Animals and Cameras
Anything to do
with photography or animals keeps me happy, so both together is great.
If anyone wants a wonderful day out, try a day learning to handle and
fly birds of prey. This chappie
here is named Edmund and was a real character - a bit of "attitude".
There are quite a lot of falconry centres scattered round the country
now, and I'd recommend a
day out at one. If you're actually going to do a "hands on" course like
the one I went on at the Heart of England Falconry Centre, it's a
good idea to take a guest to do your photography - mine was a busy day
and I only had a chance to snatch a few shots between learning and handling the birds.
The Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Kent was where I met my other stripy friend here http://www.whf.org.uk . They organise photographic days to raise funds to finance their remarkable project to preserve and breed big cats. The animals are wonderfully well looked after and things of beauty, but you do not get to play with
these - they are not tame, they are killers. A sheet of metal as thick
as a car body panel sits outside the visitor centre, full of tiger's
tooth and claw holes - to remind visitors that these creatures are
as dangerous as they are beautiful. You don't have to be an expert
photographer, but it does help a lot to have a good camera with a
medium/long lens. Whilst most people take still photos, I used a video
camera - nothing fancy, just a normal JVC amateur camera - as it is
wonderful to see these cats move, and hear them too, of course. If you
love big cats, you really must go there.
Cookie, this bundle of fluff, in the short couple of years she was with us did
more damage to my skin than any other cat I've met. Quite adorable in
many ways, she had a tendency to attack at will, and without warning
(grin). Psychopath she may have been, but we still miss her.