Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Although we saw and
heard well over 35 species of bird today (including Cuckoo) we think we could
have done much better. A lot of the time we had our heads down looking for Grass
Snakes, mammals and insects. No luck whatsoever for the first two (apart from a
dead Shrew) but the latter are now really getting into the swing of things.
Until a couple of days ago I was explaining the absence of Swifts to Gill by
showing her the lack of their insect prey stuck to my motorcycle sunglasses. In
early May I would normally be getting driven completely insane by the amount of
'face to insect' collisions but until yesterday that just wasn't happening.
Today all that changed and motorcycling was all about getting your face covered
in all manner of indescribable things and lots of bug juice. If you've ever
wondered why bikers with open-face helmets always have a tight-lipped expression
on their faces, well now you know. Some of those big bugs can actually force a
weak grin apart with a high-speed impact between the lips, so you have to be
ready. Riding along singing, smiling or talking will increase your protein
intake but will not add much to the enjoyment of the ride. A bumblebee at 60mph
can feel just like a punch (let alone higher speeds) and I dread to tell you the
mess that a large flying beetle can make. A large dragonfly is just a complete
horror story. Small flies just bounce off but going through swarms of tiny
midges feels like being peppered with sand.
Take the time to read the countryside code for yourself and please stick to it at all times.