July 2020
July 2020 – In the neighbourhood

In Scotland, we eagerly await the next phase to ease covid restrictions further. This should see the withdrawal of the five-mile travel limit and the opening up of second homes. The news will be very welcome and permit wider photographic trips while also allowing us to use our cottage in the Cairngorms.

Meantime the last few weeks have been spent on local projects including photographing the wild flowers emerging in our back garden. The variety continues to impress, especially since the barrel of wild flower seed has sprung into life adding poppies, cornflowers and corncockles to the clover, borage and daisies growing on or around the lawn. Several images have now been posted on Facebook.

Another project has involved photographing the Gormley statues in the Water of Leith. Started last year, I managed to conclude it during June and now need to consider how to use the images. It has been an interesting and challenging project as I focussed on presenting unusual, original images of the six statues.

A walk on the golf course beside our house early one morning showed an abundance of rabbits enjoying the solitude ahead of the human ‘rush hour’ of walkers, dogs and cyclists. Drops of dew not only clung to the grass but also to the eyelashes of one young rabbit as it foraged on the fairway. I posted the image on Facebook.

One morning, I emerged from the back door of our house and heard a peculiar chattering sound from across the road. I looked over to a neighbour’s property and eventually found the source – a grey squirrel sitting on the top of a roof! I have rarely seen this and suspect it may have been chased up there by a passing cat before wondering how it might make its descent. While returning the camera to its bag after taking a few shots (see image) I returned to find the squirrel had safely climbed down and was bounding across the neighbour’s front lawn. The day was overcast and lacked colour so a black and white conversion better suited the image.

A while ago, I used to enjoy peregrine falcons nesting close to where we keep our bees but following the death of the female, the site was deserted for several years. However, this year they returned and I was delighted to see them raise and fledge three chicks. I managed one fleeting visit with the ‘long lens’ to grab an image of one of the chicks. Nature faces huge challenges - particularly in Scotland given the usual wild weather - but the warm spring and early summer has given both flowers and animals a chance this year; it also gave us the opportunity to enjoy them throughout the period of lockdown.