Tag Archives: seasons

Frustrating for Fungi

One of the highlights of autumn each year is the fantastic array of fungi in our woodlands – something I’ve always enjoyed photographing as it’s a different approach and style to the norm of my work.

As well as having a number of local haunts that have worked well over the years I have also run a workshop at a great location in the south-east on precisely the same day of the year for the last half dozen or so now.

This year was the hardest I’ve ever known though – normally there are fungi in abundance in late October/early November but this really has been a bizarre autumn – warm, dry and frustrating for fungi and fungi photographers alike.

There was still enough to make it an enjoyable day with a good nuber of earthballs, a couple of very fresh fly agarics and some nice bunches of sulphur tufts too (although someone had decided to put a boot through the nicest bunch I’d spent the previous afternoon discovering…thanks whoever that was!) but as in so many ways this autumn I don’t think 2011 will be going down as my favourite fungi year for sure.  Good job you learn to roll with things in this line and look forward to next year eh?!

How do you define your Seasons?

The last week or so of warm weather, coming on the back of a really dry few weeks in this part of the world has really marked that Spring is definitely here now and Summer probably isn’t too far away.  It’s also got me thinking about just how as individuals we mark the passing of the seasons in an era when many of us are removed from nature generally.

For many it’s the simple things that impact on how they live their lives – brighter evenings at this time of the year and darker ones in the autumn certainly impact on our social activities.  For gardeners and farmers it’s where they are in terms of the years routines of planting, clearing, sowing, harvesting and so on.  For ornithologists it’s all about what’s on migration and what’s breeding or over-wintering dependent on where we are in the year.

As a wildlife photographer each year is full of projects.  This can be a combination of trips, research ventures, or working on specific species or habitats at certain times of the year when certain activites, behaviours or general presence is either at it’s optimum potential or offering something different. 

It’s all too easy to get into a far too regular cycle here though – and I hear many a conversation based around following the all too familiar path of photographic ventures as the seasons unfold, and whilst this is great if you haven’t worked on certain species before, have a specific set of images that you’re after or want to build on, or want to revisit something you did a while ago and feel you can improve on, then there’s a lot to be said for taking a different focus once in a while too.

This Spring, while I’ve never been too far away from my beloved Great Crested Grebes, and driven in part by the need for some images for a book project I’m working on for later this year, I’ve been getting up close and personal with some of our Spring wild flowers.  It’s been different, has given me the chance to well and truly think out of the normal box I work in, and although it’s not finished yet, there’s some images I’m pretty pleased with and that will round off my portfolio in a whole new area.

So look out for the Lesser Celandines, the Wood Anenomes, the Wild Garlic and Strawberries before they all disappear soon in this heatwave: they may well help you redefine your seasons photography.