Wednesday 9 June 2021

Canoeing Derwent Water


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

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All you need to know to identify any type of insect, spider, worm or snail very simply and find out more about it.

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