Friday, 27 July 2012

All creatures great and small!

Come and explore the twelve acres of ancient woodlands, mill ponds and meadowlands that make up this beautiful valley and see what wonderful creatures you can spot lurking within the long grasses...

A really rather magical thing happened to me the other day whilst I was going about my daily tasks at Bents Mill - as I emerged from the tunnel through the mill I came face to face (within 10m anyway!) with a beautiful baby deer who was strolling around the car park.  The moment of mutual acknowledgement felt to last for minutes rather than seconds as we took in each others presence with a mixture of surprise and awe.  The fleeting paralysis was broken as the deer took flight and skipped across the grass towards the mill pond.  Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, the inclement weather has provided ideal conditions for the blanket weed and the surface covering was almost complete - even this wonderfully intuitive animal could not sense the water that was hiding beneath this grasslike blanket.  With one giant gisselle sized leap the deer rose into the air and promptly disappeared into the water.  My husband, Joe, was working in his waders in one of the other mill ponds at the time and was most bemused at my panicked insistance that he should leap in after the deer in a desparate rescue attempt.  The deer, of course, required no help from anyone, waders or no waders and quickly made its way through the bog garden, over the wall and into an adjoining field.  These chance encounters with the wild inhabitants of the valley really do make for magical memories. 

Fresh from this wonderful experience I decided to take my 9 year old son, Max, on a creature hunt - armed with a great new digital camera we had a fantastic couple of hours hiding in the long grasses listenning to the tantilising sound of nearby grasshoppers and watching the butterflies and damselflies flitting from flower to flower - heaven on earth!  For more photos of the wildlife that share this beautiful valley with us and our guests check out our facebook page!

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