My dad has just turned 70….. Now, 10 years ago this man thought that computers were evil and owning one, God forbid, would lead to the collapse of civilisation as we know it (he still thinks that about cell / mobile phones….but I digress). Time can be a great game changer! Not only, does my dad now have a laptop, but he also has a blog (with his own photos), and is writing a series of articles for a website. I would never have guessed that one day he and I would be swapping notes on blogs and links and such like….
The sun setting over one of the lagoons adjoining Titchwell Marsh reserve
Ray’s Rambles is a blog that was started when the local RSPB bird reserve at which my dad is a volunteer warden, Titchwell Marsh in Norfolk, England (which I have to say is the best in the country – totally unbiased of course) was undergoing major renovations. During this time the majority of the reserve was closed and so attention was diverted to life forms other than birds. My Dad started out with a challenge to find 800 different species – plants, bugs, butterflies, moths, birds, you name it – during this period. To date, and now the reserve is fully opened once again, the total sits at 1132 species! (Over achiever!)
Dad attempting to teach us the finer points between various waders, on the banks of Titchwell Marsh Reserve
Titchwell Marsh is this year celebrating its 40th year. Apparently dad is the only person who has been around throughout the reserve’s entire 40 years! Way to go dad! In this capacity, and with new celebrity status, he has been asked to contribute 40 articles for the next 40 weeks, looking back over the last 40 years from when it opened back in 1973.
Looking out across Titchwell Marsh Reserve on a blustery day – in the middle of the picture way in the distance is the house where I grew up (actually its a golf club, but we lived on the premises)
I ascribe my love of all things natural – stones, shells, flowers, birds, butterflies, animals, etc. to my dad and the many hours we spent tramping along the beach, golf course and local countryside in search of various treasures and sightings. We were interested in all things and had a need to know exactly what everything was – flora or fauna! (My mum did freak out somewhat when we decided to build a moth-trap – she hates moths!)
Black Arches moth. 30 years on – still catching moths! Although now it’s at the reserve and not at home (much to mum’s relief).
So here’s to Dad, who taught me to appreciate the natural world around me, which is kind of how I ended up making jewellery – my love of stones sort of lead me there, eventually; and who’s proven you most certainly can teach an old dog new tricks – remember, it’s never too late!