Thursday 30 October 2014

A Day with Testosterone Fuelled Deer.; The Rut.

When we opemed the door in the car park it was still nearly day and the sun was just rising above the eastern horizon turning the sky and clouds  vivid shades of pink, red and orange.  All around us from the shadows came the primeval sounds of red deer stags roaring and fallow bucks barking to attract and keep their female harems.  Roger and I had travelled from Grimsby to Studley Royal just outside Ripon and next door to Fountains Abbey for the Autumn spectacle of the annual deer rut.  There are three species of deer in Studley: red, fallow and sika and we hoped to be able to photograph them all.  The rising sun gradually lit up the fabulous ancient, gnarled tree that adorn the parkland here, mainly beech, oak and sweet chestnut.  All are very old and often twisted into magnificent shapes.  The Autumn colours here were magnificent: gold, red, orange and bronze still shot through with the vivid greens of leaves not yet changed.

We enjoyed an excellent day of photography and wildlife spectacular.  All three species were easy to find and, at this time of year relatively easy to get close to, especially when using 500mm lenses.  Other than the deer I was surprised to discover that we had excellent views of Ripon Cathedral a mile or so away in the valley below us; it made an interesting 500 shot.  The chestnuts had obviously benefitted from a good summer and autumn as they were raining plump ripe fruits which we were able to collect to take home.  It's not often that English chestnuts are worth collecting.

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Red Deer

 Fallow Deer



Sunday 26 October 2014

Autumn Walks, 5. Along the Viking Way.

Once the clocks change back to GMT, it makes sunset photography a feasibility before the evening meal.  With this in mind we picked Jet up from Heather's cousin and set out for Walesby to walk past the Rambers Church set high on the Wolds, perched above the village below.  We walked along the edge of the Wolds as far as Castle Farm and back with superb views across to Lincoln, 20 miles away, with the cathedral on the skyline.

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