Showing posts from July, 2016

Butterflies and Moths

The UK endured a truly vile beginning to summer 2016, which makes it all the more surprising to be typing this text in daytime temperatures of 30°C (and 27°C at midnight). As an outdoor photographer, I have a flexible mindset. Even the dreadfulJune weather produced some beautiful misty scenes in the forest. The unexpected heatwave now upon us is a chance to adapt, keep cool and enjoy our summer wildlife.

Observations suggest that butterfly numbers are down across the country, but it seems that many species on the South Downs have appeared later than normal. I've seen plenty of Marbled Whites, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Ringlets, Large Whites, Small Skippers and Dark Green Fritillaries at sites near Falmer and Friston Forest. We seldom experience an abnormally mild winter, followed by a cold spring and a cool, wet and windy June. Butterfly lovers panic when they don't appear on time and begin to fear the worst, but all it took was a spell of settled, warm weather to bring them …

Summer Adventures: Roe and Fallow deer

My favourite time for Roe deer is early summer. Meadows are vibrant and rich in wild flowers. The deer look great in their summer coats. Roe deer sites see a dramatic increase in numbers, as sexually mature adults seek a mate. I counted four bucks and three does at my site on the Sussex/Surrey border. Fallow deer also look very attractive in their summer coats. Most of the Fallow on the private country estate I visit are tan brown and have white spots. They spend the daytime in the woods and come out to graze at around 8pm in a large field. The grass is unbelievably dense and lush, reaching two feet in height. When the deer are sitting down, only their ears are visible. Pollen blows off the meadow like a cloud of smoke. Fortunately, my hay fever is quite mild this year!

June 2016 got off to a ghastly start, with an area of low pressure bringing strong, cold northerly winds and overcast skies. The second photo was taken in temperatures of 10°C. Roe deer give birth in early June and a ri…