Tuesday, 22 July 2014

An agreeable stagnation

I'm 21st in the pan-listers league table with 3332 species. That's me that is, dropping like a stone as each week progresses, watching the latest addition to the 'pan-family' go straight in above me. My last additions were Hairy Mock-orange and Bladder Senna on the 24th of June (that's almost a whole month ago!). Admittedly there has been a great deal going on in those four weeks, some pretty momentous stuff, and other stuff that has been time consuming, but still I have had the luxury of spare time in which to go out and look...

And I have looked. I've looked for butterflies. I've searched for plants. I've done a bit of birding, but none of it - none of it at all - has been driven by the need for lifers, the want for a tick, the scratching of an itch that only a brand spanking new observation will stop. My time in the field has been so laid back that I've been virtually horizontal. And I like it. I like it a lot. Whatever comes my way will do so and if I see it, if I nail the identification (or not) then all is well and good.

I see my fellow pan-listers posting, tweeting and commenting with such intensity it is difficult to keep up with them. Some of them seem to be in a different corner of the UK each day, regaling us with another long, juicy list of the rare and the obscure. I once would have been with them (or at least planning next weekend's field outing with targets in mind). At the moment I find all of that, if not pointless, certainly not fulfilling. To gobble up nature as a commodity to feed a constantly swelling number is not tickling my fancy right now. That others do so is nothing other than commendable - they are adding to knowledge, finding valuable data and mostly dealing in orders that have very few people studying them. It's all good stuff - just not stuff that I want to do at the moment.

The autumn is here - the waders are already moving, late summer plants like Harebells are in full flower, and the last of the year's butterfly species that emerge are about to do so. I'm looking forward to a bit of birding. Not necessarily rarity, but maybe a bit of visible migration, possibly a small fall. I don't need anything else at the moment. I'm in a strange place, best summed up as being the willing participant in an agreeable stagnation.

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