Critters





The pets
There has always been a dog underfoot somewhere around the home.


Oscar: aka 'the rat'. Born in Halifax on the 1st August 2014. The happiest little soul I have ever seen, but he does pee more than any animal alive.
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Pork-chops: grumpy beast, but he loved a good soak in the tin bath and was a very faithful boerbul.
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Toffee: Completely mad as a puppy, she developed hip-dysplasia quite early which mom had tried to remedy through diet, exercise and massage. Boerbulls are great characters, and have a mind of their own. Unfortunately she had to leave us after mum had her stroke.
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The nags
I remember falling off a nasty little pony called Mushroom at Mrs Murfin's Riding School when I was perhaps eight or nine. Horses have always been in the family, thanks to mum. First were Mancha and Nightbreeze in Bulawayo, then Pliable, Steen and the Kiwi.


Pliable: Grade A national showjumper in South Africa. My mother found him in a field in the Drakensberg, went half with me on his purchase, and schooled him for a year. He was then ridden by Joanne, who eventually purchased him. Here is was in my company colours, recorded by the Horse Society as "Knowledge Studio Pliable".
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Kiwi: A New Zealand import who failed on the track, bought by my mother and ridden by Joanne. He was game and a good jumper, although not as competant as Pliable.
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Neighbours
The little (and not so little) guys living around us.


Built like a tank: Taken on my cousin's game farm, these two seemed docile enough to get off the bakkie (pick-up truck) and take a portrait.
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Mare and foal: Early morning outside the stables.
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Stable cat after the rain: A moggie mooching about the stables after a typical Johannesburg downpour.
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Winter birds
Photographing birds in winter has its ups and downs. Ponds and parks are teeming with these hungry critters and the lack of vegetation makes spotting them easier, but cold fingers don't handle cameras very well.


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Winter critters with the 800mm
This monster lens provides huge coverage, and performs as well optically as far newer lenses. Without autofocus however, one is limited to slower animals - the hit ratio on small birds on the move is very low. Harewood House stags were being kept separate from the remainder of the herd, and were relatively close to the footpath. The first was taken with an 800mm Nikkor and the second with a 300mm.


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General wildlife around the UK
There are accessible and photogenic subjects around these islands.


Big scratch: I don't care that they are an invader species, grey squirrels are fun to photograph and have interesting personalities. These were taken with a 35mm lens, so they were really close (the nuts helped).
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Ducks on the Serpentine: An early May morning in London.
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Robin in Clumber Park: These little birds are quite brazen in winter, and will approach very close if you are quiet and have the necessary breakfast laid out for them.
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10 Apr 2010: Red squirrel at Kilnsey Crag, near Kettlewell. Poor little guy was not wild, but had a reasonable sized cage.
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Anyone got a scrap?: Every seaside town is infested with a variety of gulls. This little chap was happily sunning himself on the Isle of Wight.
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Chorus line: A bit of sun in Whitby.
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