Moncrieff Island Spring Walk.

Location: Moncrieff Island   Time: 1500 ish 19/3/10

Very excited about carnivorous bud

I was putting my carnivorous pitcher plant on top of the TV to get the morning light and noticed to my delight that it had a bud. It has never budded before and I must admit I may have been a little over excited by this new addition. Along with the beautiful strong sunshine beaming in through the window, it put me into the mood of spring. So when I couldn’t get to sleep in the afternoon (was starting my 4 nightshifts that night) I decided to go on a solo mission and find spring flowers to photograph.

I went to my favourite spring walk over the railway bridge to Moncrieff Island. Although half the Island is often under water at this time of year, the other half tends to be a haven for spring flowers. I decided to be brave and only take one lens and I chose the macro one. It’s a good lens but is an old sigma one so the auto focus doesn’t work with my D40x, so it was manual focusing all the way. I came down off the bridge and headed to the edges of the allotments which are more secure than my flat with chains and padlocks and 7 foot fences. All a bit extreme for small gardens that spend winter under water. on the riverside of the allotments there is a narrow path, well narrow when the river is high and here many snowdrops and crocus’ reside in the moist fertile soil.

I got my fresh jeans all muddy kneeling down to get close enough for the macro and sure the occasional person walking over the bridge or passed the allotments to the golf course wondered what I was doing. Now I am fine with a manual focus usually and it annoys me that my fancy wide angled lens (which is also a Sigma) only has a automatic focus, but on this occasion it was a bit of a fiddle as there was a strong wind and by the time I got focused the wind blew the flower about and with a shallow depth of field this was not good! Got many a blurry shot or wrong thing in focus before I got the hang of it. Course my legs were agony for squatting in odd positions for so long to get the shots! I did have plenty to shoot though with snowdrops and crocus’ all over the place. Think I did scare a passing golfer at one point though as I was crouched in a bush getting a shot of snowdrops and crocus together and just popped up beside him!

Difficult to hold still to get focus but got there in the end

After exploring where I was allowed to on the island, i.e. not allotments or golf course, I headed the rest of the way across the bridge to the Norrie Millar riverside walk. Here I slid down the embankment to get photos of snowdrops from underneath. Again this proved problematic with the manual focus as I had to hold my hand and arm still enough to focus while fighting gravity and my weak ass shoulder muscles along with the wind! But I managed it in the end. I then scrambled up the embankment again and followed the path to the Rodney gardens, which are lovely in the summer with all sorts of plants and flowers blooming and giving a mixture of colours. However it was a bit early at this time of year and it was still just shoots and roots so I headed back over the river via the Queens road bridge this time.

Once home I moved the carnivrous plant to the bookcase in the bedroom to get the evening light, these plants need a lot of attention and sunlight and heat. At nighttime they go beside the radiator, it’s a whole big responsibility you know. And worth it as the other pitcher plant has a wee bud growing too. So  Although I didn’t get any sleep before I went to work and was shattered for my nightshifts, I think it was worth it as got into the sunshine before I didn’t see it for 3 days and filled me full of the joys of spring! Course when my nightshift tired brain kicked in later in the week I wasn’t so happy, especially when it took me minutes to figure out why my bedroom was so light when I had closed the blinds. I had left the light on!!!

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