About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

H is for Hampshire Wildlife - August 2012

One or two of you may have noticed I have now imported all the old posts from the gardening and moaning blogs, so from time to time you'll have to put up with the odd bit of wildlife or plant life on this blog from now on. I will try to finish re-tagging the 'Index' (preferably before the final imposition of the 'New Style' blog layout - as it's much easier in the old version) and bring over the last of the links in the next few weeks.

I also have about 30 articles in preparation, some of which I've already mentioned, but there's a lot going on in 'real life' at the moment so they are not going on-line as quickly as I'd like. For now here's some of the visitors to my flat in Enham (Nr. Andover - an old stomping ground from my Army days!) and my mothers garden in North Hampshire.

This little chap - or chap'ess - came calling just after midnight on Thursday and I would have given it some milk but the caterers here had given us yoghurt disguised as milk (for our self-catered breakfast) which I figured would not go down well with a house guest, so I just took some pictures for the visitors book and saw it on it's snail-hunting way.

Creepy-crawlies are always a favourite of mine and these are all from the last 30 days, the slug was even longer, but he started to shorten as I focused, a phenomena I have noticed before with slugs and snails and I suspect they somehow detect the beam from the camera, as you can always approach them (with care) but the moment you press first pressure on the shutter button they freeze up/shrink.

I don't know what the ants were finding so interesting, I inspected the stick after I took the shot and it was a stick...just a stick! The snail was so small yet so beautifully constructed it would drive a simpler mind to religion!

Flyers - after a couple of really good years for butterflies, we have now had two bad ones and this year they have been so thin on the ground (and the Buddleia!) that I try to shoot them whenever I see one. While I continue to fall for moths, who are so much-more pretty than a quick glance ever betrays, their buffs and grays, browns and fawns being actually patterns and designs as complex as any butterfly.

These three little voles came out of a bank on Saturday afternoon and sat around on the grass together, so tame we could stroke them, although they did tend to rush back into their hole after a couple of touches!

It is one of life's undeniable pleasures to encounter wildlife close-up, commune with it (on any level) and let it carry-on with it's day. I'm not sure if a 'Greenie' wouldn't cry "foul" at the stroking of voles, but they were gentle little one-finger passes (these things are about 45mm nose-to-tail-base, and the animals were back out in minutes - so obviously weren't that bothered, I guess you'd be nervous if a 600 foot giant came and patted you gently on the head!


Paul´s Bods said...

Nice one. Hedgehogs are one of my favourite animals..we´ve got one in the garden, a massive creature. last time I saw her and picked her up to check her condition, she was heavily pregnant. That was a couple of months ago, still no sign of the little uns.
The voles do the same on our lawn. They seem to like warming themselves up in the sun which makes them all groggy and you can stroke them.
Mind you, we´ve had a weasel move in, I actually saw it carry a mouse off the other day, and we´ve got a polecat living in the woods behind us...it has absolutely no fear!!! Growls like a goblin and then runs at you!!!


Maverick Collecting said...

Those big German forests knee-deep in wildlife huh? I well remeber getting up with the deer in the Saurland at O'mygod-it's-early hours and once being nearly gored by a spooked wild pig in Bavaria(in fact that's happened 3 times!).

I have some pictures of another Hedgehog being highly un-impressed by Mum's Kitten which I took back in June/July sometime, I'll try and post them in the next few days.

Thanks for passing

Gog said...

I am also fascinated by small insects and animals I find in my garden, or in the forests. I take pictures of spiders, bees, small lizards, worms and all I find, but yours are notably better done. Maybe you used a tripod or have neurosurgeon pulse (a good camera also helps). Congratulations for the great pics!

Maverick Collecting said...

You flatter me Gog, it's just a pocket camera (Samsung PL201) but I do carry it all the time, so when I see stuff I can whip it out (as the Bishop said to the Actress).

It's the digital equivalent of an old 33 'instamatic', but with 250 shots between downloads rather than the old 12 or 24! I am really bad at changing the settings in a hurry, so usually fail to get shots of Aircraft or helicopters even if I get the camera out in time!

I keep it on a macro setting with flash in the 'Program' menu as the 'scenes' are problematical in a hurry and the 'smart auto' is too smart for me!

Practice makes perfect and you can always delete images, as many as you like, but you need to take them first!

There is something nice about using this technology for something other than 'Facebook' images of friends and colleges making silly faces!!


Gog said...

Good explanation. I love the pic with the vole in which you can clearly see the paws.

I was lucky in my photographic hobby, and today, I took a picture of a Spider standing in one of my cacti that was very well hidden between the spines, and on saturday, I took a pic of a small snake during a hike. I couldn't identify it, because I'm not familiar with the fauna of my adopting country, but it was standing there and didn't leave as we approached.

I'll think about collecting all those images and uploading them in some photobucket (or similar) account. Thanks for the idea.

remaras said...

The hedge hog, if that is what he is, is quite the fellow.

Maverick Collecting said...

Hi Gog

Have you looked aT Picasa 'Albums' or Flickr? I was using Imageshack because people said it was better than Photobucket...and it was crap!

Maverick Collecting said...

Hi Remaras

Thanks for the visit, it is indeed a hedge-pig, a Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, a Poupette-à-L'Epingle! And we had another one down at the studio on Thursday, so there will be more to come!