Saturday 18 April 2015

Linford Bottom

Taking photos while cruising on Erin Mae has been tricky at times. My camera is a Lumix G2, one of the early four-thirds bridge cameras that Panasonic and Olympus developed. I've really enjoyed it, but switching between the standard and telephoto zoom lenses while steering threatens to land me or a camera part in the canal, or Erin Mae on the bank.

So I'd been looking with increasing interest at the "travel zoom" camera that Panasonic make – this year's model is the TZ70. The attraction for me is that it's pocket sized, but has a zoom that is 24 to 720 mm (35 mm equivalent) with no swapping of lenses. However, I was shocked to see, on Wikipedia's camera sensor page, just how tiny its sensor is compared to the G2, so we visited the camera shop in Ringwood. The helpful way they responded to my grilling about the effect of sensor size convinced me they deserved the extra £10 over the Amazon price, and I came away with one there and then.

Today was the first real opportunity to test it in the field. Among special locations in the New Forest, Linford Bottom is one that we used to visit regularly when the lads were growing up, and that's where we went walking this afternoon.

There is a stream running through woodland and sandy terrain. 25 years ago its channel would have been a torrent in winter and very full in the summer. 10 years ago it seemed to be permanently dry. In recent years it's had enough water for children to play in.

Today it was warm enough for some to have barbecues.

Few leaves yet on the trees,

but, underfoot, the wood anemones and the celandines are looking up at the sun,

while a bee busies herself foraging for nectar in the violets.

Scented differently, but just as attractively to my best beloved, is the gorse.

There was acres of this around the cottage at Ballymastocker bay in Co Donegal where, as a child, she spent most of the summer holidays. There it's called "whin".

I think the combination of new camera, sunny day and a beautiful spot was what you might call a whin-win situation!


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