Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, memories of a much-missed moggie, three adventurous new cats, a camera, a computer and a garden filled with wildlife
Fluttering Into Focus
by admin - 16:06 on 26 July 2013
The good news is that, shortly before ten last night, a pine marten scampered into the garden.
The bad news is that she didn't hang around any longer than it took to examine the gate and find the top bar free of marten treats. From there, the visitor hurried into the wilderness at the bottom of the garden and disappeared.
In a fine illustration of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, a couple of minutes later I went outside with Nutella and peanut butter. Ten minutes after that I went back outside to yell at Mystery Moggy No1, who was eating it. The thief gave me an insolent stare, climbed down slowly and slouched into the undergrowth, ready to return when I'd gone.
This, I'm almost certain, is why marten sightings have plummeted this year. The Pride isn't to blame, just lack of food after the local locusts (mystery moggies and crows) have had their fill.
So the time has come to find alternative subjects and hope that things will return to normal next year. My plan now is to do some butterfly collecting, but with the Pentax rather than net and chloroform jar.
Butterfly snapping isn't as easy as you might imagine, as several wobbly shots of a speckled brown proved, although I did collect an almost acceptable small tortoiseshell today but from too far away to be as sharp as I'd like.
I'll persevere. I've seen around half-a-dozen different species when not taking much notice so maybe there'll be more when I look properly, even if I've begun too late in the season to see some the specimens featured in the Butterflies of the Highlands identification guide.
And I can rely on Willow to help me. Watching the smallest member of The Pride chase fluttering (and buzzing) creatures across the lawn is an entertainment not to be sniffed at.
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