Star Trails and Lizard Tails

Breckland. At first glance, arid and inhospitable, with hot, dry sandy soil and prickly gorse, but look closer, and you’ll find that one of the driest areas in England is in fact, teeming with life. Tiny specialised plants creep aross the dusty ground, while twisted, spiny gorse shelters nesting birds. The sharpness of the landscape only makes the ever present Rabbits seem softer, even as they thump the hollow earth to mark my passing by. I’m lucky to live near a wonderful little nature reserve comprised mostly of typical Breckland heath but also a little stream which feeds lusher conditions. This fascinating little place is fast becoming a favourite with me, so this is where I chose to watch the recent Perseid meteor shower. It was a fantastic display with lots of bright meteors and reasonably clear skies, but photographing meteors is always a bit hit and miss, although I did manage to capture one image that I really like.

Astrophotography is an area I’d really like to explore further, but in the mean time, there’s plenty of macrophotography to do. Also thriving on this lovely nature reserve are the Common Lizards, gorgeous little jewelled creatures, who have been basking in the increasingly autumnal sunshine quite prominently this year. This beautiful copper coloured female lizard slowly dozed off in front of the camera.

The handsome and strikingly marked males are slightly more wary.

The tiny juveniles are easy to miss, this photo, taken in the same spot as the female lizard shows the size difference.

They are fascinating to watch, and I had the privilege of observing a lizard hunting, stalking a fly with a cat like poise, then pouncing. She missed this time, but with such lighting fast reactions I’m sure it wasn’t long before she caught her dinner.


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