Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Evening light

Cow parsley

I love spring evening light. OK, you probably get it in summer and autumn as well, but maybe it's that I notice it now, while I appreciate the lengthening evenings most.

This evening I was standing in the garden by the pond. Yep, you guessed it, I was watching newts (two Great Cresteds were lurking in there). Next, I turned my attention to the Swallows twittering overhead when they suddenly sounded scared and agitated (it's great when birds tell you that other birds are nearby. You just need to learn to understand them).

Eventually I traced the source of their irritation to a pale shape swooping along, just up the road. Great! I thought. Barn Owl. It reappeared after a couple of minutes. Went out of sight, then popped up right in front of me. It got within about 15 feet - silently - before clocking me and swerving away. I was annoyed I'd disturbed his hunting, but it turned out for the best.

The owl turned towards the road verge (living dangerously, but it's where to find food). He hovered for a split second before folding back his wings and diving headfirst into the cow parsley. After 30 seconds, he flew up again, carrying a fat vole. It was perfect.

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D + EF 300mm f/4L IS USM


  1. Anonymous1:18 am

    Lovely shot of the cow parsley, and I agree with you about the quality of spring evening light - something to do with it being filtered and reflected by young leaves, perhaps?

  2. Whoa! Great Crested Newts in your garden?!?

    Now, that's really neat!

  3. Rambling Rob... yes - can't get enough of fresh spring leaves!

    And Jochen, yes, it's true. I can't stop telling people about it - I need to remember that not everyone finds them fascinating. But yeah, we dug the pond at the end of June last year, and they'd moved in by the end of July 08. And they're back this year. It's great! Woohoo!