Friday, 2 July 2010

Bitten by the bug

You're never far from wildlife on the river. Birds to spot. Flowers to admire.
And bugs to squash!
Poor old insects - they always get the raw end of the wildlife deal. We eagerly spot red kites and kingfishers. We carefully look up any wild flowers we can't recognise. But let anything small and buzzing come near and it'll probably end up flattened.
It's all the fault of mosquitoes and horse-flies. We spent last night fending off mozzies and midges, and anything small and the slightest bit threatening met its end on the swatter. Today we've been attacked by cleg flies (one of several equally unpleasant varieties of horse-fly). These brown buggers arrive quietly and once they've scented you hover about looking for a spot to bite. Fortunately they're easy to swat - except the one which savaged Vicky's ankle and drew blood before meeting its end a couple of seconds too late.

Bugs - and some morning drizzle - apart, it's been a good day. Seventeen miles and 11 locks after we left we moored up at Irthlingborough which, despite the closure of all its boating facilities, remains a handy halfway haven on a river where moorings are a rarity.
Shortly after we stopped, a young boy and his grandad wandered past. The little lad had a plastic bag with a few weeds in it. "What you got there?" I asked. "Bugs" he replied, "A couple of caterpillars and a spider." "He loves his bugs" chuckled grandpa.
Well all I can say is that it's a good job someone loves them.

*photo: Wikipedia not me - I'm too busy swatting to use a camera!

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