Photo365 – 9 Mar 2011

The Burning Forest

The Burning Forest

Whilst returning home from Hythe this afternoon, I decided to take a detour across the forest rather than taking the normal shorter route home.

As I approached Beaulieu Road Station from Ferny Crofts, I noticed a cloud of dark smoke on the horizon, and decided to investigat, as I guessed there was a controlled burn taking place.

The gorse and heather just east of Boltons Bench was ablaze, and despite the size of the flames, I was assured that it was under control.

Controlled burning of New Forest Heathland can legally take place any time from October to March, but more usually occurs from late-February until the end of March, towards the end of the legally permitted period.

The reasoning behind this is that by then, the worst of the winter weather is normally over, and as a result the vegetation will likely be quite dry, whilst the round cvonditions are still relatively wet ground offering protection to the underlying peaty soil.  Furthermore, the impact on breeding birds and reptiles, is also minimised.

Burning occurs in relatively small but widely separated blocks, thus creating a diverse habitat and ensuring that there are always untouched ares nearby.

The burning not only removes old woody growth and encourages vigorous new growth, but also benefits a number of species such as the Woodlark, which tends to do well on newly bare ground, and the beautiful sky blue Marsh Gentian, which benefits from reduced competition from more vigourous plant species.

 

Photo365 – 7 Mar 2011

Perfect Reflections

Perfectly Reflected

The weather was so nice this afternoon, that I decided to go out in search of the Great Grey Shrike at Shatterford, that has so far eluded me this year.

The Shrike was seen, though regrettably not by me.

On the way back to the car, I spotted this broken cotton grass stalk that was reflected in the perfectly still mirror like surface of this water.

Taken using my 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens and 1.4x extender.

Photo365 – 25 Jan 2011

2011-01-25

January in Matley Wood

Today was unfortunately a very dull and dreary day, so the light wasn’t up to much.  This image is the starting point for a project that involves taking an image from the same location every month of the year to document the changing seasons.

This image was taken of a nice group of Beech trees in Matley Wood in the New Forest.  As the light wasn’t up to much, I thought that I’d experiment a bit, and took three separate images (-1 EV, ±0 EV and +1 EV), which were then tone mapped and combined in GIMP, giving an extended dynamic range, though I’m not entirely sure that this particular image is worth the effort.