Wednesday, 23 May 2007

A technical luddite chooses a camera

So much on the farm needs recording: the improvements to the hedges, Devon banks and fencing; the planting of new orchard trees; the creation of wildlife habitats; the bird, bat and dormouse boxes high and low in the trees; the restoration of grasslands and encouragement of wild flowers and its associated wildlife. I want to capture the changes, in particular making a permanent visual record of the wild flowers that are increasingly colonising the woodlands and meadows. I'd like to record the butterflies and barn owls but as I am cack-handed and noisy, a sort of human heffalump when it comes to tiptoeing across twig-strewn landscapes, that is unlikely. The one thing I'm not allowed to look at, never mind photograph, are any dormice inhabiting the hedgerows or any of the many nesting boxes we have placed for them close to hazel and honeysuckle, their favourite habitat. As they are a protected species, you need a Dormouse Handling licence to do anything other than dream about the soft russet critters. But in the wood, there is one dormouse box with a tuft of sheep's fleece dangling near the entrance hole - something is nesting in there and making a cosy bed to rear young.
So the mission is to find a digital camera that even a luddite like me can handle, small enough to keep in my pocket pretty permanently to capture the moment. I am in thrall to this little beauty (it's hugely cheaper elsewhere of course). And no, I'll resist the temptation to create an advertorial of desirable, blingy objects. Most posh stuff looks odd when teamed with filthy feet and a wild barnet.


mutterings and meanderings said...

Did I leave a Dormouse comment or was I distracted (I am easily distracted...)

What menat to say was that I had an utter awwwwwwww moment when I clicked in and saw them curled up together. Adorable!

mountainear said...

Dormice - lucky, lucky you!

Cameras - After years of avoiding the stone-age variety which required film which needed processing and had dozens of complicated settings - apertures, f8, f16, asa, film speeds, (all techie bloke stuff I reckon) I'm now attached at the wrist to a neat digital model.

I treat it just like another tool and together we record anything and everything. I can guarantee if I've left it at home something memorable and recordable will cross my path.

Go get one. Now.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog, what a gorgeous photo! We have a sheep farm in Northumberland and although I'm not very good myself, hubby is a keen photographer and manages to capture some amazing wildlife about the farm. It's the perfect place to be in touch with nature.

Drunk Mummy said...

I thought you were joking about the 'Dormouse Handling licence' - it sounds like a Monty Python sketch!
I disagree with the comment that posh stuff looks odd when teamed with filthy feet and a wild barnet. I think I look great holding a bottle of Krug!

The thinker said...

It sounds as if your place is ripe for BBC 'Springwatch'. I know - don't tell me .... Bill Oddie is galloping down to join you as we speak!

Mopsa said...

Hi M&M - truly a cutey pie moment - nice to tug at that side of our natures sometimes.
Hi M'ear - yes, you are right - I have succumbed and purchased and cant wait to get my hands on the wee beauty to take pictures of other wee beauties.
Welcome CJ - nice to see you.
DM- yup, I thought the ecology specialist guy was joking too - I asked him if they would have to shoot us if we took a piccy of a dormouse - he wasn't unduly amused.

Thinker - Bill Oddie would be well camouflaged here, but I think we can do without the wee chubby ferret and his cameras.

Omega Mum said...

So if you aren't allowed to peek, how do you know if they're there without Bill Oddie? Or are you applying for a handling licence? Gorgeous pic.

Mopsa said...

OM - if I told you I'd have to kill you... and that wouldn't be very friendly.