Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wildlife Viewed Through Beer Goggles: 2 Adders













If you like your lager with added 'bite', then the Allendale Brewery's Adder lager may be for you. I enjoyed it - perfect for today's unseasonably warm and sunny weather - but strictly, of course, as part of my ongoing academic investigation into wildlife-themed beers.


I don't see real adders in my part of County Durham very often, which is probably more to do with me not visiting the right places at the right time than a reflection of their rarity. Whenever I do encounter them it's usually in Hamsterley Forest or in moorland edge habitats, but I met this one a few years ago basking in the middle of a road near Wolsingham in Weardale.


She was imminent danger of becoming road kill so - with great care - I gave her a gentle prod with a long stick and she moved to the side of the road where she quickly slide down a rabbit burrow, which was a piece of good luck for her but maybe not for any resident rabbits. 

Lovely reptile, though.

14 comments:

  1. I had to do the same with an adder in Glen Affric once. They obviously like the warmth that the road surface reflects back. And yet I've never seen any as road-kill. Fortunately I always walk with a stick so carefully getting it to move without any personal risk was no problem.

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  2. What a lovely Adder - she has such beautiful markings.
    We get a few around Abriachan, but the numbers seem to be down in recent years.
    How did you manage to move her?
    I am imagining the snaker catcher in the Roald Dahl story wearing waist-high waders with a long forked stick and a canvas bag.

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  3. Glad you managed to save the Adder; a shame some animals end up dead, just because they're enjoying some sun.

    I like the idea of a beer with bite :-)

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  4. It's a find. I really love snakes. Good to see you saved it.

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  5. I used a couple of sticks to pick it up and move it John. I did consider the macho 2Y-shaped stick to pin it down and then picking it up behind the neck" technique - but the more cautious method seemed like the safer option for both of us.

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  6. Hi Margaret and Donald, there's never a forked stick around when you need one, is there?! The do have lovely markings even when they are young. When she was little my daughter once almost picked up a baby one out on the moors, thinking it was some kind of worm.

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  7. Hi Keith, lizards always seem to choose drystone walls for their early morning sunbathing, which is a much safer bet!

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  8. Hi Adrian, always a bit of a thrill to find one...

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  9. Phil,

    I can see the headline now:

    "Journalist Assists In Rabbit Killings"

    Its a good research idea but did you get a Government Grant for it, dont see why not after some of the stupid things I have read lately

    "Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh -- Calculations on Avian Defaecation", Polar Biology, 2003

    John

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  10. Phil, I was waiting for you to add some cider to the lager... :o)

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  11. Phil, I'm glad the lager has 'bite' and the Adder didn't!!

    Nice one, well done for saving it!...[;o)

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  12. Hi John, Quite a few years ago I appeared under a headline in the Sun that read Boffin Claims Bunnies are Bonking Mad, after I was quoted in an article in the Northern Echo about a population explosion of rabbits on local allotments.

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  13. Graeme, Doh! Missed a great opportunity...!

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  14. Hi Trevor, Don't think I've ever found an adder when I've deliberately set out to look for one - always by accident, and usually when I didn't have the right photographic equipment with me...

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