Rats and Mud
I set off yesterday afternoon with my longest lens in the hope of finding an egret that had been visiting a large local pond. The grass was squelchy and I had not bothered with walking boots or wellies as the area is usually not so muddy. Big mistake - there was mud everywhere. No sign of the egret but plenty of ducks and a couple of swans. I walked around, squelching and squilching to the side where people sit in the fine weather and feed the water birds. Oh! A huge colony of rats. Now, I do respect all living creatures but.... Whether it's innate or taught there is something about a pile of rats that is disconcerting. To be honest my stomach did a little inner flip - and not in a good way. Lyme disease and other health issues always come to mind when rats are about but there was something just a bit deeper than logic in my first response. The little rat scurrying about on its own seemed a very different proposition to the thirty plus that were busying about near the water's edge. The ducks seemed unperturbed and I suppose they were familiar neighbours. The rats appeared to live under a clumpy plant a little way from the bank. They were completely unconcerned about my presence so I took a few photos although it was getting a bit dark for that lens. Looking back at the images later I realised there are some creatures that I am more than happy to respect at a distance, and I am sure they don't mind that at all.