Thursday, 19 April 2012

Discomfort is part of the game

    I've been in some messy places in search of a good photograph, in my time. There doesn't seem to be a bog or piece of undergrowth in my county I haven't squelched or crawled through. I've been bitten by all kinds of nasty insects, narrowly escaped leeches and in one memorable case been hospitalised with an iris infection after stabbing my eye on a hawthorn branch.
    It's the inevitable product of a lifelong enthusiasm for the countryside I grew up in coupled with an insatiable curiosity for the out-of-sight, the invisible, the forgotten and the abandoned.
    Yesterday's destination was pretty mundane, a nature reserve within the boundaries of the city, an ancient river meadow that is home to an amazing display of rare snakes-head fritillaries at this time of year. It's a well-known local nature highlight, well worth a visit for my photo blog.
    The unseasonable warm and dry weather we've had through early spring came to an end at the start of the week. More like a typical British April now, overcast with showers. Or to be more accurate yesterday, a prolonged downpour.
    If you've walked for half an hour, you don't want to turn back empty-handed. So when I'd tramped through enough sodden grass to make my trainers and socks absolutely soaking wet and still hadn't found the damn flowers, I wasn't going to give up.
    I guess it's a law or something, the plant, animal or bird you seek will always be at the opposite corner of the nature reserve from that at which you enter. I hope the picture's worth the cold feet, anyway.


  1. Now that's what I call dedication. I wouldn't have gone that far to capture an image.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. Such dedication to capture one of my favourite flowers...

  3. Snakes Heads are always worth the effort, my Mother still talks about the water meadows by the Thames in Oxford being covered with them a this time of year, they are difficult to establish in a garden, bu as I say always worth an effort.

  4. As I said, once you've gone a certain distance you lose more by turning back.

    An amazing number of flowers in one place, more than I've ever seen.