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Miranda Hodgson

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Ten things seen for too short a time to photograph

Posted by Miranda Hodgson on 15 Apr 2011 at 05:18 PM

Sometimes, the wildlife in the garden moves too quickly to be photographed. You turn around and, as you do, a brief drama plays out before you. It all happens so quickly; at times, so quickly that if you blinked, you’d miss it. I thought I’d write down some of those glimpses, before they are forgotten.

There is a loud buzzing from somewhere. I look around and see a big bumblebee land at the edge of a hole in a stone wall and crawl inside. It doesn’t come out again. Must be looking for a nesting site.

A sparrow flies up from a branch and catches a little white feather which is drifting down through the air. It returns to the branch and flourishes the feather for a moment before disappearing into another garden.

Hearing rustling, I look towards the nearby fence where the sound has come from. There is a small gap under it and, just for a moment, the four tiny legs and tail of a field mouse are visible as it passes by on mouse business.

A ladybird takes off from a flower and flies across the garden. I can just make out its wings as the sunlight catches them.

Two bluetits busily check along the underside of some guttering. Looking for spiders, perhaps?

Sparrows again, and they’re engaging in an energetic display in a rambling rose, hopping about, fluttering their wings at one another and cheeping at the tops of their voices. A few seconds later and they’re gone.

I’m edging a lawn and uncover several worms and a great many red ants. Glancing up, I see that a robin is silently following me as I work and gathering up ants, which it flies away with, before returning for more.

An uncovered earthworm noses its way across an area of freshly dug soil, searching for a suitable entrance. Having found one, it disappears into the moist soil below the surface.

On a windy day, a bluetit lands on a thin branch, nearly falls off and quickly rights itself, but not before very briefly hanging upside down from the branch.

Lastly, one where the camera wasn't to hand: I saw a pigeon climb into a half-full bird bath, settle itself, and go to sleep.

Nice memories and I'm glad I've recorded them.


richardpeeej said:

You are very observant Miranda and thanks for sharing this. Today I took the lid of the compost bin to find a few worms suddenly wriggling and disappearing down the heap when they were suddenly bathed in light...take care, Richard

on 15 Apr 2011 at 07:39 PM

Ten things seen for too short a time to photograph | Gardening News said:

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on 16 Apr 2011 at 02:46 AM

Miranda Hodgson said:

That sounds good, Richard! A compost bin full of worms is a lovely thing!

on 16 Apr 2011 at 01:59 PM

EvaInNL said:

Lovely article Miranda!

There are indeed many wonderful moments that never get caught on camera.It's nice when you can catch them but the enjoyment of being the only one to witness something is quite often just as great. A couple of weeks ago I saw a pair of great crested grebes performing their mating dance: a truly mesmerising sight!

on 16 Apr 2011 at 04:21 PM

David Benson said:

Delightful! The images flash before our eyes as we read, more vividly than any photograph. Excellent writing! xx

on 17 Apr 2011 at 10:46 PM

Miranda Hodgson said:

Thank you, David, that's really nice! x

Eva, I know what you mean about having a sight all to yourself. It's true, but I always tell someone about it anyway because it will have been such a lovely thing to see. Seeing the grebes must have been amazing!

on 18 Apr 2011 at 05:38 PM