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   Old Thread  #425 22 Feb 2013 at 12.00pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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The woods were full of wild life when i was young we would walk miles we would sit and listen to the noises of the woods you would hear the sharp yap as the vixen, called her cubs the wood pecker, as he hammered away trying to get him self a grub or two then the mew of the buzzard, as it sored above the woods. They were so full of wild life we would find the snares set for the rabbits on the edge of the woods the keeper would be around to check them before long he would not miss the odd one or two that we stashed in our bags we would make our way out of the woods and follow the river onny as it flowed across the meadows you would see the rise of the trout has he took a fly in a spray of silver water. The river was full of trout stocked by the many estates for the syndicates who fished this wonderful water we would watch the water voles that scampered along the river bank, they would disappear with a plop in the deep water they were very shy animals but were in abundance in my youth sadly not today.

I would lie behind the under growth beside the river hardly breathing as watched the otters, play they were large animals they would take the odd trout then sit on the boulder to eat there prey i really wondered how long they would last as the otter hounds, would be around i did not like to see that as the river ran red with the blood of this majestic animal, but the the trout, and grayling, had to be protected for the estates, and the syndicates, that fished this idyllic water. What a beautiful fish the trout was with his coloured spots he was easy to catch with a worm or spinner but the river was patrolled twice a day by bailiffs early morning was the time while they were still tucked in bed. I liked a rainy morning with a touch of colour in the water i would trundle a worm under the bank you would feel the pull of the line between your fingers as he took the worm it was nothing to catch twenty trout, in those conditions they would be shared out between our family and neighbors and were always welcome.

Back to the woods spring was my favorite time the woodland floor would be a sea of blue from the blue bells , i would sit down what a beautiful aroma they gave off. The one wood was full off daffodils we would collect bunches and sell them around the town, we made a few coppers for fishing hooks and such i loved to clime up into the farmers barn you would find the barn owl, and her chicks, what a noise they made if they thought they were being threatened i would hold one in my hands he looked just like a ball of fluff he would really squawk and spit until i put him down they were plenfull when i was young but sadly missing today in any numbers. I did not like climing to the tawny owls nest as at times they would attack which happened to a freind he was very lucky he never lost an eye. You would hardly see a badger but they were there i did find one set, but in those days the keepers, kept the numbers down old sam my freind the keeper never killed one well not while i knew him but he was the exeption.
Well bit more latter

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   Old Thread  #424 21 Feb 2013 at 5.38pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #418
Nice countryside story Pete.
We have badgers coming through our garden,although I live in an urban area.
Unfortunately,they do dig up some of the lawns,but the badgers were probably here before the houses were built.
Keep writing Pete,we all love it !
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   Old Thread  #423 20 Feb 2013 at 4.38pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I used to like the simple things in life when i was young i would love to lie in the hay fields on a warm sunny day the field would be full of wild flowers, it had a smell of its own i would watch the sky larks height up in the sky and listen to there song then we had the curlews, there was never a dull moment at night we had the nightingale what a wonderful song she had, The country side was full of birds i would clime the rocks to the jackdaws nest infact i took a youngster and reared him my self he would come every where i went even to school he would be there when i came out of school at four o'clock and land on my head or shoulder he even came fishing with me he would soon warn you if any one was around,

They were idyllic days we never had a care in the world we would be out from morning until dusk i would clime the tree to the buzzards nest and look into the nest and marvel at the the chicks it held we found the sparrow hawks, nest the kestrel, to i never once took there eggs, i watched the gold finches, on the thistle head it was all part of my life to wander the hills and vales and watch the the brown hare, or the grouse. I loved to be out on a summers evening and lie beside the pool with my rod poking through the gap in the old willow tree hoping to catch the carp, that lived in this lovely little pool they did not grow big three or four pounds but to us youngsters they were huge we would catch them on floating crust we had no landing nets and we would lift them out with our hands getting our feet wet at the same time that never bothered us we would take our socks of to dry hanging them in the old Willow tree.

