Sunday, 18 March 2018

Bring out the Bunting!

Just finished work, stripped out of my bonfire-smelling hoodie and stopped in my tracks as I looked out of the window...holy crap, look at that

My first ever Skye Reed Bunting! They aren't exactly rare up here, just rather scarce and localised. I still remember finding my very first Reed Bunting (a male on top of a reed at Frensham Great Pond Surrey, 1986 - I was 14) and this is the second most excited I've ever been at seeing one! This is the 99th species of bird I've seen in my square, and 111th for Skye as a whole. Happy days indeed. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Chasm of Doom

Today I did something that was decidedly reckless, very foolish and potentially lethal. And tomorrow I'll probably do it again. 

The River Conon flows through my square, spilling out of Glen Conon and into the sea. Inland of the A87 it runs through a deep ravine. Twice I've managed to scramble up the north face of the ravine. The third attempt saw me lose traction and slide down the steep slope, rather luckily I snagged my leg around a tree trunk and hence stopped an uncontrolled descent, suffering a scraped belly and hands but defying death itself. It's steep, yes - but not vertical. The problem is that the soil just slides away underfoot, so that before you know it, you and the ground are slipping downhill and there isn't much you can do to stop it. Which leads to much amusement - unless of course the descent is over 200ft with large rocks and a hungry river at the bottom, in which case it very definitely soon stops being funny. Anyway, I've yet to attempt the north face again since scaring the shite out of myself last time. Fingernails and small clumps of grass just don't stop a slide once it starts. It frightened me. 

But time dulls the memories and today I crossed the river by leaping from a fallen tree to a rock and then onto the far bank. I had a sedate wander, didn't slip over, couldn't see any trout in the pool......and then spied a darkened cave in a deep overhang almost at the water's surface. Back on the opposite bank again. Taking a moment, I plotted my route across the river, using various rocks to make my way across. Pretty soon I was back on the south bank of the Conon and peering into the cave for signs of the near-mythical Killarney Fern. Gametophyte stage only, no doubt, but something I'd love to be able to discover new for the area. It's bound to be here somewhere and a dark recess just above the river level is ideal. Anyway, I didn't find it. Straightening up and looking around, I realised that I now had a slight predicament on my hands.

The rocks that I had used to leapfrog my way across the river were now all facing the wrong way, providing only awkward angles, almost promising a certain dunk into the river. Sod that! My only other option was to tackle the south face of the ravine without killing myself. Sheep have fallen off of this slope, only to die in the river and wash up on the shore. I'm relatively lithe and nimble, but if a sheep can fall off that face....

Anyway, I spied some stuff on a moss-covered boulder which demanded my immediate attention.  

Nephroma laevigatum - a stunning lichen and one I've not (knowingly) seen before
I popped a small sample into a pot and checked it over once back indoors again. It's a really nice lichen, and unfortunately one that's seemingly in decline. Unpolluted, humid gorges in the far north and west are it's stronghold - so I guess it was only a matter of time before I encountered it up here. Really quite delightful. For a lichen, that is.

Sticta canariensis growing on the same mossy boulder - a real stunner of a lichen! 
Anyway, back to that climb up the face of the ravine. I spent a good two or three minutes visualising my route to the summit - far, far above me. Fuckit, visualise all you like, there's no knowing the path until your feet are on it, eh? I figured a zigzag approach was better than a full on vertical ascent and found a (sheep?) trail that headed generally upwards. Good enough. 

Randomly, I only thought to take one pic whilst recklessly risking life and limb on the Slope of Death

River Conon waaaay down below and the summit waaay up above, somewhere...
Somehow, I managed the ascent without any problem. Ha! I've now successfully conquered both the north and south faces of the ravine! Hell yeah, I rock. Proper. In celebration of still being alive, I found some dead Downy Birch leaves and added a couple of microfungi to my PSL. Man, I sure do know how to partay, eh? Damn right I do, yeah...

Gnomonia setacea - the black hairlike setae are the fruitbodies of this tiny fungus
It isn't very easy to discern (poor pic, I know) but there are several black hairlike spikes scattered across the surface of this dead birch leaf. It's magnified about 40x - and still crap! These spikes are a lifer for me, none other than Gnomonia setacea, would you believe? Dirt common on dead birch leaves across Britain, but one I've never looked for before today. Instant success, in fact, seeing as these were on the very first leaf I checked. So anyway, each spike arises from a small bump and towers at a mighty 3/4mm in height. 

Wait until you see the next one...

Venturia ditricha - awesome I know, right?
Similar to the last microfungus, but instead of having a single 1mm tall hair-like fruitbody, this has several 1/3mm tall setae arising from each rounded bump. The image is awful I know, but it's not easy taking fantastic pics of something that's this flippin' tiny.

After making it to the top, I decided to head back down to sea-level - but taking a less dangerous route through the woods this time. Once back on level ground I started turning stones in search of goodies. One day I'm gonna find myself explaining what I'm doing to a policeman, I just know it! 

Kontikia andersoni - I'm finding plenty of these lately

Boettgerilla pallens the Worm Slug,  probably the least photogenic mollusc in the world?
The delightful Slug Mite Riccardoella oudemansi on a Budapest Slug Tandonia budapestensis
I only ever seem to see Slug Mites on this one species of slug. Are Tandonia especially prone to mite infestation? Why don't the larger Arion slugs have them too? Or the near-ubiquitous Deroceras invadens and D.reticulatum? I have absolutely no idea, I just know that if you check two or three Tandonia, then you'll almost certainly find the mites. 

Right, my light trap is running tonight. I only run it every other night, that way it gives the moths a chance to feed, rest, find each other and mate - as opposed to being stuck in a box for several consecutive nights before dying a hungry, dehydrated, frustrated virgin. Nobody wants that.

How many 'firsts' for Skye will this humble box produce in 2018, I wonder?
This, dear folks, is almost my first ever request! Tonight I give you a Joan Baez classic, as performed by a fellow Brummie. As always, I do hope you enjoy! 

Friday, 9 March 2018

A Sweet-grass indeed!

I've been messing about in the dirty old, smelly, manky-arsed, cow-ridden ditch that runs from the amazing Sphagnum bog, across the dirty old, smelly, manky-arsed, cow-ridden cow pastures before it disappears underground. Without wellies. Because I'm bold like that. Uh huh, yeah I am...

Here's the plant that started it all, initially found two days ago on 7th March

There's floating Glyceria leaves in the midst of that tangle of dead stems! 
Glyceria fluitans, I reckoned. Back indoors I consulted the books and realised that nothing is quite as easy as that. Transpires that there are several species (and a hybrid!) that my plant could be. Typical, I'd just have to go back and grab a handful to check. 

Which is exactly what I did yesterday afternoon. Tonight I finally got around to keying the leaves through using the awesome Veg Key. There are six potential species this could be...

First of all, leaves 10-16mm wide OR <10mm wide

Reckon that's about 4.5mm wide - which rules out Reed Sweet-grass. Five species to go...
Next the key asked for the ligule length. My whole sample had just one decent sheath, hence I only had one opportunity to check the ligule length. Ordinarily I'd like to measure a few and find an average. Was mine 1-3mm and shorter than wide OR 6-10mm and longer than wide? 

Bit bashed and torn, but c5mm and clearly longer than wide. Rules out Whorl-grass. 4 species to go...
The next feature I needed to check for was the presence or absence of cross-veins in the leaf. Whacking a leaf blade under the microscope gave a pretty categorical answer

Definitely exhibits cross-veins. That rules out Small Sweet-grass. Just 3 species to go now!
It all went a bit subjective from here on in:
Leaves 5-10(15) mm wide and yellow green, deeply ribbed, rough or smooth both sides
Leaves 5-10mm wide and dull dark green, variably ribbed, rough or smooth both sides
Leaves 4-6(10)mm wide and fresh green, shallowly ribbed, occasionally rough above

Well, my plants were ribbed but not noticeably (though I had nothing to compare them with!) In the water (check the top pic) they were definitely a pale greyish green colour. Add to that the leaf width (4.5mm) and I think we're on safe ground to say it is the latter species of the above key. And the result is.....

....Glyceria fluitans (Floating Sweet-grass) - just as I bloody well thought in the first place! But it is good practice to run things through the keys, I should do so more often, truth be told. 


But that's not all, oh dear me no sirree, it's not. I squeezed some water from my handful of Glyceria and whacked it under the compound microscope, just in case there were any microscopic things of interest. There certainly were...

A mighty fine looking freshwater alga if ever I saw one. Whatever it is...
Using Nick's copy * of The Freshwater Algal Flora of the British Isles, I narrowed this down to one of the Draparnaldia genus. Luckily, there are only two species in Britain (and they may turn out to be the same species anyway). Back to using the keys once more...

