Animals

River Dart Enchantment

A few pictures from yesterdays ‘enchantment’ on the Dart river.

I was too intent on looking for Beautiful Demoiselles to have much time or attention for anything else.

I noticed the Red Devons in the river but only got to them as they were coming out. But one obliging chap stayed in

Drinking the Dart 2

He stood in the water for well over 10 minutes obviously enjoying the river cooling him down (not that it was a particularly sweltering day)

And now he’s having another drink of river Dart sparkling champagne.

Drinking the Dart

I was seeing quite a few butterflies flitting about but felt I had to keep my attention focused on finding those Demoiselles

Here’s a fairly common butterfly (but new, and therefore uncommon, to me)

Gatekeeper Aug 2017

That’s called a ‘Gatekeeper’. He seemed to be guarding those flowers there (help! what are they called Haze?!)

I could hear a buzzards high pitched keening call from above but he was too high and too far away for me to get a clear image of.

But I could get decent (or indecently) close pics of these Demoiselles. This is the male (far more beautiful than the plainer female)

Beautiful Demioselle male 2

These Beautiful Demoiselles have made my summer they have.

Well, so far. Until some other marvel magics the moment I happen to be sauntering into next.

To The Hackney Marshes

Out for an amble in Newton Abbot this Saturday afternoon.

Setting off from the Passage House Inn in a westerly direction.
The river Teign has narrowed into various tiny tributaries and small streams.

And here we’ve come, quite unexpectedly, upon The Hackney Marshes.
Sounds like something out of a Victorian crime novel.

Lots of tall reed and murky marsh to find soggy life (or death) in.

Further on is thick hedgerow teeming with bird.

We walk along the back end of the racecourse towards Newton Abbot Quay.
Incredibly, I’ve only just recently found out that Newton Abbot has a quay.
It’s not much of a quay admittedly. But you could possibly sail a small boat up from the sea on an incoming tide.

We’ve gobbled our banana cheesecake next to the long overhang bridge.
Just a few yards away these rabbits are gobbling away too.

Rabbits on Teign Estuary

A slow saunter back with our nosey noticing eyes switched full on.
A white bottomed bee has fallen onto the path exhausted. So we help him onto the grass verge out of harms way.
This comma butterfly was having an afternoon nap too.

Comma June 24th 2017

We’ve daydreamed our way on. Here’s the Hackney Marshes again.
But we’ve gone a bit lost.
Never mind. All adds to the intrigue.

If you want to feel like a dubious character (preferably in a Victorian crime novel), get yourself lost in the Hackney Marshes for a bit.
Wear a top hat. Adorn a cape.
Mutter indecipherable conundrums to yourself.

Carry a shotgun.

From Tidpiddlies to Froglets

Once they were tadpoles – now they are frogs.

Out of about 50 tidpiddlies added to garden pond in late April around 2 dozen have turned into froglets.

Took them about 7 weeks to transform.

!Update!: The froglets have disappeared from the pond.

Did last weeks heatwave do for them?
Have they all been gobbled up by predatory birds?
Or have they cleverly dispersed to find food elsewhere?

Wherever they’ve gone, lets hope one comes back.

As a fully frogged frog.

To gobble up slugs.

Vid: Ian Nisbet; Filming: Hazel Brown

The Cat Can Wait

This is one – a vid – I made earlier (about 3 years ago)

It’s about time it got blogged.

A rather long vid of cut up cats relentlessly waiting to, or mercilessly about to, pounce on their dinner.

With Keith Jarrett relentlessly pouncing and pounding away from behind as rhythmical accompaniment.

Vid: Ian Nisbet; Music: Keith Jarrett

PS (or SOS): It’s probably best not to know, or see, what happened to that helpless calf at the end. I don’t (and didn’t)

Sammi the Squizzler likes his nuts

We were in Tessier Gardens last Saturday, trying to entice ‘Sammi’ the squizzler down for some peanuts.

Admittedly, we didn’t have to ‘try’ very hard. He was scrambling down that oak tree and into our cupped hands quicker than a ferret up a drainpipe.

He was having a good look at Haze, eyeballing her, checking out her peanut presenting credentials. Satisfied her intentions were friendly, he proceeded to feed gently and greedily from her hands.

We’ll have him sat on the branches of our shoulders next time, fluffed up and bushy tailed, squizzling our necks.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Meet Mr Whippy

Meet Mr Whippy, a Chinese weatherloach. A very fascinating chap.

Feeds on the bottom. Feeds on the top. Gets right underneath. Gets all around the sides.

Will poke head out of the water and frisk the air with his whiskery barbs.
Sometimes he hides.

Apparently, he will tell me when a storm is coming; by frantically whizzing around, jumping and splashing, getting extremely agitated.

Sometimes Mr Whippy will lie there, very still, waiting and watching, witnessing and wondering, lost in seemingly deep cogitation: What effect will Bexit have on the British economy? Will the price of fishflakes go up? Is Donald Trump a parodic inversion of Vladimir Putin? Are the both of them a pair of psychopaths?

Who is that bald biped staring at me through the glass? When’s he going to get his finger out and lob in some supper? Etc etc.

Mr Whippy is half fish and half something else. Like a seal crossed with an eel.
One day he’s going to jump right out of that bowl.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Sammi The Squizzler

Tessier Gardens. The go to place in St Marychurch. Well, it must be – because we keep going there.

A peaceful oasis. No shitty yapdogs and no screechy children allowed (actually there were some kids erroneously present today)

Just a chubby tame squirrel.

Who is now known to us, if not to itself, as ‘Sammi’.

Calling out ‘Sammi!’, ‘Sammi’ doesn’t appear to evince any recognition in the animal.

However it will come squizziling across sharpish if you’ve got a bag of nuts in your hand.

It will even try to climb up your leg, mistaking it for the trunk of a small tree.

I’ll have Sammi chewing the chips off my shoulders next time.

Or possibly nibbling the acorns out of my earholes.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet.