New Forest Ponies find shade under Beech canopy. Swishing tails in nose to tail position keep flies away from eyes.



Web time

My photography is very seasonal, like everything at Furzehill Farm the seasons dictate what we feel like doing. So, I have a kind of innate calendar that I enjoy as the annual repetitions do the cycle. Just now its ‘Web time’. The first chilly nights reveal millions of cobwebs all bejazzled with tiny dew drops. For the rest of the year most spiders go about their business quietly and almost invisibly but the dew acts like developer on a latent image, suddenly they have been exposed. You need to be up early to enjoy this spectacle, by the time the sun is fully up in the sky they become invisible again.

Use a long, fast lens and ‘sniper’ techniques to pick out you target amongst the thousands of shining attention seekers

Still air is essential for photographing these wonderful structures, the slightest breeze and they dance around making sharp shots impossible. The low sun light of early mornings makes the webs sparkle but lens flare can steal the crispness from the scene so keep the lens hooded and slightly angled to the sun.

Enjoy finding the best shots, use the camera to home in on details and play around with exposure combinations that ‘shouldn’t work’ because with all that light and excitement going on the bokeh can be unpredictable so give serendipity a chance.

Teasels and cobwebs

Stachys palustris ‘Marsh Woundwort

Stachys sylvatica

Stachys sylvatica

Something of a troublesome weed in the wetter parts of my vegetable garden. The roots are tuberous, like small Chinese artichokes and new plants grow from any tiny piece left behind when weeding. I left some plants to flower in gaps where my cutting annuals failed this year.

Poppy buds again….

Every year they have to be done. In the hope of doing a better job, I spend a few hundred frames on these fascinating hairy, wiggly packages of crumpled crepe.

Begonia Phoe’s Cleo

A stunning foliage variety with a name that always looks miss-spelled to me. As you can see it does have flowers and they are rather nice in a subtle low key way. I pleasantly surprised when they opened up.

Geum ‘Mai Tai’

Geum 'Mai Tai' from Hayloft

A delightful, new variety of  Geum that I have recently added to my collection. This plant came from Hayloft bare-root and is a testament to that time-honoured method of propagating and supplying perennials. The plant only arrived about a month ago as a nice fat root with a couple of shoots. Potted up, it rapidly grew away and is now flowering nicely in a pot.

Face up Hellebores – off with their heads

Hellebore orientalis flowers

It’s tempting to prop Hellebore flower heads up for photographic purposes – but that is misrepresenting the nature of the beast. Modern varieties hold their heads up better than my old types…. I find the best way to show them of is to blatantly chop and float them.

Hive bee visiting Celandine

I find lesser Celandines (Ranunculus ficaria) challenging to photograph. They are remarkably bright, even with a diffuser the petals can easily burn out and it can be very hard to get sharpness in the shot. The bees were working the Celandines today, there’s not a lot else for them.