My father always said that the secret of success was having realistic small goals that took you towards reaching your major achievement, so this week I am seriously pleased that I have managed to photograph a squirrel. Not a fluffy tail heading out of sight. Not a blurred image of an awkward little critter that was trying to frustrate me, but, as you’ll see in today’s picture, a cute fluffy little beastie that might as well have been posing for me.
This all came about because I decided that a wildlife photographer would make a good hero. I’ve always loved wildlife programmes on TV as long as they weren’t the David Attenborough sort where you follow a creature until you start caring about it and then something eats it. There’s something about the men and women who wait patiently for hours on end to show us amazing things that just screams ‘hero’ as far as I’m concerned. I suppose it’s the whole ‘rugged, call of the wild’ sort of thing.
Photography also makes me focus on the moment and what I can see through my lens and digital photography is wonderful because you can take as many shots as you need, and, I suppose, by the law of averages, one of them will turn out to have a creature in them. Besides, my beloved Harbourside is a site of Special Scientific Interest because of the mudflats and the overwintering wildlife and we’ve even got seahorses (And I have seen them in the wild! Lucky me!) There are ospreys and peregrine falcons and kingfishers as well as the usual crows and seagulls and, together with all the boats coming in and out of the harbour there’s always something different to see.
I think best while I’m walking, and it's my favourite sort of exercise and there’s something about the sea and the hills and Brownsea Island and all the birds and boats that leaves me dreaming and imagining and looking back in time. So, a wildlife photographer hero is about to come to life at Windy Bay and he’s going to be nicely complicated and unusual because he doesn’t want to belong there. Actually, he’s not sure what he wants, but it’s a pretty safe bet that romance isn’t top of his list…
And soon I’ll be lost in that world to the point where I forget about the ‘real’ world and all the awful things that are happening, so first of all I donated to the Red Cross for the sake of everyone who needs their help. I’m not clever enough to understand the big issues, but I do know that we need escape more than ever before, and I hope you find it in my stories.
Please, let me know how you escape, stay safe and have a good week.