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Halfway through my 50 for 50

October 6, 2011

by Jane Jenkins, Volunteer Digital Media Assistant

You can read Jane’s first blog post for her 50for50 challenge by clicking here

 The last blog post I did saw me just over a week in to my 50 for 50 challenge and although I’d anticipated a rocky  journey, I had no idea how much harder it was going to get and how much of a challenge it was really going to be.  However, despite it being difficult I have seen some really amazing things, things that I didn’t expect to discover to  be so amazing.

I was getting a bit frustrated at not finding anything but bugs and birds for my challenge so I was elated on Day 12  when I saw a little common frog in the garden pond. Our pond is really quite tiny so it was nice to see that something  was making use of it. I suspect this frog was taking a dip before moving on to find some other, bigger pond that is  inevitably near by, but I was pleased that it stayed still long enough for me to capture it.

Pit stop for my first (and only) amphibian so far.

Day 13 found me getting a little desperate. I’d spent a majority of the day trying to find something, anything, that I could take a picture of. I went back down to the river but couldn’t find anything I hadn’t already taken a picture of so I decided to be a bit cheeky and took a picture of the majestic and whimsical…. cow.

The rare and elusive cow…

I felt like I had cheated a little, but once I had started researching the animal I found it had a really surprising history and a lot of uses, for example: did you know that some cow parts are used in fireworks? I couldn’t believe just how much of a cow gets used, but being a vegetarian meant that this information planted a lot more mines in my field. Still, I found it fascinating that society has developed so many ways of utilising this animal, but also how comfortable people are with being so close to such huge animals.

The next few days consisted mainly of birds, bees and butterflies (and one ring tailed lemur, but I you’ll have to see what that’s about yourselves here). It was nice to see so many bees and butterflies in the garden again as we hadn’t seen many for a long time which was quite concerning, but for a few days there were plenty and it was a feast for my camera.

Always a welcome visitor.

There was one image I had been meaning to take but I had been waiting for the time that I knew I wouldn’t be able to take pictures in the day. In the park, underneath a bridge, there is this little alley way that is lit by dim orange lights which attracts an array of little flies, and where there are lots of little flies there are lots of big, juicy spiders (and nature geeks trying to get a picture).

Dark and ominous – no wonder people are scared of these things.

I found this spider hard to identify due to the lighting. I thought it might be a garden spider but I couldn’t see the distinct white cross on its back when I was there. Needless to say I gave up on identifying it and focused on its behaviour. Despite being a little afraid of spiders I still find them utterly amazing, and seeing so many so close together is pretty spectacular, especially when it is a sight that is quite rare.

Out of all the brilliant things I have seen, my favourite creature that I’d captured this far in to my challenge was a goldfinch, my favourite UK bird.

Blurry, but I got my bird.

I’d recently discovered that my telephoto lens hadn’t been working to the quality that it used to, so was significantly disappointed with this image, however I was pleased to see that goldfinches had returned to the garden after they had disappeared for a few weeks.

Despite seeing so many fascinating animals I still hadn’t seen anything truly spectacular; the most challenging thing for me has been trying to find rare and amazing animals in one day, and coping with the frustration of not doing so.

Still, there is plenty of time left. Who knows what may pop up?

Note: You can start your own 50 for 50 challenge on the Dorset Wildlife Trust website by clicking here

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2011 3:47 pm

    Do only animals count? Or are plants and fungi considered too easy?

  2. October 8, 2011 10:03 am

    For me it is only animals but a lot of people do a variety of things! For example there is a 50for50 in spotting different birds and bees. I considered plants but I did think it was too easy and I couldn’t trust myself to not take any pictures other than just plants! Fungi would be quite hard unless you really know your stuff, which I don’t! If you’re considering having a go at a challenge like this then I really do encourage it because I had such a great time doing mine and I learned so much!

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