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JUNE 2017

Bee Orchid

Dorset for wildflowers and insects

My non-commissioned work in June was all about macro photography.  Orchids, wild flowers and insects.  Lots of fun, games and frustration with macro gear.  My 180mm and 100-400mm lenses were really put to the test this spring.  Yes, London has its wildflower meadows but I find setting aside some days in my diary and leaving the big city, creates the real 'get out of bed' discipline that I need.  I'm more of a night owl than a lark... or as somebody once said.. more of a bedraggled pigeon!  

A couple of days in Dorset wandering about in the wildflower meadows was a real delight.  There was quite a lot of mist about in the early mornings which made some lovely opportunities for misty landscapes... and then dewy subjects.  All very delightful but bloody hard work.  Don't let anybody tell you that macro photography is easy!  It isn't.  My favourite subjects were the dew covered grass bugs and the burnet moth caterpillar.

Bee orchids are undeniably irresistable.  The intricacy of the pattern on the individual flower head is astonishing.  I think that's why I like macro photography ... it forces you to take time and look carefully at the cleverness of nature.  Can you see the little 'eyes'?

The evening light on the Quaking grass was fun too.  I couldn't say that I'd 'nailed' the shot but I have a reference point for a subject that I want to explore again one day.

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and Kent for fun, friendship and photography

I spent a couple of days in Kent too with the ever wonderful Brett Lewis. We walked for miles and took photographs and generally put the world to rights!  We went found orchids and butterflies and of course, went to look for adders and grass snakes!  As we walked round ponds that were dug to mitigate loss of habitat elsewhere a grass snake shot out from near Brett's feet and sped into the water.  It was a sight that I'll never forget!  

We spent some time watching a female Emperor dragonfly laying eggs in the pond.  Despite the large distance, the 100-400mm managed some reasonable pictures from heavily cropped files.  One day I'll get closer to the action!

We went to a well-known site for adders and grass-snakes.  I was really hoping to see both.  Brett found a juvenile adder basking in the sun near a pond.  I took a snap that's included in the selection below just so you can see how well camouflaged they are.  He also spotted a large grass snake moving up and down the same pond bank but it never really came face to face with the juvenile adder  I coldn't help wondering what would have happened if they'd met!  I would never have seen either reptile without the eagle eyes of Brett and some keen local enthusiasts.

The weather was 'changeable' and in betwen downpours, we spent some time photographing some relatively common insects too.

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Thank you so much for your friendship and your company Brett & Katheryn x