April 2020
April 2020 - Survival

What interesting times we live in. Coronavirus is spreading throughout the country and we are yet to experience the worst of its affects. The public are in 'lock down' and only allowed to leave their homes for an hour's exercise or other reasons around survival. This effectively restricts the nature photographers to their back gardens and I suspect we shall see many bird and insect images in the coming months. My spell of exercise each day will be with camera in hand and it's time to think imaginatively about sourcing photographs and subjectmatter over the coming weeks.

Prior to the restrictions, I was able to fit in a couple of excursions. The first was to the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park ending up at Inversnaid for a late lunch. The Inversnaid hotel sits alone overlooking Loch Lomond on the West Highland Way - a long distance walking route between Milngavie and Fort William. Photographs on the wall depict the hotel in Victorian times with travellers arriving by boat and horse-drawn carriage to enjoy unspoilt scenery and mountain views. Beside the hotel, a picturesque waterfall emerges from broad leaf woodland to tumble into the loch adding to the feeling of wild isolation. Given such a backdrop, it's little wonder the hotel has withstood the test of time.

I also visited a gorge in Fife known as Rumbling Bridge. The road bridge currently spanning the gorge is built over its historic predecessor giving it a unique appearance. While there are viewing platforms of water rushing through the gorge, vegetation beside the paths is quite overgrown making photography tricky. Factor in a high contrast in light levels between the top and bottom of the gorge, the challenge for pictures was apparent! Nevertheless, perseverance paid off and I came away with some images by which to remember the day.

With the mild winter, I thought the crocuses in our parks bloomed early this year. I always enjoy trying to capture their rich colours; the combination of white, purple and gold complement each other so well and a joy to behold signalling spring's arrival. I posted an image on Facebook.

A quick visit to a strip of woodland near our house gave me the chance to photograph some blue tits (see image). It was uplifting to watch a blue tit pair chase each other around in a presumed courtship ritual and served as a reminder that the nesting season will soon be upon us when young chicks battle nature to stay alive. All wildlife has its own challenges for survival which have been well documented in recent years; perhaps it's now our turn...