Dosey darters

From 7th October …

Today I went a wandering.  Laden with camera, lenses, binoculars, water and snacks, and the essential anti-hystamine tablets – should I be attacked by wasps … which I do live in fear of, having experienced this twice in 2011!

I headed for the woods between Spey Bay and Port Gordon.  It was a warm sunny day and you never know what you might find.

I found fungi galore, of which I can’t tell you any species names, as I have yet to learn them, other than the delightful red and white fly agaric, regular of fairytales.  So, as usual I came home with wet and dirty knee’d jeans (from all that kneeling and crawling about at the height of mushrooms!).

I also came across a few fluttering groups of common darters.  The males a gorgeous bright orange-red.  Some of them dosey enough to sit still whist I photographed them from 5cm away.  Dosey darters!

Also lots of pretty hoverflies, other flies, one small tortoishell butterfly, a few wee micro moths, orb spiders, and one shy harvestman – who would not be photographed! 

Oh, and the brambles were bursting with berries.  Frustratingly I had nothing to gather them in, so I’ll be bimbling back to berry pick in the next few days.

Other than that it was quiet apart from the trees.  They were eceptionately talkative.  Squeaking, groaning, chattering and rustling all the afternoon.  They had a lot to say – to someone who speaks Ent!  I don’t unfortunately.  There’s two things I must learn – fungus ID and Ent…  

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About Olivia N Masi

From art college drop-out, to office space-planner, to back-packer, to air stewardess, to brolly babe, to model agent, to wildlife conservationist. How? I've always believed in jumping at every opportunity that comes my way. This has taken me along some bizarre career paths. None of which I regret. I have been to amazing places and met fascinating people. And having worked in the motor sport industry I've sadly experienced too many beloved friends take one adrenalin step too many. I think of them always. I've hung out with pop-stars, sports personalities, and millionaires. I reached a point when nothing but VIP would do. And then something happened. My pops passed away and I felt the need to reconnect with my Italian side. Whilst in Italy, I learnt to be resourceful, to recycle everything, to listen to the valley, to grow my own veg, to catch and tame feral cats, and to follow my heart. My heart led me to a desire to save this beautiful Earth, and all the wonderful life upon it. And so I read, and then I studied with the Open University. I suddenly found myself accepted on a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, having left school with pitiful qualifications. So here I am. A qualified Wildlife Conservationist. A scientist I suppose. I love nothing more than to listen to birdsong, and watch, learn and photograph wildlife. So here is to me getting the perfect job where I can contribute to saving one of Earth's beautiful species. Do I miss the glamour of the old life? The VIP lifestyle? The petrol-head adrenalin? The buzz of being a successful business owner? Only occasionally. Though it seems more like the distant dreams of a previous life.
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