The closer you look, the more there is to see. As a child I had a blue-handled magnifying glass with a pocket clip faked to look like a Parker pen. I loved it because it was my way in to another world. Eventually, when I was ten years old, I bought myself a Russian microscope and was able to go even further. I would visit the local fishmongers on the way home from junior school and ask for some scales to look at under my microscope, or borrow one of my mum’s sewing needles and prick my thumb so I could look at my own red blood cells swimming before my eyes.
Now, I often carry a penknife and a magnifying glass because, ‘you never know’. There might be a fabulous long-horn beetle, a curious ladybird, a Ruby Tailed Wasp or an interesting fungus to study.
This month I’ve been taking part in #30DaysWild, run by the Wildlife Trusts, to get people to interact with nature just a little every day. The benefits to your life far outweigh the little time involved.
This fly basking on a rock in the sunshine is an amazing piece of evolution. For its ancestors to have eaten, reproduced and died again and again for millions of years and to have produced a million different living species is something so awe-inspiring it takes your breath away. And then I breathed and it flew away.
We have probably only described an eighth of the living species of true flies. Many are becoming extinct through habitat destruction so we will never even know that they existed. That’s a desperate loss to humanity, not to mention the loss to the fly.
It’s great to interact with nature, even if it is a fly.