Dawn in rural Oxfordshire with spectacular sky colours and to silhouetted trees and a solitary bird. Photo Gabriel Hemery
Dawn and river mists by Gabriel Hemery.
Panasonic GX9, 193mm, 1/250, f4.9, ISO3200

With a busy day of video conference calls ahead during our Covid-enforced lockdown, this morning I rose early to find solace in nature.

It was dark when I left the house, but already a song thrush was in full voice. I had a destination in mind to visit with my camera, but as is often the case, sometimes it’s the unexpected and unplanned which can be most rewarding.

After almost being run over by a fox in a hurry and spooking a small herd of roe deer, all the while serenaded by a cacophonous dawn chorus, I noticed a flock of rooks busy in two old poplar trees in the middle distance. Behind them the sky promised some spectacular colours once the sun found the horizon. As I waited, river mist began to pour onto the floodplain. The photo above was taken with a telephoto lens, and after many (many!) attempts I managed to capture a rook just where I wanted it and with a nice wing position.

As the low sun began to warm my freezing fingers I headed into the forest. I walked between a stand of pale birch stems and hawthorn trees whose green always welcomes the spring. A yellowhammer asked repeatedly for “a little bit of bread and some cheese.” It reminded me that once upon a time it was tradition to eat young hawthorn leaves, as they have a lovely flavour. As I came round a bend in the forest ride, and just for a fleeting moment, the sun appeared between the trees. It appeared as though the cold forest itself had caught fire.

The sun rises through a forest
The sun rises through the cold forest by Gabriel Hemery.
Panasonic GX9, 300mm, 1/100, f5.6, ISO3200

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