Just to stop the nagging, I'm updating my postings.
A couple of weeks ago I went to Brighton to see Wren. It is always so lovely to see her. She suggested a walk for our first day, so we drove out into the country, left the car at a likely looking pub, and set off across fields and heath. Wren has been doing a field biology course, so we stopped every now and then and she explained the difference between mosses, lichens and heathers. We even found three heathers growing in the same area. She explained about the 'leaves' of moss, some hang up and some hang down, but as she pointed out, when it is raining all the leaves hang down.
Wren examining some moss with her powerful little magnifying glass.
As we carried on our walk Wren casually mentioned we would be crossing over the famous Pooh Bridge. I was delighted when we found it. A.A. Milne was a favourite when I was little and 'When We Were Very Young' was my first book. I knew a lot of the poems by heart and used to recite them to the children when they were little. When we reached the bridge I wanted Wren to have her picture taken playing Pooh Sticks, but as she pointed out, you need at least two people to play Pooh Sticks competitively. Needless to say, she won. My small stick got tangled up with a blockage under the bridge and didn't re-appear. There was a very polite notice asking us 'to bring our own sticks and not to pick any'. I assume the local shrubs and trees had been stripped bare in the past. We found a few crabby little sticks on the ground and used them.
Wren about to play Pooh Sticks.
Watching for the sticks.
Eventually we got back to the pub and had a wonderful lunch. We toyed with the idea of going into Tunbridge Wells but sod it, we ordered another jug of coffee and stayed in the pub for the rest of the afternoon.
The very nice pub where we had lunch.
I have been doing a bit of running again with Badger. Today we went along the canal for a while and saw a very strange thing. Perched on the top of a shed with a corrugated iron roof stood a male and female mallard. They had obviously taken a fancy to the spot and had layed an egg. I know birds have very little brain, but SURELY they would have had the sense to build a nest before laying an egg?
One very thick mallard.
On Tuesday driving over to my parking spot near Lyme Park, a pheasant sat gaily in the middle of the road. I slowed down expecting it to fly away, but when I was in within a yard of it I slammed on the brakes, shooting Badger out of her basket and into the well behind my seat with her basket jammed down on top of her. After a lot of honking, the pheasant wandered off. No wonder so many are killed. This was so almost a nearly pheasant and if Maalie had been behind the wheel there would have been casserole for dinner.
A Nearly Pheasant.
Just after the incident concerning pheasants, I met up with Pallie and had a run in Lyme. Badger survived her tumble in the car. During the run I was transported back to my childhood by the sound of a skylark. When I was a little nipper we used to go sailing at West Mersea, and if the tides were either too far out or too high to get to the boat, we used to take a picnic up to a field behind the Yacht Club until the tides became more co-operative. Lying in long grass in the warmth of the sun, I remember staring into the sky to search for the black dot young Maalie assured me was a skylark. We used to watch the bird and if it suddenly dropped to ground we used to creep on our tummies Red Indian (sorry, Native American) style to see if we could find it's nest. At the time I thought it was because Maalie was interested in the bird, but now after seeing what he does to pheasants, I suspect he was after some eggs for his next breakfast.
A skylark wondering whether to ascend.