Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
For a while now I have longed to photograph red squirrels up close, but I have never quite managed it. I've been a few places in the Lakes where red squirrels are known to live but I either don't spot any on the day, don't get close enough for a decent picture, or they're too fast and by the time my camera is out they've run off up the next tree! However, my luck changed when last week I managed to spot some, and after a lot of waiting around I finally got the shot I'd been waiting for...
This week on Monday 14th December we celebrated World Monkey Day! As many of you will know by now, I love animals and after my trip to South Africa earlier this year I have grown especially fond of monkeys.
In many countries monkeys are seen as vermin and farmers and land owners shoot entire troops down to try and rid the areas of these beautiful animals. In January this year I was lucky enough to have the chance to go out and work with one of the first recognised monkey rehabilitation centres in the world - Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa. The centre is run by Bob and Lynne Venter who have dedicated their lives to saving and rehabilitating wildlife, and the work they do is truly inspirational!
I spent 2 weeks volunteering for them with a small group of others, and during my time there I learnt so much about monkeys! It was an amazing experience but also very sad. I was there during baby season which meant there was a high number of orphaned vervet monkeys and baboons coming into the centre. Orphans are often found when whole troops have been killed but the babies have survived by clinging onto their mothers stomachs. They are often discovered alone and starving, struggling for life while their whole family lies dead around them. At Riverside, the orphans are cared for 24/7, with regular bottle feeding and also a lot of playtime - just as their monkey mothers would treat them in the wild!
This week I began posting out the first of this years calendar orders (please contact me if you'd like one!) and I also took some time designing and printing my own Christmas cards. At the moment, the cards are not for general sale - they were made for a family member who requested them and paid for the materials herself. However, if they prove to be popular then this might be something I will look into doing on a more regular basis. Here are a few examples of the cards I made...