The wonders of sheugh water

Killeshandra family fun day
Killeshandra family fun day

I recently brought lots of water creatures to Killeshandra Family Fun Day . We had great fun looking at water spiders, water boatmen, dragonfly larvae and water scorpions.

water boatman

water boatman

 

 

Water scorpion

Water scorpion

Look at the water spiders  air bubble  !

Water spider with an air bubble

Water spider with an air bubble

The spider has to come to the surface to collect the air

water spider abdomen out

So where do the creatures come from ??

Of course the answer is sheugh water , or many lake edges

“Of coorse their’s ither thaveless bein’s,
saft, hairmless, feckless doits – the lea’ins.
They’re happy hokin’ in a sheugh
or dungin’ byres, or somethin’ rugh”

 From the “The hiring fair”  by John Clifford.

I happy hoking in a sheugh (a sheugh , pronounced “shuck” is a drain.)

Sheugh

This may not be every bodies idea of happiness, indeed the poem above calls those that hoke  in sheughs, soft, harmless, useless, idiots  (I know  the language of the poem is a bit peculiar , its in Ulster Scots,). 

Now the days of hard labour cleaning out sheughs are long gone,  we can hoke on sheughs at our leisure! 

hoking in sheughs at our leisure

hoking in sheughs at our leisure

The young (and the young at heart) find this quite absorbing, Why?

A bowl full of life

A bowl full of life

 

Sheughs are full of life ! 

It’s a bit like  a lucky dip when you put the net in water,you’re not quite sure what you will get, but unless the water is very polluted you are bound to get something.

damselfly larvae

damselfly larvae

 

So its great fun , interesting, but it is also very important.

Since the 1950s we have been altering our streams, sheughs, rivers and lakes with nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorous to make the grass grow. , This in turn has altered the plants , creepy crawlies , fishes and bigger animals such as newts and birds that live in water.

4 spot dragon fly

4 spot dragon-fly

newt
newt

So have a hoke in sheugh water

1

There is a lot of life depending on it.

swallows feed up on insects round water before heading off on the long migration back to Africa

swallows feed up on insects round water before heading off on the long migration back to Africa

 

Advertisements

About bluedamseldiscovery

.Take time to look , listen, even scent what is on the wind.
This entry was posted in children and nature, farming and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s