A loss in the family

 

When you get the call you just drop everything and go. 

I might not know all Trust properties intimately but working here makes you part of a family and when one of you is in trouble you know you have to do what (little) you can. The River Wey team were just some of the staff from all over the region who joined the emergency services when a fire struck Clandon Park yesterday. As part of the salvage team we were able to help get some of the irreplaceable furniture and paintings to safety but unfortunately much was also lost. It is heartbreaking to see a much loved and important building reduced to a shell but obviously that loss is felt so much more by those who live, work and have loved the place for so long. Whatever you do it never seems enough.

It is a tribute to the place and the organisation that as I was leaving after 1 a.m another property team was arriving having travelled an hour to get there and ready to get stuck in.

 

 

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Fluffy firsts

  

Just an excuse for a nice picture really….

These 3 little ones are the first mallard ducklings of the year at Walsham. They are about 4 days old. They are 2 or 3 weeks younger than the first on the river this year which hatched near Shalford.

Today’s sunshine has also brought the butterflies out. The brimstones and peacocks have been out of hibernation for a few weeks but today I saw my first red admirals and large white. No photos of those though, I only managed to take pictures of where they were a few seconds before….

Wild timing

This was going to be a post about finally finishing painting my 3 lock sides ( which I now have … Hooray! ) As you can see the lovely new white lines aren’t the main thing you see when you look at the picture I’ve just taken.

Following weeks of early starts, late finishes and lots of hard work to spruce up my locks for spring, the last splosh of paint hadn’t even dried before the local wildlife decided things were looking a bit too tidy. The mole hill started off as a tiny bump but has been growing throughout the day. The scuff marks you can see on this side of the river are from a badger’s search for worms, insects and leatherjackets ( the cranefly grubs not 1970s cop show attire ). 

While I can’t lie, I am slightly annoyed by the impeccable timing,  it’s great to know that I’m sharing my bit of river with some beautiful creatures. I’m hoping it also means that there are some mole pups and badger cubs being well sheltered and fed by their (clearly) active parents nearby. In the last few days as well as the evidence of badgers and moles I’ve seen. weasel casually crossing the path, rabbits enjoying the lock side grass, roe deer giving me ( and my dog ) a distainful look, foxes and squirrels in abundance  and something else small and fluffy has definitely found my bird food stash! While I appreciate that I’m very lucky where I live, I can guarantee that wherever you are you are sharing your space with more than you realise, if you only take time to look and read the signs.