We would wander the woods and lanes with our catapult most young lads had one tucked in there pocket and shoot the rabbit that had hid in the nettle patch there was so many rabbits, in the late forties and early fifties we lived on them they kept us in meat they were wonderful days we would swim in the river watch the sand martins make there nests in the river bank you would see the blue streak of a kingfisher, as he passed you by i found his nest under the over hung bank we had the run of the country side then we had the dipper i used to watch him find his food under the fast water by the old weir what a wonderful little bird he was we would spoon the eggs from a moor hens nest with a long stick and a spoon tied to the end we would boil the eggs in an old tin with water from the river then eat them with our sandwiches what more could we ask the days of our youth seems like only yesterday but alas those days have gone never to return. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #422 20 Feb 2013 at 3.29pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Thanks ken glad you like my stories
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   Old Thread  #421 19 Feb 2013 at 10.15pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #420
Great story Pete, and one I can relate to as a youngster.
You are right, the days did seem longer and the weather better during those times.
Little or no cars about when walking through the country lanes, with all the widlife about and the smell of the wild flowers.

Great memories!!

Keep up the good work mate!!
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   Old Thread  #420 19 Feb 2013 at 10.46am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I used to love walking the lanes when i was a youngster i am sure our summers were better than today i would walk miles birds nesting. The banks down the lanes would be full of flowers the smell of the honey suckle was quite overpowering the wild life was every where you looked a lot was down to the war as there was no gamekeeper's for a few years so the wild life flourished. I never took the eggs, out of the nests, we found i would mark them down in a book Sam taught me to do that i used to collect but SAM always said look and leave them where they are i could not understand his reasoning as he had a big collection him self when i asked him he said they were collected when he was young i don't collect any more .

The days seemed a lot longer in those days i would be away all day fishing all i took with me was half a loaf of bread and some maggots i spent hours fishing stokesay pool, it was full of Rudd i would float fish between the weed beds they were huge to us young lads you could not get your hands around them and there colour was beautiful. Occasionally we would hook a pike, but we lost most i can remember landing one it was seven pounds the farmer weighted it on his antiquated scales, he would of killed it but i stopped him i suppose he would of ate it. But i gently put it back and watched as it swam away we would fish till nearly dark our parents knew we were quite safe they were really heady days i met another lad when i was fishing his name was john we became quite friendly over the coming months would i like to come ferreting, he asked i certainly would we arranged to meet the following morning he headed straight to the farm and into the granary he said we are ferreting rats, god it really was something to remember the old farmer came with his gun a double barreled four ten tie yer trousers legs with some string he said stops um running up your trouser leg. To be honest i had never seen any thing like it he released eight ferrets between the bags of grain nothing happened for a while then we heard the squeals from the rats as the ferrets drove them out i have never seen so many the farmer gave me a stick they would run down the side of the roof not many got away as john had his terriers as well what the dogs did not get the farmer shot we ended up with over a hundred rats what a day i had. The farmer gave us a few bob for helping and it was not the last time i went to that farm ferreting they were great days ones that i sadly miss . unfortunately john died with kidney failure at a young age but life has to go on but i still have my memories of those days long ago.
Well a bit more latter.
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   Old Thread  #419 16 Feb 2013 at 11.15am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I suppose i was around fourteen years old when Io first met the old mole catcher, god he was a scruffy old man he smoked a pipe and chewed tobacco it would run all down his chin but he was also very knowledgeable and loved the country side. He lived in one of those road side huts i went to see him a few times he lived in wattling street the old roman road come in young man, there was a big coke stove in the middle of the hut a bed and a couple of chairs i must admit it was warm and cosy he showed me all these mole skins pinned out on a big board can i have a go if thou wish he said he gave me a couple of traps when thou catches some ill give e some more it was quite hard understanding him as he spoke in a broad Shropshire's language.

