With so much water about in the Lake District, I thought that it was about time that we got out on to it. So, join me out on Derwent Water and we'll look at it through the eyes of a duck, starting out at the northern end where a heron is just coming in to land. As you can see from the inset photo, I am perfectly balanced – it's just the rest of the world that's out of kilter (something I've always suspected).
As we paddle our way south we find a pair of Canada Geese with four goslings. From laying to hatching takes about four weeks and the clutch size can be anywhere between two and nine eggs, with four or five being the norm.
The River Derwent , which passes by my front door, issues forth from Derwent Water and it seems to be well stocked with fish. I think that this one is a Rudd, but it could be a Roach. Rudd are a somewhat darker fish with an upward pointing mouth, as opposed to the silvery Roach with a downward pointing mouth.
We'll leave the canoe now and see if we can find a nice spot on the riverbank for a picnic lunch. It appears to be snowing, but it's just the seeds of the Goat Willows floating in the air. Those lovely, upright pink flowers are Bistort (Bistorta officinalis). The leaves of this, along with oatmeal, onion and nettles, are used to make the traditional northern lenten Dock Pudding. I must have a go at that sometime, although I can't say that it appears very appetising. Still, you never know.
This looks like a good spot, and we have plenty of Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum), which shows that the water is not polluted with pesticide run-off. This other little insect with the apple green markings is a Sawfly. Yet another fly which isn't a fly. They are HYMENOPTERANS, related to Bees, Ants and Wasps, but unlike the rest of the order, they have no sting. (These are covered on page 42 of The Quick Guide to Creepy-Crawlies which you can view and order by clicking on the link).
And now, time for a sandwich, after all that exercise. For those of you following Minibeast Monday on Steve's Nature Plus, there won't be one next week as we're off to Scotland at the week-end, and won't be back until Monday night, but keep popping in as Harry the Heron appears to have found a girlfriend.
All the best,
Steve's Nature Plus
Minibeast Monday * Podcast Tuesday * #CumbriaNature Wednesday * Foraging Friday * and other odd bits as they happen throughout the week.
If you'd like to see some of the pictures in more detail, you'll find them in the gallery. These are also available for prints or digital downloads for commercial or scientific use.
The Quick Guide to Creepy-Crawlies
All you need to know to identify any type of insect, spider, worm or snail very simply and find out more about it.
Yvonne: This was a gift for a family so that the children can understand what they see on days out. The second was for me. Logical and easy to use. If you know anyone who likes nature you can be confident that gifting this book will give years of pleasure.
The Eggs of Saramova
You can listen to this book for FREE as it is being serialized on the podcast The Author Reads
£7.50 Paperback edition
Not Just For Twisted Women by Steve Daniels
A light-hearted look at life through the eyes of the fairer sex.
Janet: If you are short on time but enjoy reading and are maybe not into long extended novels then Not Just For... Twisted Women provides readers with concise stories that stand alone and most certainly entertain with their ultimate twists. Loved it.
Helen: A very good read! Well written and entertaining!
Margaret: Each quick tale gives a glimpse into a character's life and has an often humorous twist at the end. I would love to read more.
Yvonne: These days many people find it hard to find the time to read a novel, so this book of short stories is ideal to dip into. It is also makes a good gift.
£4.99 Paperback edition
Crete Nature Catch-up
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