As a travel photographer, I often get asked “So where’s your favourite place you’ve been?” I struggle to pick one place and, instead, favour talking about a place I’ve been so often that I’ve seen it in every weather, season and mood. Behind my house is a meadow and it’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) owing to the dragonflies and damselflies that breed there during the summer.
What’s really special about having a space like this to return to time and again is being able to chronicle the changes year on year; remembering when the teals (the Ziggy Stardust of the duck world) stopped over, noticing when the catkins came out, seeing the return of the greylag geese, watching the ducklings hatch and grow. Nature is a reliable clock, and knowing how to read it is something our ancestors would have understood intimately. But us? Not so much.