We met a Pygmy on a detour!

Where to go for a walk on Monday, that was the question. We thought about returning to the Lodge but we wanted to take Sprocket and we were rather restricted there. So I suggested we returned to Danish Camp and do one of the other walks from there, off we went. Just as we were approaching Ian remembered they were shut on Mondays…oops! Oh well plan B. We parked at The Dovecote which was just as convienient for the walk we had in mind.

Off we set along our chosen path when the rain began, not heavy but the sky looked threatening. So we turned back and with the rain stopping walked another pathway but keeping us near to the car should the skies open again.

We were heading back to the car when we stopped to look at a map of the site. I hadn’t realised there were ponds there and Ian said had we kept going along our first path we would have seen them. We could have walked between two lakes and then along by the river which leads to Danish Camp (no lunch there today!) so in a mad moment I suggested we did that walk anyway.img_0463-sign

Off we trekked and what a lovely time we three had, the rain kindly staying away. The lakes had been the appeal but in fact you hardly see them! It is obviously a place favoured by fishermen as at any gap in the shrubbery you could see umbrellas with fishing poles sticking out from them, it seemed safe to assume that fishermen were there too! We were amused by this blind that had been put presumably to help people look through at birds on the lake but sadly it was a tad overgrown!img_0465-blind

We saw, in the distance some Barnacle geese, when we were here earlier in the year there were loads on the then flooded fields. As we neared the water we saw geese in flight, not Barnacles but Greylags. When we could see through to the lake the geese had altered again, by then they were Canada Geese. Very changeable geese they have in Bedfordshire!!!

We saw quite a lot of these flowers on our walk and I had thought they were wild orchids. I have tried to look them up but my knowledge of wild flowers is less than that of insect so you will see I am hopeless! I couldn’t find them and the more I looked the more the leaves looked wrong for orchids, do you have any idea what they are?
The plant is Himalayan Balsam  (Thank you James and for fungus Ids)

At least I had no problem hitting my Fitbit step target! We arrived back at the car and it is definitely a walk I would enjoy doing again, I must remember next time we visit Roo and Stu.

Later that evening the wanders returned having sucessfully completed the inaugaral half marathon, in character dress,  at Euro Disney and had plenty of fun there too. Feeling very proud of the pair of them, they have come al long way this past two or three years. I think it is fair to say that pets and owners were all happy to be reunited although they did okay with the subs for a few days!roo

Tuesday morning and it was time for us to leave. Before coming away I had contacted Rosie, the person I was told moth trapped at The Lodge. My email had recieved the reply that she was out of the office till Monday so we thought that was the end of it. She did however reply on Monday saying they were trapping that night so we arranged to meet over there first thing.

It is a lovely setting although we did learn that the building has floodlights on it all night which migh have been part of the cause of hardly any moths being present, nothing new for us.

We headed off to walk one of the routes we had not yet done this visit, but first poopped into the hide where this woodpecker made a very brief appearance. img_0484-gsw

As we headed off we could hear the sound of chainsaws so assumed there was logging going on. We had a lovely walk and the weather brightened up as we went along.

When we were nearly back to the main path and therefore our car, a notice said we couldn’t go that way and to ‘find another path’. Now if you know the site well that may be easy but we didn’t! We could have turned round and retraced our steps but that would have involved a much longer walk than planned includeing trudging up a somewhat steep hill! Instead we decided to follow a sign to The Old heath and hope that led us back. It was a lovely walk and did lead us back but not back to the car! Instead we found oursleves at the end of the briddle path we had been on with Sprocket the other day, hey ho on we trekked.

Sharp eyed Ian ( good to have a nickname don’t you think?) spotted something move and thankfully directed my gaze to the right place. It was a Pygmy shrew, now you will just have to take my word for it, it is under this log! img_0510

I stood, camera pointed, hoping it would come out again. It did but of course not in the same place, it must have gone through a tunnel as it appeared again some way back from the log.

The only other time I remember seeing one was in our living room! One of our pesky cats had caught it, brought it in and it had escaped. It gave us the run around for a while but it was eventually caught and relaeased, apparently unharmed to run free again.

So although the detour added quite a bit to our walk we did get a tick for the year and a lovely sighting it was.

I am always drawn to taking pictures of fungi and I suppose I really should try to ID it one day but with one the RSPB have done it for me! The other one intrigued me as it looked like it had exploded from within this fallen Silver birch ( now identified as Birch polypore )

TIme for a quick coffee back at the shop/reception and a chance to suggest that when they close paths they might put a notice to that effect at the start of the trail!

A thankfully uneventful journey home and time to see how our garden fungus is doing. Coming on nicely don’t you think? I promised the girls I would leave it for them to see how big it might grow. img_0533-fungus-garden

All well at the house, the workmen have completted their task and left although as yet the scafolders haven’t returned to clear away. More leaves have fallen in our absence and strangly no one has mysteriously been round and weeded or cleared the garden, oh well a girl can dream can’t she?

 

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5 thoughts on “We met a Pygmy on a detour!

  1. When I was a child and saw those marvelous early wildlife programmes which included tribes people, I remember so well the Pygmy tribe and how short they were compared to the presenter. I cannot remember their correct name which would be used now, more politically correct, but I thought how strong they were to survive their tough life in the forests. I don’t suppose they still exist in those locations any more and if they are in the modern world will no doubt, with an improved diet, be average height.
    Your little shrew too is amazing. Imagine how many calories it must spend scurrying around the undergrowth in search of nourishment! I am glad you saw one and really well too, a good reward for all your walking and observing.

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    1. I remember that too JANICE and I did check the word before using it in the title. Seems that it is ok to use it as Pygmy people have claimed the word to call themselves. Forrest people seems to be another general name!

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  2. The plant is Himalayan Balsam, a non-native species with explosive seed capsules. The bracket fungus emerging from the birch is Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus). I’m rathern dubius of the Earthfan, having seen that species on a number of occasions. It looks to me more like Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor), which usually grows as a bracket, but can grow as a complete circle from cut stumps.

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