Sunday, 11 April 2010

Hunted

Walking around the area yesterday, we spotted two magnificent hunters going about their business, silently and stealthily looking for their prey. The first was a pair of Buzzards (Buteo buteo). Circling and soaring, gaining height in the warming air, they made a awe-inspiring sight - if a little difficult to photograph.
More difficult to see and much more tricky to photograph, was a master of stealth and the surprise attack. This time, the Pike (Esox lucius). The record weight for a Pike stands at 67lb and about 5ft long. Luckily, this one was only about 1ft long and a bit too small to be too much of a threat to the Rudd which were swimming around, well within striking distance of the Pike. A truly magnificent predator, it lies in wait, not moving a muscle until it strikes at it's prey with lightning-quick acceleration.
On a lighter note, back to the flowers which are in evidence at the moment. The Lesser Celandines (Ranunculus ficaria) are members of the Buttercup family and are always a great indication of the onset of Spring. These were shining brightly on the dark floor of the wooded, canal-side walk.
Lastly, two plants which look different, but are in fact, the same species. Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum) can have plain, green leaves or they can be spotted with brownish/purple spots. Both types were in evidence yesterday, as I have remarked recently, there seem to be a lot more of them about this year.
Spotted...
...And spotless.....
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