Out and About

It’s a long while since I caught up with WordPress. In fairness, a unusual number of things have happened lately:

  • My book  Hidden World of the Fox was released in mid-October! 🙂 Lots of excitement and press interviews, and a great opportunity to discuss foxes with a wide audience. You can listen to one of my radio interviews here.

It’s selling well with lots of good feedback, which has been lovely.

Fox in snow

  •  I went outside the known universe in early November. That is, I went to Iceland, the raw, otherworldly, superheated slab of geology that sits atop the North Atlantic Ridge. I should probably write up the experience in normal fashion, but here are a couple of photos for starters.

Iceland3 Nov 19

Aurora3 Iceland Nov 19

  •  Iceland, while dramatic for the mind, is brutal to cameras. My 200-500mm Tamron zoom lens, my long-suffering workhorse of the last 13 years, died in quite spectacular fashion literally seconds before I saw a minke whale. So while I saw plenty of cetaceans, I have no photos. I did manage to take this starling singing on a Christmas wreath…with my iPhone!

IMG_0580

  • Back in the UK, suspecting that iPhones might be insufficient for my future mammal photography, I set about acquiring a new camera lens. I settled on the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary 5 – 6.3, and while it weighs more than the Tamron, I am pleased with it so far. The extra reach makes all the difference when the foxes are on the far side of the meadows.

Fox1 BL 30 Nov 19

And although it’s not as fast as a Canon lens, it’s doing fine with nocturnal garden foxes too. I did consider a Canon prime, but having the flexibility of zoom is nearly essential with wild mammals because they are so mobile.

Big fox 29 Nov 19

Here’s in hope it won’t be another couple of months until my next post!

14 thoughts on “Out and About

  1. Great that the book is doing well, and hopefully more people will be more understanding of foxes because of it. I listened to the radio interview and it was a bit disappointing that so much airing of negative views of foxes meant there was less time to talk about more interesting things. I was pleased though to hear you say that a survey shows that more people are neutral or well-disposed towards foxes than the vocal minority who are intolerant or worse. I am constantly disheartened at the intolerance of what seems like so many people of urban wildlife in general or of particular species they love to hate.
    Your visit to Iceland sounds interesting. Sorry about the zoom lens giving in at such a critical time. Hopefully though you will enjoy using its replacement. The fox in the last photo is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carol, thank you. In a way, I am glad when people do raise the negative comments about foxes because it gives me a chance to put these myths to bed; what I really don’t want is for hostility to simmer away out of sight until it explodes. I encourage people to talk to me, whatever their attitude; it’s much better that they feel comfortable doing that than go to a pest controller. As you say, it isn’t only foxes that meet ill-tolerance in urban environments, and this is an issue that conservationists around the world are increasingly going to have to get to grips with.

      I suppose it was only fair that my lens had a dramatic end to its career! I’m taking its successor to a national park in Spain next month so hopefully it will get plenty of testing there. I’m happy with it so far though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Adele. I do understand that encouraging people to express themselves can be beneficial.
        Enjoy your visit to the national park in Spain next month – and testing the new lens. I look forward to seeing some of the results!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Eliza! It’s all going well so far. It’s currently for sale in the UK and North America, but a number of translated versions are going out around the world next year.

      LOL, certainly it would have been, but this lens has history. It previously broke down while I was travelling to Yellowstone! 😦 It’s had a good career but needs to retire now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Adele, nice to hear from you! I wondered where you went! Iceland is a bucket item for me, but I don’t think it will happen!
    Your images here are wonderful! Especially that last Fox. Very pretty!
    Sorry to hear of the demise of your Tamron! I have the Tamron 150X600. I like it a lot! I’ve read a bit on the Sigma before I bought the Tamron and it definitely reported well. Having the 600 sure gives some extra oomph! I use it almost full time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Robin, glad to catch up! Do you have a new blog? Your Robin’s Daily one doesn’t seem to have been updated for a while.

      Yes, 600mm lenses are definitely the way to go! Glad you’re enjoying your new one.

      Like

  3. I’ve been following the development of events on your FB but it is nice to hear it again, here. Glad that your book is selling well and I am about to hear that interview. Trip to Iceland was a gem despite the problem with lens. Good to see that a new one is doing well so far.
    I finally got myself Canon D80, it was not on sale (just minor $100CAD) but I decided I was waiting long enough for it. And… I am happy so far. Now, getting one of those 400mm lens would be a plus but it’s too much money for now. Oh well… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, enjoy the 80D! 😀 I’ve had it for a while now and haven’t looked back – it’s superb, particularly in low light (a serious consideration for my foxes!) and I enjoy the video capture options too. For lenses, I know we had a discussion about this on Facebook, but having thought it through, I do find that the flexibility of zoom is essential for my type of wildlife photography; I’d find a 400mm prime too limiting even if the glass is better. But I think Words uses the 100-400 Canon L lens and seems happy with it.

      I am finding that I can go walking with the big Sigma although perhaps my arms will ache a bit as they get used to the extra weight.

      Like

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