Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hunting the Croc at Night

Here are the photos from last nights expedition. The plan was discussed here Old Red Eyes - Croc Hunting at Night. As dusk fell and darkness grew across the land we prepared to see if the croc, which is a mostly nocturnal animal would emerge. At the start looking round the lake in the gloaming I noted there were loads of footprints from monster hunters so I think the area round the lake has been very well covered since the publicity had started. I also talked to a friendly guy who had brought his two kids to look for the croc.

I wandered around in reed beds in the dark and checked likely places nearby for croc using a torch to check for eye shine. The street lamps illuminated the lake well so if he was there it would be easy to spot him.

Man Thing Copyright Marvel Comics
Not seen in Swansea yet!

There was no sign of the croc but it increasingly felt like Blair Witch or Man/Swamp Thing country as we blundered around in the dark through muddy areas and reeds. Not exactly the Florida keys but at least it wasn't raining and there was also a lack of midges buzzing us. In ancient welsh lore such areas are good ones to see ellylldan or canwll corfe "corpse candles" [Elf-fire, willow the wisps or Jack O'Lanterns are some of the English names] widely associated with the supernatural and ill omens but now generally seen as swamp gas. They also were seen in graveyards and other places too so it is a little more complex than that.

Discoveries included a pipe which I guess may be part of the old workings as there were quarries, mines and industry in this area. It was about 100m from the water and was an ideal hiding place but we decided crawling down there after a croc was a bad idea!

Then we found the rustling bramble bush which clearly had an animal in. Fancy plunging a hand in to see what it is? I think not. Didn't seem to be a croc shaped way in so we left it alone.

Also some idiots had chucked another trolley in the water and tore down the life belts. Very clever.

We also almost got run down by a 4 by 4 which zoomed past us. I think someone may have been shining headights onto water looking for the croc. Good tactic often used by crocodile hunters. But the croc I suspect is not in the water. If it is still alive it may have gone into hibernation till the weather improves. The problem is with a pine forest 5m or so from the waters edge on the north side, the reedbeds and vegetation to the east and Kilvey hill on the south with tons of bushes and trees there are tons of places for an animal to hide.

I don't think we are finding anything soon to be honest. But who knows.

Pluck Lake is 1km away directly from a far larger body of water Fendrod Lake which lies to the North-east and has more fish and bird life . Although the direct root takes you through a built up area a more roundabout way goes through the nature reserve then only 300 odd m from the lake. But it looks like you would have to go through a railway line. Or there maybe underground tunnels between Fendrod and Pluck Lake so I have been told! More about these in a future posts.

Perhaps a more likely destination is that you can after crossing the road travel through woodland to reach the Tawe. This is only 650m from the lake. So the croc maybe long gone!

That is if it fancies moving long distances which I doubt.

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