Life at grass roots
Carolyne is a member of staff at St Joseph’s Hospice and a friend of the community. She is also a photographer who has a passion for photographing mini creatures. She goes to great lengths to catch them at their best, going out very early in the morning and lying on the grass for long periods of time, to name but a few of her tactics. She has kindly agreed to share some of her images with us. You can tell from her descriptions how lovingly she observes and records these marvelous creatures.
“When I was a young child my dad taught me all the names of the birds and their song. When the Blackbird sings its evening song, my dad is there with me. Similarly my mum used to let me run free in the garden where I would check under each stone to see what creature was living there. These happy days were the foundation for my love of nature especially nature that is often hidden from sight, the creatures of the grass and leaves.
Being able to photograph the natural world brings me great joy especially when the stresses and strains of life seem overpowering. I began taking photographs later in life quite by accident when a friend inspired me through her work and creativity. I always carry a camera when out walking and spend most of my free time out in the local park or the wider countryside.
In my day job I work in a hospice which is a privilege and being a nature photographer has allowed me to bring the outside world in to my patients who very often can no longer go out. I am often asked to bring my pictures in for the patients to see and enjoy. To be able to bring God’s wonderful creation into their lives has given my work greater meaning.
Getting up before sunrise is the best time of the day to capture the magic. To be alone out in the field or forest with only the morning mist, the birds and insects for company is bliss. It is at this time that most creatures of the grass are still asleep and still which makes it easier to take their photos. My favourite creatures are Damselflies, Dragonflies and Ladybirds. They captivate me every time I see them. I could watch them for hours. Here are some of the photographs that I have taken whilst on my travels. I hope that you enjoy them.”
Carolyne Barber 2018