* Nick, can't thank you enough for the loan, it's an absolutely fantastic book! I'm being very careful not to crease the pages or dog ear the corners, honest mate! :)  

The shape of the cells in the primary branches are a critical difference between the two 'species'; one has barrel-shaped cells, the other cylindrical/slightly constricted at cross walls. Hmmm...let me zoom in some more and have a butchers

I think more barrel-shaped than cylindrical.
Here are the options as drawn in the book. Typically my specimen seems a bit ambiguous.

Barrel-shaped cells of Draparnaldia glomerata
Cylindrical cells of Draparnaldia mutabilis
I was still a bit undecided. My barrels seemed a bit kinda cylindrical, in a barrelesque kind of way. Luckily, I whacked a few Glyceria blades under the microscope and found plenty of epiphytic algal growth on them including this very fine specimen.

Just check out the barrels on that !!!
Seems like a very good fit for Draparnaldia glomerata to me. To quote from the Algal Flora - 

Probably cosmopolitan, widely distributed in the British Isles where it forms bright green gelatinous tufts (edit - I put my finger in it, definitely gelatinous!) commonly 5-20cm long, growing on various surfaces (eg stones, aquatic macrophytes) in a wide range of aquatic habitats including the clear, soft waters of shallow peaty pools in the Scottish Highlands...

Good enough for me! Of extra interest was this leech that I found clinging to the underside of a stone in the River Conon on 7th March. Turns out to be the rather widespread (though not recorded from Skye) Glossiphonia complanata which, despite being very common in almost any type of freshwater habitat, is a new one for me! Here it is as per when I found it

And here's the same leech in a pot

Now I know what you're all thinking. It's March. March is Lichens Month. And I really didn't do too well with February's Bryophyte Month did I? No, I didn't. Watery ditches aren't renowned for their amazing lichen diversity. So I looked at some trees 'n stuff too. 

The distinctly papillate (warty-edged) apothecia of Melanohalea exasperata - a lifer for me!

Sticta limbata - a lovely member of the Lobarion community
Sticta canariensis - another rather special lichen that's commonplace up here
Last pic, proof that Spring is here - finally! 

Music time again (I have a sneaky feeling this is the only reason a few of you even bother with this blog...) Anyway, presuming that you read all of the above and didn't just skim down here for your fix of great songs, here are tonight's toons for you. As ever, I hope you enjoy.

First up is this old skool classic, Korn's Freak on a Leech...

Followed by the massively underrated Sticta Your Guns

Wednesday, 7 March 2018


Managed a sneaky beaky day off work today. No wind, no rain, no sleet or snow and absolutely no midges - it simply doesn't get any better up here! I set off after breakfast and got back just before teatime. So yeah, I even missed my dinner, quite preposterous, I know. 

However, the upshot was that I added over fifty species to the NG3963 yearlist including Floating Sweet-grass as a brand new addition to the square. Here it is in all of its 'stunning' beauty

Glyceria fluitans in what could be charitably described as a 'heavily nutrient-enriched ditch'
I checked the copious cowpats for dungflies, but if there were any present out there they eluded me. It did feel quite warm for a short while, I was utterly convinced I'd skore Scathophaga or Calliphora within moments, though somehow I never quite did. 

Is it my imagination, or are sheep just bloody weird at times?
For some unknown reason, these sheep decided that they wanted to follow me across the fields today. Usually they hoof it across the horizon as soon as I stick my nose above the parapet (they must know I'm keen to check them for ectoparasites - I mean, who wouldn't be, right?) This bunch followed me all the way across the field and only stopped once I'd clambered across a barbwire fence. Freaky animals. And kinda spooky when doing the whole following thing too. 

The sun burst forth for a short while, which didn't help me to identify anything new, but the novelty value was high

This'll be bursting with life in another coupla months!
I checked tree trunks for signs of sunbathing flies (I can hardly wait to see that bronzey green sheen of the first Gymnochaeta viridis for the year) but lucked out, though I did find this wee stunner

Megabunus diadema - or the Mascara Harvestman, as I call it
I also managed a modest selection of lichens and bryophytes new for the year whilst scanning the tree trunks for real invertebrate species

Sticta canariensis - a noticeable component of the lichen flora here, with Mycobilimbia pilularis in the background
I wandered down to the shoreline at Cuil, noting a very close Great Northern Diver and a fine male Goosander just offshore. The tide was too far in for any meaningful rockpooling, though I did manage to find a few bits and bobs beneath the cobbles 

Female Halorates reprobus beneath a beach boulder. Note how I cleverly focused on the arse, not the head, end...
I heard my next 2018 addition whilst watching a flock of six Rock Pipits foraging along the strandline. Looking up, this is what I saw

First person to guess/figure out what they are wins a packet of Superhero Popping Candy...
Last thing of note from today's jaunt was a rather weird clump of Snowdrops

Some sort of double-flowered garden variety, I guess?
Nearby was a clump exhibiting rather more usual flowerheads

I have a few bits in pots, including a freshwater leech which I'm quite keen to put a name to. Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment! 

