For eighteen months from September 2009 a company I used to work at was based at Chilgrove in West Sussex. Chilgrove is very much the countryside. There were no nearby shops; there were hardly any nearby buildings for that matter. We had internet (I worked for an IT company, after all) but just getting a phone signal on our mobiles was a chore requiring a walk up a nearby hill. If you liked the sounds of the country and no other real distractions it was perfectly fine but it did limit necessary break activities. Some people sat and read; some had to go for a drive into civilisation somewhere; some went for runs (madness!); I went for walks with my camera.

All the photos here are from a couple of lunchtime walks in Chilgrove during September, 2010. I didn’t have a macro lens at this time but the telephoto did well enough for landscapes and closer shots too.

This time of year saw the sunflowers out in abundance and over one hill near our office and down the other side there was a large pumpkin patch ready to be fully utilised for the oncoming Halloween period.

I love seeing insects doing whatever it is they feel compelled to do around plantlife. In later years I would have a very good macro lens for getting far closer to them and capturing far more detail.

Being out of the city also meant there were some insects you don’t normally see such as this Brimstone Butterfly. We tend to only see far more common varieties in our garden but I love the camouflage that has developed over millenia on creatures like this.

As you might imagine, where there are insects or any other small creatures for that matter, there will be birds. The two main types we saw at Chilgrove at this time of the year were the impressive raptors hovering high above before swooping down on mammals and rodents…

…and the unbelievably moronic pheasants. I don’t know how a bird can possibly evolve to both run instantly at the sight of a human yet also see or hear an approaching car and think to itself “I’ll just step out in front for a closer look at that”. A very regular occurrence was turning up at the office or arriving back home and spending a few minutes picking bits of pheasant out from the grille or washing down blood around the wheel arches where another suicidal avian had decided to interrupt the countryside drive.

Not all birds met their ends with automobiles, though. While it was attractive out in the countryside around Chilgrove nature would often remind you that it can also sometimes be a little unsettling too.


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