Dear Diary #3 – Making Do

I saw this sign in a car window on my walk today. It read “INDICATORS DON’T WORK – USING HAND SIGNALS!”. I thought this was one of the most British things I’ve seen. It’s also a good metaphor for the times. We’re all just making do.

I think I do photography with the same philosophy; getting by with what’s available to me. I enjoy the challenge of creating a stimulating image with only the scenery that is in my immediate vicinity. Everyday sights become a series of exciting photo opportunities. You start to look at your surroundings with a much keener eye.

 

I’m not saying I wouldn’t love to travel to awe-inspiring far-flung places and have my photos published in National geographic…but a trip to the local park will have to suffice for now. Today we walked to a new park to mix things up a bit. The entrance was a small archway underneath a rather grand looking building. I wonder if it used to be someone’s hidden garden. It was ours to discover today.

In the centre of the park was a large pond almost completely covered in water lilies. Think Monet on steroids. The pond supports quite a variety of wildlife that lives in and amongst the lily pads. 

Shortly after arriving, I spotted a dragonfly hovering above a flower. Insects can be hard to photograph. They jolt from side to side without warning. This one was darting around chasing flies but my little alien friend stayed still just long enough for me to get a good one.

I think they might be the only large flying insect that I quite like. Maybe it’s their psychedelic colours or the fact that they look like they’re smiling but I get the impression they’re pretty chilled. They look like they’re saying “we come in peace”!

Disturbed by our presence, a flock of hatchlings emerged from the shrubs that surround the pond. They were light enough to run across the lily pads but started to sink when they stood still. It reminded me of those floating mats that we used to play on at the swimming pool when we were kids.

 

While the dragonfly looked like a friendly E.T., these chicks had legs that befit a horror film. I can really see the dinosaur in them. The top-half is just adorable, though.

The really young chicks were super fluffy, except for on their heads where they seemed to be going bald. We gave them some bread and the mother fed the children with her beak. 

The food attracted the attention of a squadron of passing seagulls. While the cute pond birds get frequent visitors bringing them bread everyday, the seagulls must learn to scavenge and snatch food from people’s hands in order to get by. With the lockdown prohibiting tourism and the sale of Fish ‘n’ Chips, the gulls were hungry and competitive.

Once the seagulls had finished their reenactment of the Battle of Britain, we headed home, content that we had made the most of our local park.

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