I was quite happy my old friend SAM, the keeper had shown how to set the traps, i went up to our local bike and tackle shop, he sold all sorts including mole traps i bought another three and i was away i used a stick to find the run open it up slip the trap in gently put some turf around the trap hey presto i would go fishing in the onny and at the same time check the traps, the first time i checked i had caught four, not bad i put them in my bag old SAM showed me how to skin them. I would take them to the old mole catcher he would send them to a specialist who bought all kind of skins, the old man would give me a few coppers it was enough to buy a few hooks and maybe a float or two.

I spent hours on the river onny fishing they were great days i suppose i taught myself how to fish on that river. I caught brown trout and Grayling i loved the river it was well known in those days for its Trout, and Grayling.
But there was another fish in the river that i loved to catch and that was the perch they were not big the biggest around two pounds but if i float a dead minnow under the sill of the weir the float would dip and i was in god did they fight the locals would eat them if they had half the chance they would come down to watch while walking the dog, can i have that young man i will have it for my tea. They were to pretty to kill and i always put them back. The problem fishing the weir was you could not see if the bailiffs were around i had to fish down this steep bank so i had to clime up the bank to have a look around the bailiffs, patrolled the river at least twice a day and if you got caught you would be in court , lucky i never did get caught but i had a few near misses i was chased on a few occasions the bailiffs even came to the school to warn us all what would happen if we did get caught . a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #418 12 Feb 2013 at 11.04am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #414
I have always combine my fishing with nature i loved bird watching on one occasion while walking the hills i found a pair of Goshawks, the female is the same size as a Buzzard, the male is a lot smaller and looks just like a giant sparrow hawk, I watched them for weeks you can tell a Goshawk, by its tail it is more rounded the males tail is also barred. They nested in a big plantation up in the hills at the time there were plenty of rabbits, and pheasants, on the menu i was worried that they may get shot by some one who had pheasants in the area but they survived. i think i was extremely lucky to watch these birds as they are quite rare at the time there was only around three to four hundred breeding pairs in the UK she actually reared four youngsters you would hear them calling if they were alarmed gek- gek-gek i never got to near the nest as she would defend her nest and young fiercely and would attack any potential predators including humans she did well and reared four chicks i was hoping she would return the following year but alas she vanished in fact i never saw her again her true breeding ground was in wales, and southern Scotland, so perhaps they moved back into the big forests of wales.

I Really have lived a fascinating life i was looking back in my diary i have written much about old foxy, bringing up her cubs, what they eat over the years i have not seen that many pheasants, taken to the earth, it has been mostly rabbits, and the occasional chicken from the local farm even hedgehogs i have watched them toss the hedgehog around just like a ball these are a totally different fox, to there cousins in the city they keep away from humans in fact they are not very good parents if the cubs, are threatened the vixen would be away i have watched her looking back from afar as soon as the threat passed she would be back i have found them fascinating creatures they have been part of my life for so many years i call the male the gentlemen of the woods.

Badgers, have been another Passion when i was fishing they would come down to the side of the lake you would hear them shuffling about behind the bivvy finding the occasional worm, from the decaying leaves. Graham, and Bern, and myself, would be out at night from September shooting the many rabbits,the local farmers, with our rifles, we have come across the Badgers, many times they would be hudled up finding worms, in the medows as long as we did not go that close they took no notice i think they had got used to us and knew we were no threat it was nothing to shoot forty rabbits, a in two or three hours if we did the farmer a favour and he had some fishing he would give us permision to have a go. well a little more latter.
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   Old Thread  #417 11 Feb 2013 at 8.46pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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thanks Paul a magnificent bird glad your still out there taking superb photos a wonderfull hobby
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   Old Thread  #416 11 Feb 2013 at 7.06pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
Just for you Pete - I love this thread

Click for full version
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   Old Thread  #415 10 Feb 2013 at 10.31pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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As you say, the red kite is a magnificent creature, and I hope they catch the moron that shot it.

