Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Day 367 - The Mindbending Making Of...

Hey everyone, today's Day 367 and I've gone past the year mark now and had a couple of days off but the excitement of it hasn't calmed down. For me, it's been totally amazing. All of the nice messages of congratulations and support have been incredible. I have even had people like this congratulating me, today!

Thank you so much Chris and BBC Earth! Really appreciate the tweets :-)

Getting in close in spite of thistles for a close up.
It's been a great year with some great memories so I thought I'd fill you in on some of the funny things that happened as I went along:

Doing it everyday has been a real challenge at times, it's really worked its way into my brain. Mum and Dad told me a funny story about one night when I was sleeping and they came into check on me, as I stirred I actually said in my sleep. I didn't do this just one but ON TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS!!!!!  Sooo, yeah. It's obviously got its way into my psyche.

This was tricky - but got a great shot!
As you can see from the pictures,. I am also going to be talking about some of the challenges I've had before the post is written, when I'm taking the pictures basically. I've had to get into some weird positions, for example. when I was taking the picture for my life-cycle of a dragonfly, I found some weird green thing and shouted my Dad to see if he knew what it was. He said that it was a dragonfly emerging from its nymph and we were pretty amazed so I had to get lots of photos. What I didn't tell you in that post is that this particular one was on a rock right next to a pond. So I either had to swim in the pond with my camera, a little expensive, or get into a weird position:

Up close to a Humming bird Hawkmoth
It was relatively fun to do actually. There has been some other funny moments taking pictures, several of which have involved an insect... and a Thorn Bush or Thistles. To get my Trademark 'bug's eye view' photos I really had to get up and close with the insect so I have to go inside the Thorn Bush. sometimes I wonder 'is this really worth it?!' but then I think about it or see the pictures and say "Oh yes, yes it is." even though it has resulted in me sleep-talking...
Camping and early mornings - hmmm - yes it is worth it!

I've mainly stayed in the North to do my blog but did go on some trips to other areas. Birdfair was one example that was great fun. I've done a bit more camping this year because of this. That's great fun, love the camp fires, not so keen on the early mornings but it is worth it once I'm up and out. Bird ringing especially means early starts but it's wonderful to do and gets you so close to the birds, you really see them in a different way to looking through binoculars, see really small details.

Where it all started - in the audience at Unsprung :-)

It is a very hard to actually write the posts themselves because I have to think of what I've already covered and then find one to cover in the first place, do all the research, process the photos etc. There have been a few occasions where I have done a full post and then Dad sees it and we realise that I have already done that particular species. That's quite annoying!

Family bird watching,
Dad, Me and Esme, from Mum's iPhone
Well that's a little look 'behind the scenes' at a wonderful year. I've always gone out walking and taking an interest in what I see but this year has taken it to a whole new level. I've met lots and lots of great people of all ages and backgrounds. I'm just wondering what next year will bring!

I'm thinking of challenges like trying to get to all the nature reserves in Yorkshire, but I've got to get Dad's taxi onside for that one - it's a big place and I haven't counted all of the reserves yet!

I've got a new birdwatching companion too, Esme, she's very good and just watches everything with us, no barking at all which is brilliant!

Close encounter of the Beetle kind.
One last thing, I've got hundreds of great photos and I've been wondering what to do with them. Some I will donate to nature organisations like the Wildlife Trusts but I'm also thinking of making a calendar maybe to raise money for a telescope. I don't know if any of you would be interested though so if you think that's a good idea and you might like one please could you leave me a comment or tweet me @nerdboy386.

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. I have really enjoyed your blog posts over the last year Zach and look forward to more in the future , as a blog writer myself i know how much time & effort it takes , so very well done mate

  2. Great to see you really trying getting to get the best shot.

    An excellent project - well done

    Keep up the good work



  3. Very cool Zach - this has been a lot of fun to read! - Tasha