to the river with Teazle this morning. It's lovely to get out early as somehow it seems virtuous, and there's no sense of rush.  It's also wonderful to feel so well, long may it last!

It wasn't long before I found myself down on my knees photographing an interesting hole that I hadn't noticed before.  Having found water vole feeding remains by a nearby rhyne a while ago I am sure they must be on the river too. I haven't found anything definitive yet as the banks are very overgrown at the moment, but this hole was a long way up the bank, close to the path, and so visible I wondered how I have managed to overlook it. I had put my keys next to the hole for scale, and was wondering whether it was the work of vole or rat, when my reverie was interrupted by barking.  Not an unusual occurrence! I jumped up to grab Teazle and apologise to the poor dog walker, who was probably just as startled by the muddy woman appearing from nowhere as she was by the black Labrador trying hard to sound ferocious. We chatted for a while, then I walked on.  Fortunately I decided to go back and have another look at the hole, I had completely forgotten my keys and could have quite easily got all the way home before I realised they were missing.  Still not quite sure about the architect - have a look and see what you think.

A bit further on I found a brood of small tortoiseshell caterpillars on the riverside nettles that I regularly fall foul of.  Good to see that the butterflies have managed to bounce back a bit after the atrocious weather, but there still aren't nearly as many around as there should be.

Tortoiseshell butterfly caterpillars

'My' otter is obviously still about, but I haven't seen any spraint for ages. It makes me wonder if she is trying to be secretive.  To be honest, although I think of her as a she I don't actually know, it's just a hunch.  I haven't seen her, although a local boy who was grazing his ponies by the river did, about a month ago. From his description she was a relatively small animal (a dog otter can be up to 4' long) but definitely not a mink.  I'm happy for him, it's a wonderful experience for anybody, and I think he was pleased to find someone that believed him, but I still can't help thinking it should have been me...

A rather more prickly teazle

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