Multi-DF  Sunday May 31st 2015

The  'Spring  Watch  Event'      Organiser  Tim M0BGE   

Site Cockaynes Wood, Alresford.

Tea: The Wooden Fender: Colchester Road, Ardleigh, Colchester, Essex CO7 7PA     

Young Timbo's events are usually 'memorable'  -
the three rivers & railway epic 2012,
the underwater lakes 2013,
the The Roman Nettlefest 2014,

What would it be this year? Eight poor souls were about to find out.

Are the wellies a hint or a warning?

What is the Spring Watch title all about ...

It all started quite normally , some went off , like rocket  ....

  .....   others left at speed.

Some were on a high ......

  ......  some were  .........   a little confused!

At I am not the only one confused ....

                                        ......  it's here somewhere

Oh no the Triffids have mutated, their fungal spores could be anywhere!

Thank heavens for  a well rooted easy to spot normal triffid .

Of course those with young eyes were having no problems

Alex is not phased by another mutant triffid.

Fortunately Bob had anti-triffid measures in his back pack in case of trouble.

Dave nulling out F, but would it be high or low?

 A caused problems for 'some' depite having well formed roots.

Position Competitor Handicap Joker A B F G I J R S Y Z Total Percent
1 Colin F 15 R 23 20 40 40 20 17 80 40 23 23 311 100
2 Gary P 40 S 13 40 20 20 23 23 32 64 26 40 261 83
3 Roy E 46 Z 20 15 17 17 40 40 17 17 32 64 233 74
4 Alex S 0 * 64 26 32 32 17 0 23 23 0 0 217 69
5 Richard S 0 G 26 23 26 52 15 0 20 20 0 0 182 58
6 Philip C 100 Y 15 17 23 23 26 32 15 15 80 26 172 55
7 Dave W 30 J 40 32 15 15 0 40 26 26 0 0 164 52
8 Bob S 0 F 17 13 0 13 32 26 0 0 0 0 101 32

Congratulations to Colin .... his 13th DF was not so unlucky.

  Gary picks up 2nd.
The Hero League is hotting up, with Tim able to take 5 points for running the event Philip had to be third or better to hang on to this prestigious and totally tasteful trophy.          Philip's mis-spent afternoon can be followed at this link
Here is small screen grab  according to the link he was only moving for 30 mins so what was he doing for the other two hours .... looking up trees triffid spotting?

Anyway let's hand over to the 'Rocket Man' who obviously had no such problems, tell us how you did Colin:
The start point was at a picnic table in the middle of a nature reserve where one by one the hunters assembled. Tim arrived to give us our Jokers and implicit instructions about the site, as we watched our watches tick their way towards 13:30. Looking at my map, I was hatching a plan, there was a wood to the North where we had come in, there was also a larger wood down the Western flank, and a scattering of wooded areas along the Southern boundary by the railway. It seemed to me that the North wood could be an obvious choice and I was ready as 13:29 arrived, so crouching down with my head pointing North (as though I was on starting blocks). 13:29 & 57sec, 3-2-1 . . . I was off, heading for a wooden planked bridge, I approached it so fast I was worried I would slip (then I would be a laughing stock), I slowed a little taking great care not to fall, but as I climbed up the gentle bank I was out of breath, but didn’t stop till I was out of site and then thought . . that wasn’t such a good idea !

I gently walked around the northern edge waiting for R (my Joker) to come on. When it did, I was somewhat surprised to find it was still further North, I chased back out onto the path I’d left, following this I now had a hedge on the right. Some way along here I spotted an entrance into an enclosed area inside the hedge, this was where R was, after searching a while I found the triffid hidden under the foliage on the other side of a ditch. 80 points for my joker, great, now lets go back for S, signals were now NE so I pressed on to a right turn and over a little bridge. With the signal now straight ahead, it wasn’t long before I spotted a flattened circle of grass next to the hedge, I checked all around but I was sure this was it.   Gary was now in hot pursuit, and I tried to be discreet as I removed the triffid to get at another 40 token, he didn’t miss this and was homing in as soon as I retreated back to the corner. A quick check there were no more signals out this way I heading back to the woods. Now I had good F & G signals in the woods, G led me to a line of trees by the edge of a corn field. However, a triffid I could not find, I searched the ground inside and out, then standing up something caught my attention as I to glanced over a stump . . there it was, looking like a nest of yellow eggs snugly encased by leaves,  I carefully lifted the triffid to reveal another 40 (I wasn’t expecting that). After sliding it back, I grabbed some leaves to replace the ones I had disturbed (I didn’t want to spoil it for the next hunter!).
F next, not far away somewhere in the trees (I forget the exact location), and yet again another 40 points, this was unbelievable 200 points and only hour in, where was everyone? Well I might as well do A & B while I’m here, so went for B first, not a difficult one, took just 8mins from F, then another 4mins to find A, it was carefully hidden under a large Rhodo with the black bag tightly pressed under a low bough. Time to deposit 6 tokens, a joker and take a breather, quite unusually there was still no one else about.
I had picked up some signals earlier to the East and guessed they would be in the other woods, so made my way out to the corner where the path would take me between some lakes. By now the rain had started, and knew I was going to get wet as I crossed the open space. As I trudged the path across, I spotted a figure ahead of me, pointing his camera in my direction, I gave Tim a grin as we passed and left him to stalk more prey. I was not sure where to start as I approached the NE corner, but wanting to get out of the rain, I entered the trees before checking what was on. I had both Z & J to the South, so started off in that direction, it wasn’t long before I found myself on top of a hill, ahead of me was a steep bank down to a stream, and another steep bank up the other side. Well at least I could cross here I thought, and began descending the bank, but with no signals I stopped and thought again, I think I will wait for another transmission . . Bloody hell Z was strong when it came on, it’s here! . .it’s somewhere here! I backed up the bank and searched the ground straight away. Where is it ? there’s nothing here, no undergrowth to hide it, so where the hell is it ? Just then I thought, he wouldn’t have put it up in a tree would he, and as I looked up, there it was right above me, perched on a branch! I had no trouble removing the triffid to get my token of 23, but trying to balance the triffid back on again wasn’t easy, I had to use the help of a twig from another branch to hold it on. With still no one around Y was on with a signal from the NW, so found myself backtracking a bit to go down to the stream on the Western edge. This side of the stream was board-walked over boggy terrain, I followed this south but soon the signal beckoned me across the stream. 

