Raising Pond Lovers
30th January 2014
Raising pond lovers
By Becca Williamson, FHT’s Northern Project Officer
There have been (many) days when I felt it was too wet/windy/cold/tiresome to go dabbling in that pool or this tussock. But on the whole I am motivated to turn over that rock, or sit quietly to watch the tiny creatures making big ripples on a pond. Wet places have always fascinated me.
I have built a career on knowing more than most about wetland habitats and species. The only way I could do that is to have a deep connection to the subject that maintains my interest, that fires me to learn more. I have never thought more about how that connection was forged than when I started raising two more potential pond lovers.
My dad is always drawn to wet places, and drew my brother and I along with him. Digging new channels for the stream running across the beach, catching leeches in the brook by Grandpap’s house, canoeing, stopping to look over every single bridge, paddling in pools at every opportunity, and an old belfast sink to serve as a garden pond, later upgraded to a bath, where we watched frogs breed and insects buzz. We got wet and muddy, we laughed, we learnt names, we learned to care.
Now I am raising two girls. Two potential pond lovers. So we paddle, and dip, and look over bridges. We get muddy and wet. Even when I feel it is too wet/windy/cold/tiresome. (OK, so sometimes we just watch wildlife on the telly.)
We dig for worms, work our allotment, stop to look at flowers. Even when a big part of my brain says “Hurry up, we have so much to do!”.
We catch giant beetles, count tadpoles, study dead rats (“I can see it’s windpipe Mummy!”). Even when others say “Ick! That’s dirty!”.
We laugh, we learn names, we learn to love.