Thursday, 13 June 2013

My Wildlife Mentor

This is my very first post, so I'm pretty excited about writing this! I'd like to make it a sort of thank you to my 'wildlife mentor' Barry Warrington.
I've always been interested in nature as mentioned in my 'About Me' section of my blog. However, what I really needed was someone to guide me and take my interest to the next level. Then, by chance, my Dad and I stumbled across Barry.
We'd decided to go on a wildlife walk to a nearby wood that we visited often. We were walking through the trees; me taking not-so-good pictures with a small camera, when we saw somebody else in there with us - with a big camera. Anybody with a big camera, kneeling down next to a fungi-covered rotting log, has got be a nice person as far as we were concerned - so we went up to him.
We soon learnt that his name was Barry Warrington and he was the local Entomological Recorder - though it turns out that he's very knowledgeable on all nature, as we would learn in the upcoming months . . .
He was from the Hull Valley Wildlife Group, which I'd never heard of before. It wasn't long before I was showing him quite fuzzy pictures of 'Unidentified Strange Objects' - Earthstars, a type of strange fungus.
We exchanged contact details, and soon became friends. We've since been to many different local areas together, that are positively brimming with life!
This was a few years ago, so as you can imagine, we've been all over since then . . .
Many of the places Dad and I never even knew existed! One such place is Thorne Moors, where I have enjoyed encounters with Adders, Common Lizards, and more! Without Barry I would never have seen this amazing wildlife, nor would I have learnt about it in such an up-close-and-personal way!
Barry has also taught me of the importance of learning the scientific names of animals and plants, which I've always found difficult to learn and memorise. 
I was lucky enough to be present when he discovered a new breeding site for a rare species. It was good that this was covered by the local newspaper, but unfortunately they made it sound like I discovered them, not Barry!
I also enjoy learning about animals by keeping them as study aids, and I have several exotic insects and also tropical fish! It started out with insects, but when Barry told us that he had kept cold water, tropical, and marine aquariums, he inspired me to set a tank up. My current tank is my second aquatic tank, and without Barry's experience, encouragement, and advice, it would never exist.
Barry has, and still is, helping me achieve my dream of one day being a Naturalist. He's also a fabulous friend to our entire family, and for that, I dedicate this first post on my first blog to him. 

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story about finding your mentor.
    My daughter is very interested in nature and like you has been since she was very young. She is almost 10 and hopes to find a mentor like you have found. We recently moved to New Mexico from Nova Scotia, Canada and are enjoying learning about all of the new wildlife here.
    I hope you keep up with your blog.
    You are off to a great start!