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Lunchtime Aerobatics

Air Show

Lunchtime dog walks are usually a quiet affair, unless Molly takes off in hot pursuit of partridges or pheasants, refusing to come back. Today’s walk started out as normal, Molly walking me at top speed as soon as she sees the entrance to the fields. She only stops long enough for me to unclasp her lead before rushing headlong into the waist-high meadow grasses.

Moments later I was aware of a high-pitched whine overhead. Squinting into the sky I could just pick out a red dot climbing rapidly, spiralling as it gained height.

Then silence!

Holding my breath, I watched in horror as the red dot grew bigger, plummeting to earth.

Had the engine stalled on the climb and not restarted? I know nothing about flying but this didn’t seem normal. My heart was hammering in my chest as I watch the plane dive. At the point where my mobile phone was in hand and poised to dial the emergency services, the engine roared into life and the bi-plane barrel-rolled. Shaking with relief, I guessed that this was a stunt plane and the pilot, oblivious to my panic, was probably having the time of his/her life! Phew!

The plane faded into the distance as my gaze scanned the sky a tree altitude. On the way earthward, I spotted a more natural aerial acrobat… a Red Kite. They were extinct in my neck of the woods until recently. I wasn’t so scared watching it dive to the ground after its lunch. At shoulder altitude a pair of partridges took flight, flushed out by Molly, their alert warning some lapwings to take to the skies. It certainly was all about flight this lunchtime.

Even the ground altitude was not clear of flying thingies. Butterflies, bees, and beetles filled the air in front of me. I counted at least five different types of butterfly and three types of bees. Don’t ask about the beetles as some of the flying bugs were a little too keen on biting me so I beat a hasty retreat… I suspect they were horseflies, not beetles.

Apart from the ground-dwelling birds, Molly was completely oblivious to the insect display. She didn’t even notice a butterfly landing on her head. It’s a shame I wasn’t quick enough to photograph her.

Lunchtime dog walks are climbing up the ranks of interesting and amusing chores round here. I wonder what I’ll see tomorrow? With final practices taking place across the UK for the RAF centenary fly-past later this month it could be anything from Tucanos to Spitfires, Hercules transporters to Hurricanes. I may need to swap my bird guide for a plane guide!

Wishing you all a terrific Tuesday xx

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