I normally try to keep all of my posts generally as self-contained entities, referring only to other posts and not to too many of the particulars of my life. But this site has been on a bit of a hiatus for five months, so it seems worthy of some sort of comment. Not too much though, so moving on.
With summer upon us – in theory at least – and a new car, my wife and I resolved to go for many more walks when the weather is in our favour (so that’ll be half a dozen this year, then). The theory being, going on specifically planned walks makes us more likely to go out (rather than vague notions of travelling to a place and then wandering about aimlessly), and hopefully there’d be stuff for me to photograph along the way too.
Our first planned walk was a short round trip near Keyhaven, on the southern tip of the New Forest National Park. There, in the northern Solent, are various marshes, formerly for salt production but now areas of natural beauty and nature reserves. So the walk was short, perfect to break us in, and should be full of wildlife, which would give me the opportunity to do ‘reactive’ photography which is usually the best kind for when I’m rusty.
It wasn’t long before we saw something, which my Big Book of Identifying Wildlife tells me is a bird of some sort.
There were a handful of them about, including similar looking ones of a different colour that might have been a different species all together.
For the most part, they were a bit far away against a bit of a busy background that they were standing too close to, so many of the shots I took of them were lacking a bit. Occasionally though, they wandered closer so I could get some better shots.
This little stretch of water also had some lifeforms I’m more used to: ducks. I often try to get a shot of them flapping their wings after bathing. Today was no exception, but I think I’m still on the chase for the perfect shot of them doing it.
A little further along our walk we came across another patch of water. This one was being hunted by a couple of terns (well, presumable they were hunting something in the water, but at no point did we see what that was).
I made great efforts to capture the birds both stalking in the air and striking the water. The latter, unfortunately, was hampered somewhat by the fence that lined the water, either cluttering the shots or in some cases obscuring the action almost entirely.
The fence notwithstanding, the shots I got of them were pretty decent; it seems I’m getting better at the timing and the focussing, the challenge now seems to be the framing – and in this area, I’m at least noticing there’s an issue, whereas in the old days I’d not see the fence for the scene I’d captured happening behind it.
So if you don’t mind, I’m going to indulge myself a bit, by shutting up and just posting a bunch of them.
They did at least sit on theat fence occasionally, so I could get a decent shot of them.
It was there they gave us the clue that they were a parent/juvenile pair, since the one doing most of the hunting seemed to be feeding the other.
Also in this section, but fortunately not obstructed by the fence, was a white heron-like thing that a cursory google suggests is a great egret, which sounds more like a typo. This guy was hunting too.
He didn’t take too many swipes at whatever he was going for, but I caught one of them with decent timing.
I became obsessed with catching his reflection on the water, neatly distorted by the ripples from his hunting.
There was also a swan with a lovely water effect.
It wasn’t all wildlife I photographed. There was a water level marker that, thanks to its apparent rustiness and position in the reeds, make for a nice colour combination.
Immediately before our walking route turned away from the Solent and back inland, there was a jetty. At the end was a metal marker, rusted by the sea and graffitied by many a visitor.
I turned back and took a shot of the people enjoying the day.
Disappointingly, there was an empty cider bottle left there. Still, it made for a decent shot.
Our route back took us through some slightly different flora, so there were some different wildlife to see. The first thing that caught my eye was this butterfly, who was unexpectedly cooperative.
There was also this bird, flagrantly flouting the ‘keep out’ sign.
And this proud fellow, which is also a bird.
We stopped for lunch by the harbour, where a buoy caught my eye.
The final shot I took was of this speed limit sign, as I liked the texture of it.
I know Creative Splurges has been pretty quiet as of late. I’ve been shooting here and there over that time, but only editing on and off – my computer problems are hopefully behind me at this point, which was part of the problem – and never really writing, because my head for whatever reason has not been in the right place for it. I am hoping that that is all behind me, but for now I’m not sure yet if I’m back onto my ‘post weekly’ schedule or if I’ll be trying something less frequent.