Wednesday 12 February 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Hercotectonic and Honorificabilitudinity

With an interest in wildlife and the money to indulge it, in 1820 Charles Waterton returned from his travels in South America where, having encountered such exotica as chameleons, lemurs, sunbirds and alligators, he conceived a plan to create what was perhaps the world's first ever nature reserve.

Waterton didn't call it that.of course, but having 'suffered and learnt mercy' whilst recovering from yellow fever he had firmly opposed to the destruction of any wildlife.

This itself was something of an eccentricity in an age when hunting, shooting and fishing were meat and drink to country squires such as he, but returning to Yorkshire and keen to keep the wildlife in and the poachers out, Waterton spent a fortune building three miles of high stone wall around his Walton estate.

The cost of this, some £9,000 or two or three million pounds in our own debased currency, Waterton claimed to have saved by giving up wine, and by eating little more than dry toast and watercress.

 Keen to encourage wildlife to thrive, he installed artificial nesting boxes, a world first and his own innovation, as well as importing rare owls from Italy in the hope they would breed.

His collection of household pets including an albino hedgehog, a three toed sloth and a vampire bat. Whenever one of his are pets died he would have it stuffed mounted and put on display.

Once he even dissected a gorilla on the dining room table before the port came round, and occasionally, if he felt the resulting pieces of taxidermy were insufficiently exotic, he would mix and match parts from many different animals in order to make up something of his own.

Example of this included the 'Noctifier', which reportedly combined bits of an eagle owl with those of a bittern, the 'Nondecript' a dried howler monkey which disturbingly like an Eskimo mummy, a vaguely human face applied to the body of a porcupine and half-concealed beneath the shell of a tortoise.

Now talking of eating dried toast and watercress, the impending kick in the balls for me and fellow jobbers by the tax man in the new financial year could well mean these foodstuffs could well features on ones staple diet.

In-fact last weekend a brief introduction in to a healthy watercress soup to Sam the tangleator, he despite hating any food that is green, took the plunge reluctantly I might add and lapped it up, and finished up by licking the bowl.  The belt tightening might be easier than I thought, a couple of pints of maggots or food for the kids ?, decisions decisions.

Heck I might have to be a bit of moonlighting for some extra dosh, might have to get on the bandwagon, making Youtube videos, sat in ones bivi, wrapping line round my distance sticks with drum and bass playing in the background, whilst meddling with a yellow pop-up.

Lobworms are certainly a staple diet for many a fish that swims in our waters and for this short afterwork session I'd fish some lobworms in a swim where a fish recently did me over good and proper. Yes I was back again to try and find exactly what gave me the middle finger and a kick in the balls to finish me off. Here despite the river being over its banks in many places, the 'pool swim' as I like to call it, is much lower than the banks it flows within.

If you think about it, when the rivers are up, the swell and the levels rising up the bank brings more natural food the fishes away as there is more area of bank that will be affected.

The water temp low at the minute but I was hoping here in this swim where the sanctuary can be sought that a short feeding spell may well happen at dusk when I'd stupidly be bankside.

So anyway, a method in ones madness ?

Well no actually, a big fat blank again. Not even a tap or tickle on he rod tip and yet the river looked in perfect condition for a Barbel bite. I didn't fish it for long mind you and whilst I was bankside an incident on the road meant the road above and below me was closed for a while.

Police, ambulances and fire-engines in attendance for an incident I'm still unsure of. I didn't hear a collision anyway, but I'll be hunting around the local press to find out what it was for. When I left it was still closed and I could only go one way home, yes the long way.

I'm running out of time to fill my species quota, with more on the way, it's going to be a struggle that's for sure.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...