I spotted a fox!

Although it may come as a surprise to some of you, I’ve not actually taken many pictures of wildlife. It’s something I wish I could do more, but lack the patience and time, and real world issues getting in my way. Anyway, last night we went to a nearby stream for a sunset observation and with some luck (without binoculars) my friend spotted a fox! Of course, foxes are quite small animals so to get amazing pictures of one would mean I’d have to be a lot closer than I was, but I still captured an okay image. As well as spotting a fox we also seen a family of wild deer, which was actually incredible. I didn’t manage to snap those as they seen us and ran away. Although both these animals are in Britain, i’ve never seen a fox nor a deer ( at least in the wild ) so it was an amazing experience, and although my image isn’t great, I know practice and patience will come in time. 

A really exciting opportunity has come about, where myself and two other students from the group will be going to Abruzzo National Park with the rangers to secret viewing points to hopefully spot some bears! 


Climbing Pizzo Marcello

Wednesday morning we decided to climb the mountain that lays within the village called Pizzo Marcello to collect data off a camera trap that was set a week before. We couldn’t have chosen a better day to climb this mountain as it was cloudy for the most part with a slight breeze, which made it perfect weather for hiking. Although my little legs found it very tough, I somehow made it to the top! On the way up there were some amazing views, so I obviously took this opportunity to take some pictures and once at the top, you could look for miles and miles, with Anversa, Castrovala and Scanno in clear viewing distance. While we sat and had lunch, I took some more photos of the amazing landscape and surrounding wildlife. In all, it took us approximately 4 hours to get up and down which isn’t bad for a couple of girls! 

See below my images from that day! 

Ciao!



Patience

For any wildlife photographer they will probably tell you that the hardest thing about photographing wildlife is not actually taking the picture its self, but actually waiting for wildlife to appear, this I have found to be too true. 
Yesterday morning and this evening myself and two other people set out to do a sunrise and sunset shoot just outside of Anversa Degli Abruzzi, while the light is magical for landscapes it is also the perfect time for wildlife to make an appearance.  

Yesterday morning’s sunset shoot wasn’t so bad, as we did actually spot a family of Chingarlie (wild boar) and a mother and baby deer, however, although the location was great for observing wildlife it was too far any to get any GOOD pictures, Sadly, no bears were spotted.
This evenings observation was terrible, while the location of a sloped Olive tree orchard looking out onto the planes on mountains is great for bear, boar and deer to pass through, again nothing was spotted. 

Below are a few camera pictures and phone pictures, but definitely the thing to remember is patience, and persistence. 


Ciao!

Ciao, io sono in Italia!

Which translates to, Hello I am in Italy!

So I arrived in Pescara on Thursday evening and travelled to a small town called Anversa degli Abruzzi, situated south of Italy just outside the Abruzzo National Park. It is currently my third full day here and I am loving it! My purpose here is to work alongside placement students from Plymouth University documenting their observations of the Marsican brown bear located within Abruzzo National Park area, which is critically endangered. 

On Friday the 19th (first day) myself and two other students went to set up a bear trap nearby our village where a bear print has been found, this will be checked for footage in 5 or 6 days time. Later that evening we hiked just past the next village called Castrovalva and did sunset observations for bear, deer and Cinghiale (wild boar).

Nothing was spotted on this evening, however it was a great opportunity to capture landscapes and a sunset. 

See images below. 



Hippophagy

This work aims to address the question of the continued survival of ponies on the rugged landscape of Dartmoor.  The first written record of ponies on Dartmoor occurs in 1012, with a reference to ‘wild horses’. During the mid-1800s Dartmoor was the main source of granite in Britain, and ponies were used during this time as a means of transporting goods.  Come the twenty-first century, the pony continues to be used, mainly for recreational pursuits, for locals and visitors.

Each year the ponies, owned by local farmers on Dartmoor, are rounded up and sorted for several purposes, including; riding, farming, transport and more recently, they have entered the human food chain.  Dartmoor Conservation Meat, an organisation whose aims ultimately are to conserve the ponies, is creating a market for Dartmoor pony meat around Devon. By eliminating a specific age group it promises to maintain a stable population.  This issue raises ethical dilemmas and forces us to question whether we have the right to kill and eat healthy animals, especially those that thrive within a semi-wild landscape?

Because of their hardiness, the ponies are able to continue to survive on the moor throughout the whole year, making them fundamental to the conservation of the landscape.  By trampling down old bracken and keeping the landscape trimmed, declining species, such as the fritillary butterfly, are able to thrive.  By photographing the ponies in their adopted habitat I aim to display their deep affinity with the land.  The pony in this image, is confronting the viewer, and (we can imagine), imploring them to consider the ethics of ‘conservation meat’ and whether this course of action really has a role in twenty-first century Britain.


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