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Photos of the Year - 2022

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From Sussex bluebells to Brighton in the snow, 2022 has been a great year for photography.  As my mother and I sipped Aloxe Corton Pinot noir on my birthday, and we prepared to sit through 24 hours of Carry On films on ITV3 over Christmas, we looked back at the last 12 months of gardening and photography. The garden is (mostly) dormant, but the snowdrop bulbs I planted in November are sprouting through the central bed and should provide the first flowers in the new year. One hundred English bluebell bulbs sit 10cm below the surface in my newly-created woodland bed, along with crocuses, snowdrops, and anemones. Over in East Sussex, I was very pleased to discover two new bluebell sites. Dense, established carpets of bluebells is a sign of ancient woodland. In the coming years, my bluebell bulbs will multiply, self-seed and push themselves deeper underground in search of moisture. Despite having taken wildlife photos for 20 years, I never managed to get even a half-decent picture of a wi

Autumn in England 2022

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Our rapidly warming climate is pushing the English autumn colours further and further ahead. As of 25th October 2022, Abbots Wood in East Sussex was still on the green side. I always book a holiday in late October, based on happy childhood memories of the New Forest, but the climate was much cooler back then. The autumn colours now peak in early to mid-November. Unlike parts of North America, where fall can last just a few weeks, ours continues well into December. Fortunately, the village of Little Horsted has a collection of non-native ornamental trees — Ginkgo, Japanese Maple and Witch Hazel, along with native European beech. These species tend to fall earlier than, say, English Oak, Elm or Hornbeam.  Little Horsted is about the same distance from Lewes as Lewes is from Brighton, and the bus journey is not too long. The bus takes me on part of the route my family took from Kent, where I was born, as we moved down to Brighton. My mother said the car stopped in Ringmer, because I need

Early Summer Roe Deer Project - 2022

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I've been visiting a nature reserve on the Sussex/Surrey border since 2011, and it's an ideal place to photograph Roe deer, especially in early summer, when the grass isn't too tall and food sources are plentiful. Human visitors to the reserve are almost always polite and considerate to me. The fact that roe deer can be observed from close quarters in plain sight is testament to how much local people care about the animals and birds living here. Although a few photographers know about the reserve, I prefer not to share the location, as photographers would be at cross-purposes, with one person having to structure their activity around the others'. The mature buck (see below) is chasing a younger, smaller buck away from his territory, following one of many incursions. The unfortunate victim of chasing had a rotten day. More on this later. Visitors to this site will be delighted to recognise the same mature buck from 2021. It's a pity that I wasn't able to spot any

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