Oh! Oh! I almost neglected to mention that the moff trap successfully managed to attract a moff tonight! After several blank nights (ie cold, freezing, windy and/or rainy nights) my duck has been broken* with this incredible beast! All of which puts me on a rather grand 401 species for the year. Sweet! 

Pale Brindled Beauty - a male (coz it has wings, the females don't)
*I don't like cricket. It's slow. It's boring. It's crap. Just so you know....

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Garden Listing

I managed an hour or so scrambling through the undergrowth of Uig Wood yesterday being rewarded with four Woodcock, plus there were two Lapwings out in the sheepfield behind the shop. These are the first Lapwings I've ever seen here, doubtless cold-weather migrants fleeing snow-bound areas. This is my 97th bird species for NG3963.

Massively cropped Lapwing - it was a bit of a way away!
There is an area of decomposing wrack at the top of the shore which held a flock of up to 100 Chaffinches at the start of the winter. Most small birds have recently fled, my 20-25 Chaffinches in the garden have reduced to a single male bird. The Siskins and Goldfinches have vanished elsewhere. However, there are a few thrushes eking out a living amongst the rotting piles of weed. Mostly Song Thrushes and Blackbirds, but nice to see a few Redwings in there too. A handful of small birds are also using this food source including Robin, Wren, Pied Wagtail and Rock Pipit. I haven't seen or heard a Dunnock locally for several days, hope they're alright.  

The low-lying hollow that was inundated with seaweed in a recent storm. That's Northern Dock in the foreground.
I've been looking at my NG3963 Species List tonight. Ali has completely run away with the 1000 in a 1KSQ Challenge, he's light-years ahead of the rest of us. I reckon I can make a significant increase to my own flagging tally next time I have a day off. I have a hitlist, y'see... Catching him up is going to be a real task and a half though, plus Tim Hodge is in it this year. Tim is an absolute demon, he's also the guy who knocked me flying out of the Top 20 in the PSL Rankings Table. One to watch (and admire...) is Tim.

Trawling through the usual bunch of blogs and websites this evening, I see that Graeme Lyons blogged about adding his garden to the PSL Locations page. He's currently languishing in last position (though that'll soon change, mark my words!) You can link to his blog here. This got me thinking, should I do likewise and add my garden list to the rankings? 

Took me about quarter of a nanosecond to come to a decision, hell yeah! So here you have it, I've added Uig Hotel Grounds, Skye to the Site Rankings page. Why the hell not? Well, two reasons. Firstly it pushes Graeme even further down the table (haha! It's not often I get one over on the Incredible Lyons Machine!) and secondly, it will encourage me to look closer to home and help break the cycle of endlessly wandering Cuil Road and Uig Woods. My own back garden is mostly a big, fat mystery to me. I did a brief ten minutes sweep netting through the undergrowth last autumn and landed myself four lifers and a moth new to Skye! I'm also less likely to get funny looks from members of the public whilst in my own back garden, though it does back onto the local church, hence Sundays are probably out of the question. Dour bunch of buggers at the best of time, though if I'm looking at 'God's creations'...?

OH! I very almost forgot! I spent a fair whack of today rearranging the woodshed. Had to rebuild some of the pallets, then shift about a thousand tonnes of firewood from one end to the other in readiness for adding this year's split stuff. About two tonnes worth, I reckon. Should be fun... Anyway, apart from two Wood Mouse nests that I discovered in the middle of the wood stacks, I saw a moff! Pretty sure it was an Oak Nycteoline, which would be a damn decent record for Skye (pre-2000 records only) but I didn't have a pot/camera with me, bit oafish I know but there you go. My bad. Hopefully I'll get one in my light trap any night now. 

Hopefully I'll get anything in my light trap any night now...slow start, to say the least! Today's sideways sleet won't help. Spring has yet to arrive up here, regardless of what the calendar says.

