The Eagle’s Way: Jim Crumley

Those of you who have endured my rants over the years will know that I just don’t get it. Life that is. I don’t get Christmas; I don’t get marriage; I certainly don’t get funerals. I don’t get cars; I don’t get jewellery; I don’t get food, especially pretentious food. The list goes on. I quite like tattoos though. And that frizzy hair that young women promoting discount sofas tend to have. Very nice. Overall however, I struggle to make sense of the world and its human inhabitants.

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Puffin Bootcamp

Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) backlit at sunset, Fair Isle, Scotland.

There can be few wildlife photographers in the northern hemisphere without at least one decent puffin picture. The bar is probably higher with puffins than with any other bird. It is then even more important to find just the right place – lighting, background and viewpoint all play a part in just the right place – and our recent Puffin Bootcamp took us to the far north to just the right place: Fair Isle.

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Uniqball: A unique ballhead (I think).

I’ve got to be honest; I’d almost prefer to watch chess than talk about tripod heads. It was then, with lukewarm enthusiasm (read ‘none’) that I greeted colleague Andy Rouse’s call about a new model on the market. As he eulogised about the unique merits of UniqBall with its unique 2-ball mechanism and its unique levelling ability, I could feel my eyelids getting heavy. At the end of the call however, I’d established that the head was indeed unique and that a demo was hightailing it in my direction.

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What do we want our landscape to look like?

Pine marten (Martes martes) portrait, Ardnamurchan, Scotland.

This blog is about pine martens. Well actually, that’s not true: it’s about prejudice and ignorance. Strong words perhaps, but fair I feel. It started with a recent post on Facebook. Continue reading

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Honey, I just shrunk my world!

I think the time has come. I feel a bit of honesty is due. They say that the first shoots of recovery from a self-inflicted malaise, is an admission of that malaise. For the last 20 years or so I’ve been kidding myself that I’m a photographer. And now, I realise that I’ve been living a lie; it’s time to own up. For as long as I can remember I’ve been feigning interest in all manner of photographic dialogue but in truth, I care not a hoot.

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Prejudice and Pride

Amanda and her hen

Do you know sometimes I feel like I’m on trial in my own house. All he needs is a gown and a wig and he’d not be out of place in Law and Order.

It all started a year ago to the day when I collected six very bedraggled hens from the British Hen Welfare Trust. Continue reading

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Help for Heroes

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I have to apologise: I might have brought you here using a misleading header for this post. I’m sorry. I do want to talk about Help for Heroes, but environmental and social heroes rather than the military type. For some, there is no more worthy an act than sacrificing your safety for your country. For me, it is just as important to celebrate the selflessness of those who give their time and expertise to make our communities – and therefore the world – better. Continue reading

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Trees for Life

Caledonian pine forest (Peter Cairns)

We all have value systems: the internal rules that govern our daily lives and ethical beliefs. My values have been shaped over five decades and are influenced by myriad factors including my upbringing, my friends and colleagues, my exposure to different belief systems around the world and in recent years, by a better understanding of our relationship with Nature. Continue reading

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Island Trilogy

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Rain and wind are regular companions on Scotland’s west coast and so it was no surprise when on our first day on Harris, the first port of call on our recent Island Trilogy tour, dawn arrived and brought with it the wet stuff. Continue reading

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Wild Land: A worthwhile investment

Elgol beach, Skye (Peter Cairns)

I suspect like me, many of you reading this subscribe to a wide range of conservation bodies.  My susceptibility over the years to join pretty much anything and everything is witnessed by the extensive list of direct debits on my bank statements.   Continue reading

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