I really should know better. On Monday we set off on plan A with Keith and Marlene. I can’t remember what plan A was but I do remember thinking that my camera would not be required. After a mere 5 minutes or so my navigation officer switched to plan B. We ended up driving round some of our typically English village and local countryside locations such as Ivinghoe Beacon and Ashridge.
En route from Ivinghoe Beacon to Ashridge are a couple of stunning bluebell woods, one of which attracts an almost constant flow of admirers; so many admirers that an ice cream van stations itself opposite and does a brisk trade, even in our currently wintery airflow. However, what made us slam on the brakes was the other, less popular wood which, this year, seems to have come of age and eclipsed its more popular neighbour. What set this wood apart was a lack of other people and a lack of dead wood spoiling an otherwise good line up. Keith and Marlene, hitherto unfamiliar with bluebells, clicked away with their pocket digitals while all I could do was pick out shots I’d like to take had I been sensible enough to bring my camera. Lose 10 points. Marlene kindly let me try a shot or two with her camera but I failed to hold the small camera steady enough in my klutzy hands. We continued the tour.
K & M had expressed an interest in the stunningly yellow rape fields that are currently turning our countryside into something out of Vincent Van Gogh’s notebook. We thought we knew just the spot for another photo shoot. I again borrowed Marlene’s camera with only slightly better results.
On Tuesday afternoon, while others decided to relax at home under the occasional glowering cloud, I corrected my original oversight and returned to both the bluebell wood and rape field armed with camera, lenses and tripod. After only 5 minutes or so I had the bluebell wood to myself and did two circuits merrily re-using pixels as though they were going out of fashion. Eventually a couple of other tripods arrived with their owners and began doing likewise. Our tripods compared notes before I took mine off to the rape field where I managed to grab a single shot before one of the glowering clouds obliterated the celestial spotlight. I’ve tried rape fields before and always been disappointed but at last I seem to have something with which I’m satisfied.
Isn’t spring a colourful time of year and shouldn’t I know by now always to travel with a camera? Dumbo!