As for the fox attacking the child, again I ask the same as you, what the hell is the fox doing in the house.
Surely, with the weather being cold you would expect all the outside doors to be closed, unless the family have been encouraging the animal to come into the house. Very foolish if they have!!
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   Old Thread  #414 10 Feb 2013 at 11.04am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Reading the head lines in the local paper last night made me very angry, it was about a red kite, which was shot. I can not understand why a mindless idiot would do such a thing it really gets my back up it was an act of cruelty they are the most beautiful birds with a wing span of 5.5 ft it also had an injury to its eye which was caused by hitting a electric fence after being shot the red kite was given the the highest degree of legal protection under the wildlife and country side act, In the year 2010 there were seventeen known red kites nests in Shropshire the latest report says there are now 100 individual birds in the county, People that take or injure or kill a red kite face a fine of around 5,000 pounds and/ or a six months prison sentence.

The said bird is now making a recovery it is now at a shropshire specialist wild life centre i really hope it survives i have shot most of my life and would never shoot such a magnificent bird.
i suspect it was shot by some ill informed moron to to protect his birds ie pheasants it is time this sort of thing stopped i really hope they catch the individual and he gets what he deserves.

I see another fox, has bitten some poor child's, finger off, what i would like to know why a fox, was in the house and why the doors were open to the elements in the weather we have had the fox, is an opportunist and will take what it can get i don't know if the child was crying, and the fox, associated the noise to a injured animal, but it should not happen had they been letting the fox, into the house to feed. I have never seen a fox, attack a human and i have had a lot of dealings with old foxy, over the years i have friends that have had a fox, as a pet the one used to go with its owner to the pub most nights and really enjoyed a drink, the land lord always but a bowl under the seat full of mild beer that would soon vanish but a fox is a wild animal and even if it is a pet, it never forgets its hunting instinct this one was no different he got into my freinds chicken pen and killed the lot. well a little more latter
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   Old Thread  #413 7 Feb 2013 at 10.27am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I have just been out in the garden god its cold, i am sure as you get older you feel it more, when i was young i never gave it a second thought, I would be out in all weather and it never did us any harm, when i lived at home, i was expected to get the fire wood we had big sleepers from the railway, it was my job to saw them up and chop the sticks ready to start the fire but it rarely went out especially in the winter, it was the only heating, we had. Some times we had a fire going in the bedroom grate, but that was only if we had some one ill, they were hard days when the river onny was in flood, i would stand on the bridge at Newington, and any branches, that came down in the flood, we collected.
We would use a grappling hook to pull them to the side they were loaded on to an old truck, made from a pram, we would take the wood, home stack it until it dried out it was hard work but kept us in wood for the fire, it was not all work we would go looking for the chickens eggs, at the farm for old Mr price, we would fill an old wicker basket, his chickens, roamed where they liked we would always keep a dozen back for our selves thinking back i suppose they were free range, i don't think he lost many to vermin, i would see him about with his gun i know he shot the carrion crows as i would go and have a look in the wood they would all be strung out on a branch i know they took the eggs, if they had half the chance so did the magpie.

If i went fishing up the river, i would always have a walk through the woods, i would find all sorts hanging from the keepers gibbet, it would really upset me there was hawks, badgers, foxes, weasels, even owls, thank god that does not happen today. I was up the woods one day and i found a pole, trap it had a very big buzzard, in it i climbed the pole and released the bird, god i got a few scratches on my hands, i took it home and we nursed it back to health it never did have a healthy leg, but it got by my parents said it was time to release it back into the wild, which we did but it kept coming back to the house, eventually it got the message, and we never saw it again.

Even with all the trapping, and shooting, the woods were full of wild life there seemed more than today i used to watch the curlew, she was crafty i would lie in the hay field and watch her land when she settled on her nest, i would be away at a run i usually found the nest she would have eggs, i never took them i never see the curlew now well not like i did then they were every where. The peewit was another mind you i would collect there eggs and my mother would pickle them i loved them we would also eat the moorhens, eggs, nothing was wasted in those days . Well a bit more latter.


