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Amphibian kites

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: General
Forum Name: Off-Topic Forum
Forum Description: A Forum for off-topic discussions
Printed Date: 31 May 2020 at 5:19pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Amphibian kites
Posted By: Liz Heard
Subject: Amphibian kites
Date Posted: 26 Mar 2016 at 2:12pm
Hello folks,

I chanced by some sort of kite enthusiast gathering on a local common recently. It seemed to (mainly) have an aquatic - particularly marine - theme to it, and there were lots of other passers-by pulling up to take photos of the spectacular and very colourful kites.

Think this is supposed to be a newt?

another herp 'exhibit' was this frog

squid, mermaid, miscellaneous other airborne aquatics etc....

And a bizarre, huge pair of legs and torso (nothing from the waist up). The legs 'swam' in the wind like a diver exploring a reef:

Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2016 at 11:13pm
How interesting. Looks like the sort of hobby where you might spend some time untangling your lines if you weren't careful!


Posted By: Tom Omlette
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2016 at 12:02am
lol brilliant

Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 20 Nov 2017 at 10:07pm
Shame pictures no longer there? Would loved to have seen them.

Secret hobby of mine, my mum got me started when I was little, making kites out of bamboo sticks and brown paper. Carried it on for a life time, have a large collection, most built by myself Smile

Do have to watch for the tangled lines Suz, main reason I rarely go fly them these days, dogs off of leads. People just leave their dogs to attack the kites that can take hours or even days or weeks to make. Sad but hard to find anywhere isolated enough to enjoy it these days. Perhaps these organised events would be worth a try. Then you get the people who can't figure there must be a line (or two) between the kite and the person flying it... ...yep walk straight into your lines. They have no clue a kite line can cause a serious burn or even worse if it is kevlar kite string on a modern stunt kite!

Shame because it is such a simple and relaxing thing to do. Back in the '80s I could go fly a stunt kite in a London park and nobody would walk between the kite and and me, most would just stop and watch for a while, now people are totally clueless!

Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 25 Nov 2017 at 10:13am
Hi Gemma,

Yes, it is a shame and i feel very aggrieved about it. I'm afraid Photobucket are holding all my pictures to ransom. They've changed their pricing so now, to update for 3rd party sharing, they want hundreds of pounds for a year - money i don't have.
When i get a minute i'll see if i still have them somewhere and re-post.

The 'kite festival' takes place a couple of times each year on Minchinhampton Common, so assuming some of the same kites reappear, there may be a another chance to photograph them - possibly with some new ones.

Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 25 Nov 2017 at 10:16am

Meantimes, here's a large, wooden scultpure of a GCN from Robinswood Hill, Gloucester (Glos WL Trust's base)

Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 25 Nov 2017 at 7:30pm

Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 29 Nov 2017 at 6:14pm
Photos have now reappeared!
My Dad was a kite enthusiast. He used to make them out of brown paper and lengths of wood that came in boxes of daffodils (and probably other flowers). This was when I was a kid in the 1950s and 1960s. He may have been making them from his own youth. He had such a length of string on a stick (his reel as it were) that the kites would go up into the clouds. I presume the clouds were low! The pull on the string was fantastic. We lived in a fairly quiet part of the Lake District so there were good places for flying them and another place was on the seashore near Blackpool. We would walk back to his parents after a spell on the beach and Dad would arrive ages later as he had to wind all his string in to get the kite down. He walked as he wound to save time. Happy days.


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 30 Nov 2017 at 6:19pm
Hi Suzi.
Those do indeed sound like happy days. I think i tried kite flying a couple of times but couldn't get on with it. However, like you, much of my childhood was spent outside. We used to walk down the hill to a local factory and collect giant pieces of cardboard with which to slide down the steep banks of a nearby common on. They were as fast as a sledge once you'd levelled the grass by doing it a couple of times. Other occasions it was exploring woods and disused builings, playing tag, football or war, or off looking for slow worms, lizards, newts, frogspawn etc. My mum never knew where i was!
I'm kinda glad i grew up in the era i did. When i go to visit my parents these days (their house overlooks the common from the other side of the valley), sadly i never, ever see kids playing on the grassy knolls where i spent so many happy hours.

Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 05 Dec 2017 at 9:17pm
Well Ben I lived in Bolton until I was almost ten years old. We wandered a long way from home when playing out. There were kids everywhere playing. Parents didn't overly worry in those days. Mind you my parents did take us out into the countryside around the town when they could and, as I've mentioned on here before, my mother encouraged us by netting newts out of ponds and putting them in jam jars so we could look at them. There was lots of rough disused land with potential for encounters with nature (the places I knew are built over now). 
I think the kind of childhoods us older folk had won't come around again, sadly.


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2017 at 9:49am
Unfortunately it seems to be a common theme these days, you never really see kids just messing around in the countryside. Between 3 and 10 I lived on the Isle of Wight and it seems like we spent all our lives outside, either playing football, war, or just playing in the woods. Moving to the West Country for the next 7 years we were surrounded by farmland and woods, or would get dropped off for a days fishing on a local stream. Wherever we were though, nature was there, in fact the biggest thing I notice now is the almost total lack of bugs, beetles and butterflies flying around compared to those days, even car windscreens never seem to get moths splattered on them.

Unfortunately I would have to blame technology, why would a child run around pretending to fire a gun made from an old stick when they can be sat indoors on the latest Call of Duty game, and socialising with friends seems to involve messaging on Snapchat rather than actually knocking on someones door and asking if they want to play-out.

Im sure most generations think they had the best childhood but I really do think those of us that grew up in the 70's had the very best, money was still short but for most living conditions had improved and there was just a sense of freedom that I don't think kids these days really understand, our lives were outdoors whereas theirs seem to be indoors.

Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 16 Feb 2018 at 6:32pm
Glad the pictures are back, really enjoying them! Was another that grew up being outdoors whenever I could I would be outside. No doubt how I got interested in fauna and flora just being out there with it. Don't know if anyone else has posted about this, found this article really sad:" rel="nofollow -" rel="nofollow -

It's a long list of words that were dropped including Adder and Newt as they are apparently not so relevant to children now as words like 'broadband', 'chat room' and 'cut-and-paste'. Full list of words in the link.

Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 16 Feb 2018 at 8:24pm
How depressing. I find it the cruelest irony that at this time when wildlife is threatened almost everywhere you look and in more need of urgent help than ever, interest in it is arguably at an all time low - and especially among the all-important younger generations.

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