Saturday, June 10, 2006

When I was a little boy, my favourite book was G.A.K.Herklots' Hong Kong Countryside, in which he exhorted his readers:

"No-one who loves the countryside should face the new year without making at least this one good resolution - to keep a diary day by day. This would not be a social diary, but a record of flowers and birds seen in the country, of seed-sowing in the garden, and of all the little events of interest in the world of nature. As January succeeded January, I solemnly vowed each year to write down what I had seen, and heard and done. Never have I fulfilled the vow as I should have wished; but others may be more resolute."

I first read those words forty years ago in 1966, and they inspired me well. But not well enough. I have intended to keep such a journal for something like forty years, I have never actually got around to doing it. OK, I have published about a dozen volumes of my vaguely autobiographical writings which include my ramblings within natural history at home and abroad, but I have never actually done a nature diary.

....and I don't suppose that I will be about to start one now, either.

However, as anyone who has read my inky fingered scribblings here or elsewhere probably knows, I returned to my old family home in rural North Devon a year ago. I relocated the CFZ up here, and am using this as a base for our cryptozoological researches across the globe. However, I am also rediscovering one of the vocations of my youth; that of the amateur naturalist, and armed with a digital camera (the killing jar is somewhat passe now), we roam the same fields and lanes which I explored when young, in search of the same creatures which fascinated me as a child.

This blog is intended as a home for the pictures we take, and for us to record our findings as we make them. I haven't actually thought this through particularly, so I have no idea how these pictures will eventually be displayed, and I am sure that the whole affair will develop organically. But enough waffle, and on with the show......


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