Oh what luck, here was a moss covered fallen tree to help me cross the stream, being rather wary of green stuff on wood, I grabbed the tree first and then put one boot firmly on the moss, before slowly easing myself across.  I was now faced with a dense tangled mass of undergrowth, I worked my way around this through some nettles to the right, and got myself on the other side. With another transmission it led me back towards the tangled mass, but it was now very strong, I must be close and in vein searched the long grass between transmissions. I couldn’t work it out, there was definitely no way in, I just needed another signal, the Mossie’s were biting as I lay in wait for the brief few seconds of help. Oh my god, I had already passed it just a few metres back, thank Christ for that, I want to get the hell out of here and fast. I took the same route back to the path over the mossy tree and was now ready for I & J. But J should be on . . . nothing ! I had J earlier before I found Z, so why not now, was I now further away, was the hill blocking the signal? I headed east to the top of a bank, still no J ! . . OK I’ll have to use ‘I’ then, and went back down to the path, I followed this South and then turned left along by the railway.
The path meandered about going around fenced off areas back towards the start. But the signals for ‘I’ seemed to be back towards the railway, and I ended up climbing a steep bank to get back on the railway path again.I followed this until there were fences on both sides of me, at this point the transmission stopped but was very strong, I searched the long grass both sides of a fallen branch, but the triffid eluded me. Another transmission and still no triffid, I could hear voices in the woods below, it was Richard with young Alex, I tried to be quiet to avoid attention as they were now getting close. I never saw them when I finally realised I had passed ‘I’ a few metres before the fallen branch, I took my token and quietly returned back along the path. I now had a week signal on J, but the sense was vague and suggested it might be North towards Z, a few paces North with a rapidly falling signal suggested otherwise, I turned about and tracked the signal on strength alone. I had no idea at this point why I had lost J’s signal but I learned later the aerial had fallen to the ground whilst my attention had been diverted by Z & Y. It didn’t take long to find J though, it was near the railway fence, and I plucked my last token of 17 points before heading back towards the start.

 Phil, Gary and Tim were now at the picnic table and wanted to know if I had 10, I nodded and headed off for A back in the northern woods. I couldn’t remember exactly how to find it, but knew it was near a substantial pile of logs, eventually I found the logs and saw Roy standing by the entrance. It was now 15:12 as I popped my last few tokens into my post box, I could rest assured I had given my best . . After rounding up all the transmitters and hunters we reunited at the Wooden Fender for refreshments and results. I was hoping to have made the top 3, but was astounded (and pleased) to be told I was the outright winner, another trophy, another photo, and of course another 50 points added to my handicap! I quickly opted to discard 10, but have still moved from bottom up to 3rd place.
My thanks must go to Tim for putting on an excellent hunt in such nice surroundings, this site had everything (except salty tidal water), and thank you Roy for kindly loaning me your set again, it has been a memorable 13th event.

Great stuff Colin ....... and we will be in your home territory for the next event .... thank heavens for that handicap!

Thank you all for coming and of course 'thank you'  to Timbo  for 'planting' the triffids.
Why the title 'Spring  Watch'  event?  Was it that we should be watching out for bouncing triffids  .... now it's up tree, now it's on the ground , now it's up ....... ?
Apparently Tim is planning an urban event next year with triffids disguised as house bricks, remind me to sign Alex up for my team or get an eye transplant.

Next event Sunday 28th June  See here for details when available.