A Resident’s Tale.

This arrived in my inbox last evening. It made me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have contacted Shelagh and she has given her permission for me to post her email in its entirety. Thanks Shelagh.

I have to say that most of the emails I receive are very entertaining.

>>>—–Original Message—–
From: Shelagh Branigan <shelagh.branigan@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 20:02:24
To: <mikeatwildenmarsh@hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: A Fisherman’s Tail.

Hello Mike,

After reading your Fisherman’s Tale post, I just had to write in.

I live on the edge of the wood and have enjoyed your wonderful blog for quite some time. I had no idea that our wood was such a diverse place. I always looked on the wood as a wasteland of old dying oak trees and a place for walking dogs. Your blog has shown me the error of my ways. I now try to find and name the wood plants and animal species with the help of your excellent photographs. I photograph my treasured finds with my phone camera and attempt to find out what they are at home. I am so grateful for all the work you have done in our wood.

My husband and I were once quite worried by torchlight activity in the wood late at night. Some nights we watched spectacular laser light shows, but just could not work out what was going on. One night in desperation I phoned my neighbour and asked if she could see the lights and did she knew what was going on. Oh that will be Mike the marsh warden, she said. He is up there photographing plants and insects with the most powerful torch in all of Kidderminster. Well this knowledge put our minds at rest and we have watched your torchlight moving mysteriously through the wood ever since. If our neighbour had not known what the beams of light were all about, my next phone call would have been to the police.

Do you ever see any undesirable people wandering the wood at night?

Thank you for giving me so much enjoyment.

Best regards,


I have indeed come across some very unsavoury characters is the wood at night, Shelagh, and have called the police out a ย number of times to apprehend battery and diesel thieves.

I remember on one occasion, I was out in the wood with a few women police officers chasing diesel thieves. I was absent-mindedly tickling a large German shepherd dog on its nose, when its handler asked me to please refrain from touching the dog: “It will have your hand off sir.”

The handler explained that her police dog would follow that latest scent: “But mine is the latest scent,” I explain nervously. “Don’t worry about that, sir,” said the handler. “He has already had a good sniff of you!” The handler gave the command to go, and the dog dragged her off into the bushes at speed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha! Life is full of interesting characters.

IMG_796210TH OCTOBER 2013a

9 Comments on “A Resident’s Tale.

  1. The wood is blessed with your watchful eyes… and torch.
    The reader is blessed with your beautiful photos and humor.


    • Hmmm. . . I spend a couple of hours in the wood each day, Alex. There is still plenty of time for thieves and villains to sculk about, unseen amongst the trees, with plastic containers slung over their shoulders . ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • I rarely see anyone in the woods and on the marsh after dark; when I do. they are most likely upto no good. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


  2. Oh dear, I like to frequent the woods at dawn or dusk trying to spot wildlife and avoiding people, I probably look very shifty! Dog handlers like to pretend their dogs are vicious but in reality they love a tickle as much as the next dog.


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