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Black Kites at the Hawk Conservancy

Wild delights ....and more from Diana!

Diana treats us to quite a variety show!
Diana Walker is renowned at NRPS for her all consuming love of the natural world, and a great deal of her photographic interests lie in capturing the beauty inherent in our native plants and animals. That is not to say that she does not travel further afield in search of the same, and we always look forward to her annual presentations, which are meticulously prepared with our enjoyment in mind. On Thursday we were royally entertained for a couple of hours in which Diana showed a huge variety of images in slideshows, punctuated by carefully chosen short video clips, and all accompanied by appropriate, music that was easy on the ear. Those familiar with Diana’s modus operandum, are used to the extent to which she equips herself on her forays into the wild, with seemingly everything but the kitchen sink strapped to her body! Always prepared for the unexpected is our Diana!

Anticipating an evening of sharp, well composed wildlife images taken by our expert, we were somewhat surprised when the first series of photos featured blurry images taken using intentional camera movement! This is a skill to which many of us aspire, but Diana has gone out and had a go at very successfully! Whilst some of her images, she cheerfully admitted, had begun as mistakes, nevertheless, they illustrate how keen Diana is to improve her creativity, and throw caution (and judgemental comments!) to the wind. Thereafter we settled down to a wealth of wildlife images gleaned mainly from her travels across the south of England. From frogs to fungi, we wandered through the bluebells of Bowood via Ubley Warren, and the ever favourite, Ham Wall and Swell Woods deep in the Somerset Levels.

We were, however, never short of variety! We know she visits Longleat regularly, and rather anticipated the inclusion of Alpacas and Camels, Lions and Wombats, albeit unusually in the snow! However, she also organised a group outing to view the Christmas Light extravaganza there, and we were immersed in a series of images featuring the colourful world of Roald Dahl. We returned to the iconic venue later to witness the glory of the balloon ascents, viewed from the top of Heaven’s Gate. Outings further afield afforded wonderfully sharp images of birds in flight at the Hawk Conservancy in Hampshire, and of the Tudor delights of Anne Bolyn’s home at Hever Castle and Gardens, that also included a number of instruments of torture!

We welcomed a potential new member, Kieran, to the evening , and hope that from Diana’s excellent show, that was enthusiastically received by members, he realises the variety of photographic opportunities we offer through our club nights , excursions, and simply from the local walks, informally arranged on our WhatsApp group. These featured in the last sectionand illustrated members enjoying the local countryside with cameras in Ston Easton, the Alham Valley and, wisely, skirting the territory of the resident bull near Greyfield Woods!

Next week we get the much anticipated results of our annual Picture of the Year Competition!

Jenny Short 13. 01.2023