Monday, February 8, 2010

Footprints in the snow (Jodie Randall)

European Blackbird
European rabbit footprints

I realize that I have been absent from this blog for a while now (my last post was in October 09), so my apologies. During the last few months I have been out in the field as much as possible, but I seem to have spent an awful lot more time than I'd have liked on the computer. Spending time outside surrounded by nature taking photographs is the fun part, while sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end is something I find extremely tedious. Unfortunately in the digital age there cannot really be one without the other.

At the beginning of January the UK experienced freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall. For a couple of weeks I managed to go out shooting nearly every day, rising early in-order to be out before sunrise. The light was fantastic. The low winter sun peaked over the top of ominous-looking clouds of deep blue and gray illuminating the brilliant white landscape. Waking up and looking out of the window to discover such familiar surroundings completely transformed is something that I find just as thrilling now as I did when I was a small child. Instead of the chance to build snowmen, snow now brings the promise of beautiful light and hopefully some good images.

The surrounding landscape looked stunning. Personally, I have never possessed the eye of a landscape photographer, and deciding that I was unable to do it justice, I went searching for the smaller details instead. Walking through woodland and across many fields leaving a scattered trail of footprints behind me, I could not help being captivated by the tracks left by more graceful creatures than myself. Snaking their way across the landscape, criss-crossing and weaving in all directions were the numerous trails of red foxes interspersed with the distinctive patterns left behind by rabbits. I followed the tracks of squirrels and stoats and in patches where the snow lay less deep, birds such as woodpigeons, blackbirds and house sparrows filled the once blank canvas with hundreds of three-toed footprints.

Climbing over a style, I emerged into an open field surrounded by woodland. Two fox tracks led from opposite corners of the field, one to my left, and the other to my right. As I continued walking, I discovered the spot, marked by a light depression in the snow, where the two animals had met, and then continued on their way, each leaving the story of their meeting behind them.


Johan said...

Welcome back! I don't think I've ever seen rabbit footprints in snow before.

Nathanael Gass said...

Very nice depth in the footprint photograph.

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