Flora and Fauna

I apologise for not knowing all the names of the plants and creatures that I’ve photographed, it’s unforgivable really but I did give fair warning on the Home page. I’m a bit of a butterfly when it comes to the things I like to record and you can’t know everything.

I’ve ever so slightly stretched the usual definition of Flora and Fauna too, by including Landscapes that just happen to have a single bird that’s barely visible or a lonely sheep and I’ve also included photo’s of Hay Stack’s, Hay Bales and a Corn Row [That were once plants before they were cut and dried of course] and even a dead tree or two. I suppose I could have gone even further with that logic by including a Joint of Lamb, a Rump Steak or a Bacon Sandwich but even I felt that that would have been a bridge too far.

I love all animal encounters and in the UK that usually means cattle and horses. I’m not very good with fast moving creatures and telephoto lenses, but I did make an exception with the Maquaces in Morocco though, as they are so exotic for an Englishman and a real challenge to get good shot’s of. Likewise the Langurs in India, they are such beautiful monkey’s that it was a real pleasure to watch and wait for a good opportunity to present itself.  The wonderful thing about our domesticated animals is that they come to you rather than avoid you at all costs. The encounter with the the pony on Bodmin Moor was quite magical and is amongst my favourite photo’s…and as for the Pigs and Mules’s in Greece. I do like a bit of a challenge from time to time though and lizards can be quite tricky and insects too but my current ‘sport’ during the Coronavirus shutdown is Birds. I live in a flat and I’ve recently set myself the task of trying to photograph some beautiful Goldfinches that flit about in the gardens at the back of my flat…until I realised that my neighbours may think I was pointing my camera at them. So I now aim my telephoto lens a bit higher where a lot of birds perch on the beautiful chimney’s that adorn the houses around Bath. As they’re all hand made [ the chimney’s not the birds ] I’m on a constant lookout for bird perching opportunities when they arise. Watch this space. 

Plant’s and trees on the other hand don’t have legs, so you would think they were sitting targets but if it’s windy, they can be tricky too but I love trying to reveal the detail in flowers, especially small ones that we would normally ignore or just take for granted. In Greece and Sicily, especially in Spring, there are flowers everywhere and they sometimes form natural little gardens by roadsides. If you look hard enough, there is beauty everywhere.

And then there is my Garden in the Sky. A row of trees in pot’s, varying in age from 10 to 35yrs old. I’ve never had a garden of my own but have worked on other peoples gardens for many years. Living at the top of a Grade II listed Georgian house means that this is the closest I can get to my own mature garden. They require a lot of care but all I have to do to tend them, is open my window and tweak and nurture them whilst kneeling on my window seat. I love the pot’s they are planted in and each one has a micro garden to tend at the base of their ageing trunks.

Sadly, my most dramatic animal encounter came at a time when I didn’t carry a camera of any kind, so I’ve had to rely on a press cutting to show you the majesty of Clyde the Lion. [However, I’ve recently received some photographs of him, sent to me by Martin, his keeper, which are now attached to the ‘Lion of Eaton Square’ story. I am indebted to Martin for sending them to me. 28/7/23]. You can read about him and see those 2 photo’s in the Story category. Why oh why didn’t it cross my mind to get hold of a camera during the few months that I had regular contact with him? The reason they don’t appear here, is because I’ve tried to stick to my rule of only showing photographs that I took…but in this instance, I couldn’t resist attaching Martin’s images to my story.