Monday, 6 June 2011

Half-Term, Part 1 - At Abbotsbury

Well it seems like a long time since I've been able to do a post. We've just come back from Devon.
Wasn't the weather just glorious this half-term compared to the usual rain and cold weather that we are subjected to year upon year.
It was apparently hotter here than in Spain!
After we drove to Devon on Tuesday the Other Half and Our Daughter took the dog for a walk whilst I emptied our bags and made a cup of tea. When the wanderers returned they showed me this caterpillar which they had rescued from a suicide mission - it was spotted in the middle of the road!
After taking these photos he was deposited in the back garden amongst the wild strawberries.
We tried to look for him the following day but he had gone.
Our Daughter said "Do you think the caterpillar has turned into a butterfly and flown away?"

We christened the caterpillar "Colin" after some rather tasty "Colin the Caterpillar" sweets that you can get at M&S. I liked the way he played dead initially. Our Daughter got quite upset thinking that he'd died but after some 10 minutes he was happy that we weren't a threat and started moving! I never realized before how fluffy they are!

On Wednesday morning we headed to Abbotsbury in Dorset to see the cygnets at the Swannery.
On previous visits to the Swannery each swan has had a far larger brood. The most that we saw this time round were families of four. In the past we have regularly seen families of eight or nine. I'm sure that I heard it on the news some time ago that it was anticipated that the cold weather we had last Winter would affect the birth rate and that seemed to have been borne out by what we saw. Here is one of the families of four enjoying a paddle with mum.

So cute!

Some were still in the nest - nice and warm.

Standing up!

You couldn't call this little cutie an ugly duckling!

Another family of four - two hitching a ride on mums back. Eventually all four got on her back but alas I have no photos as they weren't intent on looking at the camera - just scrambling around on poor mums back trying to get comfy!

This swan was all by its lonesome.

Our Daughter near one of the many nests that you can see and get this close to.
Although it was a hot day Our Daughter said that she was cold and the Other Half gave her his sleevless pullover which resembled a small tent on her!

Anxiously waiting for the eggs to hatch. I think you have to go and sit on them!

Off for a swim!

You're in the wrong place mate! This is a Swannery not a Pheasantry!

Mum teaching the little ones how to look for food.

Hitching a ride - Hello everybody!

I'm a bit shy!

Our Daughter enjoying the day.

Fast asleep on mums back. Can you spot the other cygnet also tucked in near her long neck. Now that's what I call a feather pillow!

We had a wonderful day out at the Swannery. I do love the fact that swans mate for life which just goes to show I'm a big softie at heart.
I am always amazed that these beautiful creatures let so many people so close to their babies. So trusting!

On our way home we stopped off at Lyme Regis and had our dinner, fish and chips - al fresco on the sea front. Delicious!
More on Lyme in my next post.
Heck it's getting late. I'm off or I'll never wake up to go to work tomorrow!

Until next time.


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