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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

If at first you don't succeed


Hmm, is the glad half full or half empty? Was this morning wonderful or frustrating? It was actually a bit of both.

Today I spotted so many butterflies – a Brimstone flew fast and straight across open grassland towards trees; a small Blue Adonis floated gently to the ground like a petal of blossom and rested right in front of me; Orange Tips zig zagged here and there, barely stopping to rest here and there on nettles and brambles for longer than a second; and Hedgerow Browns danced together in the air, going round and round and round, spinning ever faster in their courtship dance.

Overhead I spotted a Kestrel fly from its perch on the branch of a dead tree, and from the corner of my eye I just caught sight of the Nuthatch disappearing into its nest, but despite waiting patiently I didn’t see it come out again (it is clearly brooding currently).

All this I saw…and completely failed to capture on camera!

Why am I sharing my morning of failure with you? Well, I suppose because I wanted to show that you can’t win them all. Nature watching is just that – sometimes you have to simply watch and enjoy rather than obsessively try to catalogue it. Wildlife will do its own thing, and certainly won’t wait around to pose or ensure you capture its best side.

It’s tempting to only share the successes. Or to look at someone’s photographs and imagine that it was easy for them to get that picture because they are better than you. But that’s not the point of this blog – it’s to try to get people informed, and enthused, so that they get out there with their camera, too. Whether it is an expensive SLR or a cheap compact makes no difference. Patience and a bit of field craft are the only things that will pay off – that and the knowledge that you will fail to get the photo you want more than you succeed. But it is fun trying!

So tomorrow I will be going out again, as always, armed with my camera, and all the more determined to capture that Brimstone, Orange Tip, and Blue Adonis. One day I might just succeed! In the meantime, though, I will post some photos of the Kestrel that I DID manage to capture about three weeks ago (cheating, I know, but it is too beautiful to leave off the page).

Oh, and as for Scamp, she had a very successful morning. She was overjoyed to find a discarded tennis ball, and it’s already given her hours of fun. So it wasn’t such a wasted day after all!


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