I spent most of today with this confounded tune rattling around my head, it's only fair I inflict it onto you too, dear reader. Enjoy! (Mwah-ha-haaa...) 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Sub-zero Rockpooling

Yesterday was the first outing of the year for the Skye Nature Group, following January and February's indoor bryophyte workshops. We headed down to Ashaig Beach near Breakish, just a few miles from the Skye Bridge, which meant that, for me at least, it was a good 40 miles just to get there. Skye is a big place, and I've still to discover most of it. It was a stunning journey down, the mountains still held a lot of snow and the freezing temperatures had caused entire roadside waterfalls to freeze solid - which was quite something to behold! Seven foot icicles were commonplace along the vertical roadside embankments. I ought really to have stopped and taken a few pics, but I was keen to hit the venue and find some 'new' (for me) marine life. 

My rucksack was rammed full of seashore books and guides, barely enough space for a few plastic containers and a drink. I felt like a walking natural history library, but it was great to be able to find most things we found in one book or another. The only things we failed to identify were the various sea squirts found clinging beneath rocks. Plenty of them though, I should probably try again when it's a bit warmer and I've more time on my hands. 

My first lifer came from the underside of a small rock, almost hidden beneath sea squirts

A gorgeous Tortoiseshell Limpet Testudinalia testudinalis with unknown squirts (Ascidiella, maybe???)
I've been looking for these buggers ever since I saw one illustrated in a book. Hence, after all these years of looking, to actually find one was decidedly amazing. It was every bit as stunning as I'd hoped, seen here grazing on a patch of calcified red algae. Despite checking plenty of rocks, we only found this one individual. Marvellous and my 'species of the year' thus far...

...which lasted for all of about ten minutes, after which Stephen Bungard (BSBI Plant Recorder but secretly also a closet Pan-species Lister) presented me with a lifer in each hand - oh wow! Look at THAT

Holy crapsters! Edible Sea Urchin in my hand! Wow!!! 
What a beast! What a flippin' beast! (and the Edible Sea Urchin was quite cool too...) I've seen the empty husks for sale, and I'd spied a few broken fragments in the sand already, but to see and hold the living animal itself! Yeah, bad luck Tortoiseshell Limpet, you were good - but not this good!  Here's a pic of the business end, though being globular it probably doesn't really have an 'end' as such

The five plates of the urchin's jaw, commonly known as Aristotle's Lantern
But why name it Aristotle's Lantern? Good question, and one I was hoping you'd ask. Aristotle (as in the Aristotle), was a naturalist, amongst other things. The urchin's five-sectioned jaw reminded him of a horn lamp, which was a type of candlelit lamp that used ultra thin panes of horn to keep the wind from extinguishing the candle. In Aristotle's day these lamps commonly had five sides. The mouth of an urchin evidently reminded Aristotle of a five-sided horn lamp so that now, well over 2000 years later, the visible mouthparts of an urchin are known as Aristotle's Lantern. A general translation of his text on the subject is as follows -

"In reality the mouth-apparatus of the urchin is continuous from one end to the other, but to outward appearance it is not so, but looks like a horn lantern with the panes of horn left out."

It kind of blows my mind to think that I gazed into the mouthparts of an urchin with probably the same kind of fascination that Aristotle did some 2350 years ago. That's just so incredible! I should get a t-shirt designed, "Urchins - blowing naturalists' minds for over 2000 years"...

Anyway, as mentioned earlier, Stephen had a lifer in each hand. Edible Sea Urchin in one and a King Scallop in the other - and a huge one at that! 

King Scallop - look into my eyes, look into my eyes....
What an amazing beastie! Despite what the image may imply, this King Scallop was not being held open against its will. In actual matter of fact, it was desperately trying to escape! Scallops locomote by means of snapping the shell halves open and shut, creating enough current to 'swim' in leaps and bounds out of danger's way. Except this scallop was high and dry and just opening and closing it's shell in comical fashion. I took a video clip, but first just look at all those beady green eyes - incredible!!!  

Kind of reminds me of Zippy from Rainbow, or maybe one of The Muppets? Despite the unfortunate yet comical placing of the attached seaweed, I shall endeavour to avoid all reference to bearded clams...

