2020 has shuffled its awkward way off stage to be replaced by a fresh, naive, and optimistic 2021 that, for us, has started by a reimposition of a ‘COVID Lockdown’. Oh well! Looking back, 2020 was a low point in photography for me but I didn’t entirely stop recording changes in my local patch of Hampshire. So in a bit of a change to the highly wildlife focussed view that usually appears oh this site, I’m sharing a variety of photos from my daily walks from the past couple of months showing how we moved from late autumn into winter. It keeps me sane!
This bit of southern England is unusual and rare because it is essentially a lowland heath. It’s called ‘Surry Heath’ and that’s both as an ecosystem description and also as a local authority (political) designation! The heathland covers the low rising western end of the North Downs (a chalk escarpment south of London) but the topsoils are typically sand which is both quick draining and low in nutrients. So not the ‘lushest’ of environments but it does introduce a rough edge in the otherwise rich and agricultural part of south east England. This little bit of wildness stays this way without having been built over because its owned by the Army and its part of their training areas near Aldershot. The dog occasionally gets to enjoy ‘hunt the soldier’ where he gets to sniff out and bark loudly at recruits who have spent a lot of effort camouflaging themselves in the woods and think they are invisible; never to a canine nose…
Even at the turn of the year there is interesting stuff to see and some fine days to enjoy in my local patch.
Gear: These photos are all taken on an iPhone (6s and now, more recently, a 12 Pro). Handy when out and about; it’s not all about the camera!