I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jane and I set off with all our camera gear, stools, comfy seats, hats, water and the knowledge that insects would be very frisky in so much heat! By the time we reached a shady spot, from where we could shoot in the sun too, we were extremely hot! Jane wanted to try out my Macrolite, so once we had it safely attached to her macro lens she disappeared into the undergrowth to find small insects, while I searched for what the owner of Clavering Lakes calls, ‘my fairies’ namely, damsels and dragons! I was buzzed by a huge brown dragonfly but he refused to settle anywhere. The damselflies were plentiful but the breeze that was keeping us slightly cooler, ensured we would have difficulty achieving sharp shots.
We both became totally absorbed in watching our chosen insects. Jane focussed on a small grasshopper in the trees, whilst I floated sticks in the water to make closer landing strips for the damsels. It was like being in some kind of ‘heaven on earth’, with the warmth of the sun, peace and quiet and our individual states of focussed photographer mindfulness.
We wandered around the lake’s edge, leaving our chairs in the shade until the need for more water and sustenance prevailed. There were few people at the cafe and I was pleased to see that the Italian chef was on duty! We sat under an umbrella enjoying the view and the very tasty food, when our peace was shattered by screeching birds. The resident terns had decided to feed each other on the roof of the cafe. Grabbing my camera and pointing it directly into the brightest direction I just managed to capture the fish disappearing into a red beak! One day, I said to myself, ‘you will get a good shot of them fishing or devouring their catch!’
We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening watching and listening, and worrying slightly about our burned heads (we had forgotten to put our hats on) and hoping the terns would dive right in front of us. Of course when they did, we both had the wrong lens in our hands!
We finally set off to find somewhere to eat supper and later than expected we sat down in the front garden of Yuva at Debden Green. Jane had a wonderful Nepalese dish and I had a hot chicken and chilli affair, the name of which escapes me! The service and food were great, although the smell of the newly sprayed fields took some getting used to!
On the way home we spotted the full moon, jammed on the brakes and set about trying to get a picture in the fading light without tripods. From there we rushed to Audley End, with the hope that the moon would be above the building, but unfortunately it wasn’t. We were briefly joined by a group of teenagers who had been out orienteering. They were very amused at the sight of two, not quite so young ladies, sitting in the darkness with their cameras perched on their ‘make do’ knee tripods! Having asked us if we were all right, I suspect they thought we had escaped from somewhere, they moved on and we continued to shoot in the dark!
What a wonderful day! Can’t wait to do it all over again!
And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.