The Way I See Things



Today was a crazily busy day, and I was lucky to get a few peaceful minutes in Stratford this morning, photographing birds in lovely light. These images are always at least as much about the water as the birds, but it does help if the bird's a handsome one, and this very dapper black-headed gull on the Bancroft Basin has turned out to be my favourite of the day. Just pipped into second place (though R's favourite) was a mute swan, drifting through some two-tone water at the chain ferry dock on the river.

This morning having been all about the birds (and the water), this evening brought an flurry of mammal activity. On my way home from choir rehearsal I had to break hard and swerve, on the wet but mercifully quiet Roman road, to avoid a big dog fox that suddenly crossed in front of the car. I know this evasive action would have caused me to fail my driving test on the spot, but my instinct was that hitting something that big at 50mph would probably have totalled the MX-5, as well as the fox, and I wasn't about to test the theory. Two miles further on, as I turned sedately into our lane, a second fox trotted across in front of me from one neighbour's garden to another, pausing just long enough to give me what I felt was quite a disapproving look. And then as I pulled into the yard, the headlights picked out a little flurry of alarmed movement, as a muntjac left whatever it had been eating (most probably my roses), and skittered off down to the safety and darkness of the wild garden. Even in this very rural area, to have so many wild animal encounters within just a few minutes is quite an unusual experience.

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