I am sat here writing this as the first day of England’s COVID Lockdown #2 draws to a close. Whilst I have been out photographing in between the rain storms over the last month and sharing on social media, I haven’t really been in a headspace to sit down and put together a coherent post. Dare I also say that as a crafter I have been working on some C*****mas projects.
Aside from the UK’s tendency to serve up some truly foul weather, I quite like Autumn as a season. The stunning warm colours of foliage combined with lovely soft light and crisp frost mornings make for some beautiful photography. Autumn is also the time of the Deer Rut. I am fortunate to be within fairly easy reach of the Ashton Court Estate on the outskirts of Bristol. One Saturday morning last month we were both awake early and the sunrise was looking promising so coffee clutched in thermal mugs we threw the camera gear in the car and headed over. It was like some sort of paparazzi gathering there with a photographer every 2 meters (yes social distancing was observed!) but definitely worth it to see and hear the Stags bellowing and strutting their stuff.
Everyone seems to focus on the Red Deer during the rut and they certainly put on a good show. However, another visit to Ashton Court a couple of weeks ago took a chance diversion through the Fallow Deer sanctuary. Fallow Deer are incredibly shy creatures and since we had the dogs with us plus there was a particularly noisy group of people walking through the sanctuary, I was not expecting to see anything at all. Then all of sudden he appeared from the woodland – a magnificent Buck staring at us through the trees. A few minutes later we then encountered the most enchanting little doe who just looked back at us with an expression of curiosity. Once this next period of lockdown is over I will definitely be going back – possibly without my able canine assistants.
There are more images from Autumn in my Portfolio including some from a trip to Slimbridge Wetlands Centre (because everyone needs to see a smiling Otter at some point) and local birds and wildlife photographed in the garden or on our daily dog walks.
So as we start this next lockdown period, I will still be out photographing the beautiful nature in my immediate area. I have plans to try and coax my garden robin onto the newly built pond wall and will continue to stalk the squirrels that inhabit the trees along the bridleway. I am aiming to publish at least one beautiful photo each day of this current lockdown which will be added to a Lockdown Album and shared on my social media feed.
There has been a lot of focus on the things we can’t do for the next few weeks. But there is nothing stopping us from enjoying the beauty of nature around us, in the countryside or in our cities, whether that is a stunning sunset or a simple sparrow singing it’s heart out.
Stay Safe, Stay Connected and watch out for more Squirels!