We’ve recently returned from a very enjoyable, albeit slightly wet on occasions, trip to the New Forest. Since getting a little distracted by our coastal path trips to the southwest, I’d forgotten just how delightful the New Forest is. Prior to our heading down, Carol found what turned out to be a very useful website, for Odonata enthusiasts anyway, called New Forest Dragonflies run by Doug Overton. As well as some of Doug’s terrific photos, his site includes a great Google Map of locations but there are lots of them. So, since our trip was partly (OK, mainly) to track down some late-season dragonflies and damselflies, I chanced my arm contacting Doug for some suggestions as to where we might best concentrate our efforts. He responded with three suggestions. What a friendly man!
While we were down investigating one of Doug’s dragonfly locations, another chap came wandering through the forest armed with a carrier bag of ceps (Boletus edulis) – highly prized and utterly delicious mushrooms. Clearly the man had good taste. Seeing what we were up to, he asked if we after dragonflies. Yes, though Carol had distracted herself with some of the other abundant fungi that the forest fills with at this time of year. In our new acquaintance’s other hand, the one not carrying ceps, was a very nice looking Canon EOS 7D upon which was mounted a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS Lens. The key letter in all that gobbledegook is the “L” – though not a grey lens, it did have the subtle red ring around the lens barrel and was one of Canon’s professional range lenses. Clearly the man had very good taste.
He’d been snapping away at fungi and, whilst chatting to us, showed Carol, our plants specialist, some of his shots. He proceeded to give us a quick introductory lesson to New Forest fungi. What friendly people the New Forest has. I continued dragonfly spotting while Carol went off to find more fungi to snap.
A couple of other key letters in all that lens’s gobbledegook are “IS” – Image Stabilized. Fungi live under the forest canopy which keeps out considerable amounts of light. Wider apertures and image stabilization would come in very handy. Carol already has a basic macro lens and she was being very good but I could see that she had a new love.
Fortunately, last Sunday was her birthday. It took a little while for our collective hearts to overrule our collective heads but the delivery man turned up this morning with a parcel from those nice people at Warehouse Express. Someone seems very pleased with her new toy.
Happy birthday … Christmas … birthday …
If I can get close enough to a dragonfly without scaring it off, maybe I could borrow it? 😉