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Wednesday 11th May - Mere and the snooze button

Ever since Chris Frost won LPOTY with a superb wild garlic photo, it seems as though all woodland photographers started paying attention to Ramson season, and rather than downing tools after the peak of the Bluebells, you'd see new obsessions for this particularly pungent plant take form. I'd like to say I'm not a sheep and am someone who plows my own furrow, but here I was, Baaing along with the rest of them and seeking out Wild Garlic spots to capture my own shots to feed the social media algorithm!

Just after lockdown a couple of years back, I found a little corner of wild garlic in a plantation wood next to the A303 outside Mere, but by the time we were released from our cells, it had passed its peak. I forgot about it last year, but this year I wanted to make an effort to take a look.

Mist was in the forecast so I set an early alarm, but after I checked the A303 webcam which covers a section of road right next to the wood, there was nothing there, and after a few weeks of chasing non-existent fog I did the unthinkable and canceled my alarm. I have never done that before, and quite honestly, the number of mornings I've gone out thinking what the hell and come away with some of my favourite shots I should have known better! When my snooze went off 30 minutes later I checked again and oh no, perfect mist/light in the wood, and me still at home in my PJs. A quick apology to my wife later I was dashing out the door and on my way, thinking I would have missed it all. Thankfully there was still something about, but I didn't have long now before I had to be at work - so a couple of snaps were taken, and then I was off. It could have been better, but it could have been worse, and I only slightly smelled of garlic for my first meeting...

Wild Garlic next to the A303
Wild Garlic is quite delicate and easily trampled, and often the best compositions are unreachable without damaging the display. This section is very tucked away and it's unlikely many people ever get near it, so it was pretty much pristine - great to see, but harder to get to the right spot for the shot. An animal track helped me get a bit nearer in this instance.
Misty morning with Wild Garlic, next to the A303 near Mere.
While the conditions were perfect for the short while I was there, I couldn't help kick myself for missing the first hour through ignoring my alarm!
Wild Garlic near Mere
The wild Garlic was on a very steep slope, so I wanted an image where the scene was level. I shot very wide so that I could level the shot during the editing stage, without losing too much of the subject. I think it works really well and is probably one of my favourite images of the much for Bluebells!
Wild Garlic next to the A303 at Mere
I can now understand why people get obsessed with capturing wild garlic!

I mentioned last week that I was considering stopping the blog as I was so far behind, however the completist in me finds stopping halfway through the year uncomfortable. I am disappointed that my blogs don't even seem to attract one reader (even photofriend Simon seems to have stopped his sympathy scans) but despite my lack of traction, I am proud of some of my images, and they reflect a lot of hard work on my part, so I am going to persevere and see if I can catch up on myself a little bit. That said, I may move to a monthly summary shortly as that's probably more palatable for everyone! (myself included)

Ta ra!


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