On Monday I went out with a friend to take photographs. This is a skill I am still learning, I have moved off auto (!) and used manual settings for the photographs in this post. We both belong to the same camera club and although we compete against each other, we tend to take very different types of shots!
We went into the New Forest and to a spot where deer are known to congregate. Seeing deer isn’t guaranteed by any means, and we went with the thought that we would always find something to take photographs of! She was right, we generally do!
We left Lymington at about 7pm and the light was still very strong, having checked out the viewing platform and seeing nothing we wandered along the pathway by the meadows and listened to see if we could hear the deer or birds moving around.
It has been a long time since I took my children to this area of the New Forest and I wondered if the tree with all the roots was still there. It was. More worn, much smoother, but still as fascinating as ever. This was a great way to teach children about root systems!! I was also fascinated to see that we were at the end point of a Gruffalo trail…. trust me to do it backwards!
A little further on, and we came across foxgloves, I didn’t have a macro lens with me, but I enjoyed trying to get a reasonably shot. It didn’t work sadly.
Then further round, having looked over a gate post where the deer sometimes are (they weren’t!) we walked along the path and continued to look over to where we thought we might see deer. Helen saw them first. We rapidly de-shipped our normal lenses and tried out our heavier lenses – mine is a 170-500mm.
We walked quietly to the fence line and watched and snapped away as groups of Fallow deer hinds and their fawns crossed the meadow away from us. To be fair, the mothers were all aware we were there, but it didn’t seem to phase them. They knew they were in a safe area.
After we had stood and watched them for a while (probably about three quarters of an hour), we decided we had been exceptionally lucky and that to see so many hinds and fawns had used up all our luck for that night, plus the mozzies were starting to bite!, so we wandered back up the hill – Helen much more quickly than me, as she is much much fitter than me! and about 15 years younger! As I puffed and panted my way up the hill (camera gear is very heavy!) I thought I saw some bucks running into the top meadow, but couldn’t get my camera out quick enough.
I met Helen at the viewing platform, where we could just see two sets of antlers peeking out of the top of the grass.
All those little specks you can see on the photograph? They are not marks on my lens. They are mozzies!!!! But we stayed and watched, took photos as the light changed and tried to work out how many there were in the field. One or two even sounded as if they were snoring! By this stage we had been joined by some holiday visitors who were staying down the road, and another photographer. I took over 200 photographs in this evening session!! Gradually the deer all stood up, amazingly we eventually counted 12 bucks of different ages in the group. As they stood up and mooched around, they occasionally looked at us. Not bothered. The holiday maker suggested that the deer came to this place every evening to people watch!!
If you ever come to the New Forest, visit the Deer Sanctuary. Deer are not guaranteed, but you may get lucky like we did! You don’t need a fancy, dancy camera, the holidayers’ were using phones and ipads, as well as a small digital camera. I am sure they got just as good a photograph to remind them of the experience as we did. I love where I live. I hope you like the photos! It was worth the mozzie bites, they are really itchy today!!