Friday, August 7, 2009
Heavy showers throughout the week, Combines laid up and fasting, desperate for a fill of ripe corn. Fishing has picked up a little, with fish caught on the surface and beneath with the drabbest of pheasant tail nymphs. Two fish over four pounds have been caught this week along with some very chunky Grayling. One fish caught on an Olive Klinkhammer had a mouth and gullet full of Yew berries. Bright red, a quarter of an inch across and poisonous, they would have cashed in his chips in days if the angler hadn’t hauled him out. I am not sure how you would imitate a Yew berry and what he saw in a Klinkhammer that was remotely similar to what he was feeding on.
Trout eggs are around the same size, and fish will munch eggs washed out of a Redd but that delicacy is six months away. Brown Trout are reasonably discerning creatures when it comes to diet, opting for morsels that are in season. Chuck a Mayfly at a Brown trout outside May/June on this river and you will receive a two-finned salute. Sedge in winter, a Hawthorn in September all will receive the same response. So why this fish was feeding on little red ball shaped things, so far out of season, is a mystery. Anyway, maverick Trout is bagged and in the freezer - normal service resumed.
Conditions must be good for Butterflies as the water meadows are full of them, Painted ladies, Cabbage Whites and many more lifting from the Loostrife as the dogs crash about.
The first few Pheasants are finding their way out of the pen, the heavy showers have not affected them and they continue to be bombarded with Radio 4 to scare away the foxes, a high brow group congregate in the corner to contemplate Thought for the day, while several argue over selections for Desert Island Disks; all come together over The Archers and are disturbed that Tony Archer finds time to wash his Landrover in the middle of Harvest.
Showers at this time of the year provide little succour for the trees, some of which look decidedly sick. The Balsam Poplars remain at death’s door, while the Horse Chestnuts struggle on. On a day trip to London to visit urban relations we walked down an avenue of ten year old Horse Chestnuts that looked to be on their way out. Fifty yards on, a mature tree of a hundred years or more thrived, positively in the pink and occupying “position A” between the river, bandstand and ice cream van. Trees can be fickle things. Some will go tall, some will stay small, their condition heavily dependant on the site in which they are planted or the genetics of their parents.
The Chickens are looking to raise their game. Whisper it quietly, but these fortunate fowl who laid oversized eggs thus qualifying them for a first class ride in a Waitrose pie, are now laying smaller eggs. They rattle in our egg box in the fridge door (the eggs not the chickens) The Chooks only eat corn, household scraps and whatever falls into their pen, maybe the reduced intake of pellets that promote egg laying has had an effect.