Category Archives: Flora/Fauna

Cheap squirrel shot (campus)

Thursday 14th January 2021, 11.05am (day 3,430)

Campus squirrel, 14/1/21

Cheap this may be, but ths squirrel was virtually posing for the camera, if a little nervously. It was one of the few signs of life on campus today, or even in the whole of Manchester.

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Pigeon parliament

Wednesday 13th January 2021, 3.35pm [really] (day 3,429)

Pigeon parliament, 13/1/21

Correctly, it is owls that gather together in parliaments. But when do you ever see more than one owl together? The term seems to better fit these pigeons, sat on top of the Big Ben-style clock that graces what used to be a hotel in the centre of Hebden, now it’s apartments. Like all stopped clocks, it gives the right time twice a day.

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Apple tree, in hibernation

Sunday 10th January 2021, 11.15am (day 3,426)

Apple tree, 10/1/21

We might as well all hibernate, mightn’t we. The apple tree needed pruning, though, and deepest winter is the time to do it, according to those who know. The shot reflects the greyness of the day and the other clouds, the ones that currently separate us from each other. I feel like I’m on an extended break from the rest of humanity.

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Spring Wood, in waiting

Wednesday 6th January 2021, 11.15am (day 3,422)

Spring wood in winter, 6/1/21

Spring Wood is its name…. but it is going to feel like a very long time until spring. With weeks of stagnancy and economic devastation to come, let us at least hope there are more days with as good weather as today. If Bojo thinks I’m staying at home on such a day, he is mistaken.

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Dead wood

Thursday 31st December 2020, 1.40pm (day 3,416)

With parties forbidden — by law — there was little to do except go for another walk as a way of trying to see the world. All in all, a fungus-ridden slab of dead wood seems to be a suitable metaphor for the last day of 2020. So be it.

My favourite photo of the year? Well, there have been fewer opportunities, all told, for creativity but I do like the one of the fox I took above Kentmere, Cumbria, on 4th March. I couldn’t believe that when I first saw it, it did not flee from me, but sat down to keep an eye on me (almost certainly because there were cubs nearby). It was certainly a poser, as foxes go.

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Seals on Horsey beach

Sunday 27th December 2020, 1.25pm (day 3,412)

Seal conversation, 27/12/20

“Oh, hello, Ms Grey. Lovely day for the time of year.”

“Indeed, Ms. Brown. The good weather’s brought the humans out, too.”

“Yes, I hear this is one of the best spots in Norfolk to see humans. Ah well, time for a swim.”

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Lunchtime spectator

Tuesday 22nd December 2020, 1.20pm (day 3,407)

Lunchtime spectator, 23/12/20

This little chap becomes the latest robin to prove that members of his species really don’t see the humans as things to be worried about. He kept a close eye on us as we (Clare, Joe and I) had our sandwiches, while undertaking another County Top walk. This took place nowhere near Hebden Bridge, nor do we intend to be there for a while. Draw your own conclusions.

This is also the latest in a notable run of pictures taken at 1:nn pm: six of the last seven. Times of pictures are never chosen, they just happen; it’s a kind of random number generator, though admittedly some times (daylight, namely) are more likely to appear than others. But a run of this consistency is unusual.

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Friday night by the willows

Friday 18th December 2020, 4.35pm (day 3,403)

Lit willows, 18/12/20

Another Friday night passes. Not just an ordinary Friday either, but the last working day of 2020, the start of the run-up to Christmas, ‘Mad Friday’, it goes by many names. And here we are, trying to feel human and social while sat by the river looking at the willows, here illuminated by headlights shining from the car park above our heads. It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.

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Hey good lookin’

Thursday 10th December 2020, 9.20am (day 3,395)

Swan, 10/12/20

Surely swans know how good looking they are? This is the Charlize Theron of the bird world. Look at the twinkle in its eye as it poses for the camera.

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Gull portrait

Friday 27th November 2020, 11.05am (day 3,382)

Gull portrait, 27/11/20

The grey gloom of life is matched by the weather and none of these conditions make for optimal photography. This day last year I was having a very fine day out in Indonesia (and photographing butterflies 5,000 feet up); two years ago I’d just come back from Germany. No similar excursions look feasible for quite some time. The local birdlife will have to sustain me today. I do quite like the correspondence between its little red legs and the chimney pots in the background.

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