Saturday, 11 July 2015

Pony and Trap . . .

With an hour or so to spare I nipped down to Far Pasture yesterday afternoon, looking for newly emerged Common Darters. The first thing I noted was the number of Cleggies buzzing around and landing on me clothes, but not me exposed parts thanks to Jungle Formula once again :-)
They must be attracted to heat as when someone I knew drove along the road and stopped to chat, the number of cleggs landing on his car was unbelievable. I was a bag of nerves so cut the conversation short and watched him drive off with a cloud of cleggies in tow.

Plenty of interesting insects about, a few damsels from the hide but not much else. Small numbers of damsels at the roadside ditch too, but nothing at all on the Forbidden Pond, though at least there's a bit more water in after the recent rains.

So to Pond3 and it looked like the 7th Cavalry had been through. The single track through the meadow was now a spaghetti junction of trails and flattened areas, the tell-tale horseshoe prints grassing up the culprits.
'Why people need to ride around willy-nilly in a lovely wildflower meadow I have no idea' were my initial thoughts.
I spent a while watching a couple of 4-spotted chasers and assorted damsels at the pond edge but no signs of any darters. Did find a female Common Blue damsel though at long last, conveniently attached to her mate :

A female Common Blue damsel yellow form
 (a rare sight so far this summer)

While I was taking those photos I heard some loud snorting coming from behind the border trees and that was when it suddenly dawned on me that people hadn't been riding around the fields, some bugger had put the ponies back in ! Aaaargh!!!!

I have an inherent fear of horses/cows, just big things in fields really (and I had a terrifying encounter with a police horse at a football match once). Basically I just don't trust the buggers so as soon as I realised just what was going on I bolted for the gate some 50 yards away, (I actually felt a pony and trap coming on but luckily it was just a horse and cart) and just in time, as I practically vaulted the metal gates three hefty-looking ponies ran around the edge of the pond where I'd just been standing and charged across what was left of the meadow towards me.

There's the ponies, but it was me who had the express
(pond just at the right of those trees)

A lucky escape, but that looks like the end of my Pond3 adventures for this year :-(     

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