Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Exploring in the rain

 A drizzly day a couple of weeks ago near the New Forest on the Dorset/Hampshire border in Southern England.  But just because the sun is not sunny, it does not mean that the fun is not funny.

So we went off on an adventure in the rain, with sticks for antlers, for making trails and for poking things.

 A frond of bracken newly emerging after
 a heath fire gets a gentle poke, as does an interesting rock.
 Poking the sun dews is discouraged, although it is tempting with their lovely sticky fly catching goo.  The recent heath fire followed by rain seems to have made this normally rare plant spring into action and it was amazing to see so many.

Someone who came along before us had indulged in a little white rock on burnt post sculpture.

Interesting tunnel making spiders were spotted and tickled into making an appearance by gently wiggling a blade of grass on their webs (we're in the UK, I don't think I'd do this anywhere with scarier spiders).

Beautiful blue butterflies were also spotted - I think it was possibly the vulnerable species the silver studded blue as the habitat and time of year was correct and the top side of the wings had a dark band around them.  I've only seen the more common holly blue and common blue before though so I can't be sure.  The conditions were certainly right - strongest populations occur where the ground has been recently disturbed e.g. by fire.

Lots of exciting natural history observations were made and habitats explored.  Of all the things discovered however, the most funny fun (as far as two small boys and their mother were concerned) was when Daddy fell into a boggy puddle while trying to lift a heavy and wriggling Toby over it.  There's our common denominator of humour right there 'don't step in the bog boys, don't step in the bog boys, oops, fell in the bog'.

Disclaimer: our adventure was in our well known stomping grounds near where we used to live, spiders and other wildlife were not harmed during the making of this adventure and they were known to be reasonably harmless.  Bog navigated was actually a soggy bit on a path, as opposed to the disappear up to your neck never to be seen again kind of bog.  Usual common sense applies during your own adventures.

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