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   Old Thread  #412 7 Feb 2013 at 10.27am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #411
I have just been out in the garden god its cold, i am sure as you get older you feel it more, when i was young i never gave it a second thought, I would be out in all weather and it never did us any harm, when i lived at home, i was expected to get the fire wood we had big sleepers from the railway, it was my job to saw them up and chop the sticks ready to start the fire but it rarely went out especially in the winter, it was the only heating, we had. Some times we had a fire going in the bedroom grate, but that was only if we had some one ill, they were hard days when the river onny was in flood, i would stand on the bridge at Newington, and any branches, that came down in the flood, we collected.
We would use a grappling hook to pull them to the side they were loaded on to an old truck, made from a pram, we would take the wood, home stack it until it dried out it was hard work but kept us in wood for the fire, it was not all work we would go looking for the chickens eggs, at the farm for old Mr price, we would fill an old wicker basket, his chickens, roamed where they liked we would always keep a dozen back for our selves thinking back i suppose they were free range, i don't think he lost many to vermin, i would see him about with his gun i know he shot the carrion crows as i would go and have a look in the wood they would all be strung out on a branch i know they took the eggs, if they had half the chance so did the magpie.

If i went fishing up the river, i would always have a walk through the woods, i would find all sorts hanging from the keepers gibbet, it would really upset me there was hawks, badgers, foxes, weasels, even owls, thank god that does not happen today. I was up the woods one day and i found a pole, trap it had a very big buzzard, in it i climbed the pole and released the bird, god i got a few scratches on my hands, i took it home and we nursed it back to health it never did have a healthy leg, but it got by my parents said it was time to release it back into the wild, which we did but it kept coming back to the house, eventually it got the message, and we never saw it again.

Even with all the trapping, and shooting, the woods were full of wild life there seemed more than today i used to watch the curlew, she was crafty i would lie in the hay field and watch her land when she settled on her nest, i would be away at a run i usually found the nest she would have eggs, i never took them i never see the curlew now well not like i did then they were every where. The peewit was another mind you i would collect there eggs and my mother would pickle them i loved them we would also eat the moorhens eggs nothing was wasted . Well a bit more latter.


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   Old Thread  #411 3 Feb 2013 at 11.18am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #410
I may fish lordys again latter this year that estate lake brings back some happy memories i have not been off late owing to me walking it is a wonderful old lake i have spend hours watching the wild life i also have a few bad memories i was asked to form a syndicate all money collected was given to charity looking back i had twelve members there was no night fishing only days but that made little difference it was wonderful fishing until this one day i was told by a member that others were stealing the fish and stocking another lake, a water i knew very well, it really hurt to think that some one you trusted was taking the fish, in fact two weeks latter i caught them red handed i expelled them from the syndicate but it made little difference the damage had been done. I went to see lordy he was very upset and two days latter he netted the lake taking out most of the carp and they were sold to be honest it was not worth fishing for a number of years he did not want any syndicate on the water again i could still fish the place but he had left only the small fish even the large chub had been netted some were over seven pounds.

Thinking back i never fished the place again for a good many years i bumped into lordy this one day and i discussed the fishing it had not been fished since it was netted can i still go i said yes when ever you want he replied i want your car registration number for the keepers so they will know its you to be honest i went to have a look around the lake the very next day i could not believe my eyes the bank side was very over grown there was big trees god they had grown since i was last there i asked if i could cut a couple of swims yes no probs was the answer i had the lake to myself i could take a friend at the time my friend graham was busy working and never had that much time off, so i arranged to take some one i worked with the lake was full of weed we persevered and fished through the holes in the weed and we got runs the fish were there again and big we lost a number to hook pulls but landed a few they were mostly around twenty pounds but we saw a lot bigger this one day the owner came to see me he was going to have the weed killed he said it was safe two days latter along came this firm and sprayed the weed within a month it had all gone he had left sections not touched i was worried about the fish it never harmed them one bit i could not catch for at least a couple of weeks they were soon back on the feed and we caught some crackers biggest around twenty five pounds but i was happy to be back fishing this old estate lake. A bit more latter
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