As the sun sets and darkness begins fall, mysterious animals of the night wake from their slumber and begin their activities. And as I sit looking out over the garden its nocturnal wildlife I am hoping to witness. In particular bats which visit the area on a regular basis hunting the small insects around the pond at the far side of the garden. After a short wait the first one arrives a quick dart into a group of insects and then back out of sight into the darkness again. Slowly more and more arrive as they come closer to the house the lights from inside show of their brilliant acrobatics, twisting and turning in pursuit of their prey. From the size of the bats I'm confident the species tormenting the insects are Common Pipistrelle the most abundant and also the smallest bat species in the United Kingdom. After a while of being fascinated by such remarkable animals just as mysteriously as they appeared, they disappeared, leaving me to reflect on what I had just been luck enough to witness.
|Common Pipistrelle Bat|
I'm sure I am not the only one that broke a smile when the story "The Essex Lion” broke the news recently, on reading the story for the first time my thoughts immediately went along the lines of hoax came to mind. After all there is becoming an increasingly growing trend in false alarms of big cat sightings in this country. If the story had indeed been true then obviously a very serious situation would be on the hands of a lot of people, however after seeing the picture of the "Lion" I'm extremely confident that is in no way a Lion. Although despite the inevitable being confirmed it all be it briefly let people's imagination take over and start to wonder what if ? and that surely can be no bad thing.
The thought of one of these magnificent animals roaming around Essex briefly caused a stir.
I work in a very nice beach cafe with stunning views over the sea and coastline the cafe is always popular with customers and as a result is often very busy, which benefits a certain flying insect with a particular liking for sugar. As the weather warms up wasps start to emerge. Lots of them. They can be an incredible nuisance and jump on abandoned jam pots, or fizzy drink cans within seconds of the customers leaving them unattended. This then leads to a problem. Retrieving the seized goods from angry wasps in no mood to surrender their not so well earned meal. One jam pot in particular caused quite a scene one evening, after initially spotting the pot and noticing it had been claimed by two wasps I decided to leave it for a little while before coming back for another attempt. This was a mistake. A big one. By the time of my second attempt the came their number had tripled and as I tried to claim back the pot the wasps went on the offensive exposing my slightly cowardly side when coming to stinging insects I beat a hasty retreat sending a friend and work colleague bigger than myself to deal with the issue, 30 seconds later he appeared triumphantly with jam pot in hand leaving me to feel more than a little sheepish. Everyone has an animal which they find hard to love mine is wasps in future when it comes to jam pots you can have it just don't sting me !
Hope everyone has a good week! George