Deer stalking

Some things are just too strange to be believed. I was walking yesterday in the fields near Strethall Church and saw what seemed like a cloud of smoke above the farm there. It was pigeons, rising from the field to roost in trees, and the low evening sun had caught the grey undersides of their wings as they eddied above the church. Another flock descended just as I reached the car, and their wings, close up, filled the air with a noise exactly like the server fans in the data warehouse at the Sanger Centre. I had spent maybe ten minutes trying to discover the right term for that sound: it’s not a whirr, nor a whoosh, nor a grumble but something mid-toned. Yet if I were to put in the piece I am writing, quite truthfully, that the fan rooms sounds as if an enormous flock of pigeons were descending on it, all the time, the subs would rip it out in seconds, wouldn’t you, Charles?

I have been trying for years to take a picture of the white hart I once saw in a field near Strethall Church, and this afternoon spotted the herd about a quarter of a mile away, grazing by a hedgerow.

I was able to use the hedge as cover to get reasonably close: this picture didn’t have to be blown up too much from a 200mm telephoto shot and the light, at around 4.30pm, was low and rich. It turned out there are two white or albino deer in the herd, but they didn’t pose for me as these two did.

There are more pictures, some showing the white deer, in a set on Flickr now.

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1 Response to Deer stalking

  1. Oliver says:

    write about the pigeon-flock-sounding-sanger for nature, in the right context, and the words will damn well stay in.

    Of course Neil Gaiman would tell you it’s the “sound of”: “death”: — but in a good way…

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