The South Downs in Early Summer
The South Downs is one of the more underrated landscapes in the British Isles. In places, where the land is given over to crops, the Downs is a wildlife desert and very dull to look at. Fortunately, the landscape between Lewes and Brighton features attractive, well-managed mixed farmland and woodland. The South Downs in early summer is a patchwork of lush fields and hedgerows, which seem to glow in the evening light. During the 'Golden Hour', it is a landscape photographer's paradise.
The abundance of trees and sparing use of pesticides makes the area a wildlife photographer's paradise as well. Roe deer are a common sight, as are buzzards, bats, foxes and hares. Roe deer Kids, born this month, are kept well-hidden in daytime, usually in long grass, while Bucks are waiting out June in preparation for the rutting season next month. The rutting season is a good time to photograph Roe deer, owing to the powerful changes in their behaviour caused by libidinal forces. Both sexes will, for example, be inclined to take more risks, approaching partially concealed and very still wildlife photographers, out of curiosity. I hope to see a repeat of approaches this year and for my first ever encounter with baby roe deer. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these photographs, taken over the last two weeks.