The Way I See Things



By lunch time I needed a break from my desk, and despite the Vale being shrouded in heavy cloud, and the weather forecast for most other places in the vicinity being equally poor, I decided to risk a trip to Hillers. And luckily it paid off: the weather in Warwickshire was much brighter than in the Shire, and occasionally even sunny.

There's no door on the hide at Hillers, and I'd only just stepped onto the entrance ramp when I spotted this muntjac buck through the window. He spotted me right back, and we both froze, and simply stood and stared at each other for several seconds. When he started chewing again I risked raising the camera very slowly, and I was able to get about thirty frames before he finished his apple, turned, and slowly walked away. Only then did I go into the hide and sit down. My fantasy here is that his lunch had arrived garnished with parsley, but in truth I think the leaves are from a carrot that happened to be lying close to the apple when he picked it up.

This whole encounter was so unusual that the muntjac really had to be my photo of the day, but he had some quite stiff opposition. My extra tonight is a great spotted woodpecker, posing in a nice patch of sunlight and displaying a more than usually bizarre attitude. R told me this evening that he finds woodpeckers unattractive, and though I don't really agree with him on this I must admit that they do tend to look a bit raddled - as though they've been partying too hard and not getting enough sleep. My third-favourite image of the day (or possibly second-favourite... or maybe even favourite, if I stop and compare them all for too long) is the nuthatch I've just made the header photo on my Facebook page.

As I left the hide and walked away through Hiller's garden I had three more interesting encounters. Firstly, another muntjac buck (or possibly the same one again) - this time standing in one of the flower beds, delicately eating a primrose. Secondly, the first bumblebee of the year, which zoomed over my head too fast for me to identify it, but was most probably a Bombus terrestris. And finally, a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, which was skittering hither and yon around the entrance to the plant nursery. I can only hope that the bee and the butterfly are as good at finding food as the deer seem to be.

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