Monday, 29 August 2011

Deer, Deer and More Deer!

This year, unlike last, we have apples on the apples trees. This means that our garden is a choice destination for the deer who love to eat the windfalls. They are backwards and forwards all day (and probably all night) feasting on the apples.

The other evening there were four muntjacs under the trees and, interestingly, another muntjac fawn. It was definitely not the fawn I spotted last week. This one was much bigger and without its spots. However, it was still suckling and very demanding on its mother. So, there must be at least two families of muntjacs around this year.

Sadly, it was too dark for decent photographs.

However, Mrs Roe and the Twins have also been hanging around much of the time. The twins are getting big now, almost as big as their Mum and their spots are just fading. They are about 3-4 months old now. I did not manage any good shots of the three of them together, but the other evening as it was getting dark Mum and one of the twins were in the field at the front. I got the following photos.

Roe Deer Doe and Fawn

Roe Deer Doe and Fawn

Roe Deer Doe and Fawn

The middle photo is quite amusing. The mother has an apple and some grass in her mouth and the little one is pulling at a piece of grass!

You need to click on the images to see larger versions.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Flash Photography

Birds Foot Trefoil

I have reached a stage in my photography where I don't feel I can improve until I have mastered flash and lighting in general. So often there is not enough natural light to take the photos I want.

So, I recently booked myself on a Lighting Fundamentals course run by Shutterbug Training ( James Stone, who runs the course, is very knowledgeable but above all he is able to impart his knowledge in simple terms - ideal for people like myself.

The course was excellent and I came home with a much better understanding of lighting and lots of ideas that I wanted to try.

Sadly this time of year in our garden is very boring. Hardly anything is flowering. I was desperate to find something to practise on so ended up picking some Bird's Foot Trefoil which was growing wild in the grass. The photo above is one of my early efforts. I am quite pleased with it and certainly could not have taken a photo as good as this before taking the lighting course.

As soon as I found a rose flowering, I pounced for more practise with the following result.

Wild Rose

I have continued to watch the badgers for the last few weeks. The little baby is fearless and follows a trail of peanuts to where I set up my camera, with this result...

Baby Badger

The roe deer twins are doing well. The farmer has cut the grass in the field out front and we can now see them when they are browsing in the field. They regularly come up to the fence to eat the blackberries. There are thousands of blackberries this year. I have been picking them every weekend and more keep coming.

Last week, I was very excited to catch a glimpse of a new baby muntjac. Very tiny, it is probably two or three weeks old and Mum is very protective. No chance for a photo, yet!

There were three hares on the front lawn yesterday, one of them a younster. Sadly, I found a young one dying in the garden today. I don't know what was wrong with it.

Finally, today there were dozens of dragonflies swooping around in the back garden enjoying the sunshine. I can never identify dragonflies without getting a photo and there was no chance of photos today.