We found a few more interesting bits and bobs amongst the exposed rocks including several scaleworms, again something I'd never encountered before

Freaky scaleworm species! I took two home to identify once indoors and warm again
After quite a struggle, I managed to get these to Harmothoe imbricatus, based on overall size (big!) and the foremost elytral scales having stalked pegs along the rear edges. Without a microscope I'd have been stuffed. Just to say, everything I took home with me went back into the sea that night, I suffered no casualties or fatalities this time. 

Grey Chiton Lepidochitona cinerea - on my fingertip
I definitely struggle with chiton identification (mild understatement) but Lepidochitona cinerea is quite straightforward. It's also pretty much the commonest chiton to be expected on the shore which, combined with the diagnostic patterning of this morph and the toothed rear edges of the plates, makes it quite simple to name. Hopefully.

We waded out to the kelp beds, which were a rich hunting grounds. There was an entire bank of maerl which we waded across, sinking several inches with each footstep (at least I did, fat bastard that I am)

Rockpoolers fore... 
...and rockpoolers aft! 
I'm crap with names, people's names I mean, but the fella and his lass in red were just the coolest couple ever. She's into foraging and has an amazing accent and he's so laid back he gives cool a whole new meaning. I hope to bump into them again someday. The chap with his hands in his pockets behind them is Steve, he's the guy who's helped put together the whole Skye Nature Group in the first place. He's also seen Hazel Gloves. I haven't seen Hazel Gloves...

Seeing as we were well and truly quite a long way out into the bay and far from land, I was just a tad surprised to find myself walking through a bed of plants

Eelgrass Zostera marina - habitat of seahorses.......
You can't see it in the image, but there were many jelly masses attached to the Eelgrass blades, presumably belonging to a marine mollusc of some sort. Intriguingly, Stephen told me that two species of seahorses have been recorded up here, I had absolutely no idea they penetrated this far north! I guess Skye is blessed with the Gulf Stream, but even so! Eelgrass beds are a favoured seahorse habitat, in Dorset at least. I scanned as best I could, but if there were any seahorses hiding in plain sight they eluded my eyes. I'd so love to see a seahorse.  

However, this fine fella did not escape notice, despite looking for all the world like a piece of drifting weed

Macropodia rostrata - Long-legged Spider Crab, an altogether ace species! 
Other crabs encountered were the ubiquitous Green Shore Crab, a fairly sizeable Edible Crab and a number of these delightful hermit crabs

Pagurus bernhardus - the commonest hermit crab in Britain
In the field, this keyed through to something else entirely. Back indoors, it was obviously Pagurus bernhardus, the only hermit crab with that enlarged right chela patterned red and cream and covered with tubercules. My FSC guide doesn't run this crab correctly, hardly ideal for a common species. 

The tide turned, as they always do, and we had to hurry back for safety. Stephen found a small bivalve, one which I recognised from my own local beach here in NG3963

Striped Venus Chamelea gallina - a local delicacy, or so legend has it
He also caught the only fish of the day, something that surprised me - I expected a good number of fish in the pools/beneath overhangs. 

Appalling shot of a potted Small-headed Clingfish Apletodon dentatus
There aren't many species of clingfish known from British waters, yet they aren't always particularly easy to identify to species. I took this one home with me and, after a veritable barrage of pictures, eventually managed to capture an image that clearly showed the anal fin positioning in relation to the small dorsal fin. This was a Small-headed Clingfish, one I've only ever seen at Kimmeridge Bay in Dorset. Surprisingly, there is an earlier record from Skye of this rarely encountered/recognised fish. 

We ended the day with a moderate species list, four of them being lifers for me. Many thanks to Steve for arranging the day and to everybody who turned up for making it so enjoyable, despite the not inconsiderable windchill dropping temperatures to well below freezing. Can't say I've ever rockpooled whilst being snowed upon before, but it was fun and I'd definitely do it again. Though a nice, warm, sunny day would be even better...

Back home that night I set the new moth trap into action - kind of

Moth trap on the window sill between the open window and the curtains. Lazy fecker, lol
Doh! I keep on forgetting to add a song or three. Ok, rockpooling. Where does that take us? Ah, I know

It's an old track now, but one that I have on my "faves" playlist. I never saw The Seahorses perform, similarly I've yet to see a seahorse in the wild. Oh how bloody poetic, ha...

And, just ever so slightly tenuous.... Drowning (rock)Pool with this utterly fantastic track. I very seriously absolutely love this song, a 100% guaranteed headbobber! 

One last song for you, brought to you through the miracle of YouTube's autoplay....stunning. Hope it's new for you, hope you agree, as always I hope you enjoy. Thank you