I’ve always had a deep love of the countryside and wild places. My earliest memories was walking hand in hand with my grandmother along the country lanes around the village were I was born. Of course, there wasn’t as much traffic on the roads in those days.
As we walked along my grandmother would tell me the name of flowers, birds and trees. Growing up at the mill in the 1970’s, I could walk out of the garden and follow the river down to the Barnes mill and its lock gates. Here on hot sunny Sunday families would gather to swim in the mill pool, or boat up and down river in the 60’s and 70’s. There was always an ice cream van doing a roaring trade.
I would leave the house early, before my parents were awake and walk along the river bank to watch for water voles or fish for crawfish under the bridge. In those days you could reach into the water and pull the crawfish out. I would studied it before putting it carefully back. There were streams to explore and rabbits watch during the hot summer holidays. I don’t ever remember being bored during my school holidays as I would go out bird watching. One summer my sisters and I watched a family of stoats playing by the river.
Money was always tight for my mum especially after my parents’ marriage broke down. My grandmother would take us down the river, or a bus trip to Maldon to walk along the sea wall to have a picnic. These day were full of information about the natural world around us. My grandmother bought me a bird book and gave me a small pair of opera glass so I could watch the birds more closely. These I still have today.
Yesterday, I met up with my friend, Ana and we walked towards the woods. On the farm track on the way there. We stopped to take photographs of the butterflies, moths and other insects on a patch of land which has been seeded with wildflowers. As we head home we managed to record a pair of bumble bees mating. I hope you enjoy the slideshow below of the photos and videos I recorded.
Have a wonderful day.