Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 01/12/2011

Fenton’s Forebears

Grey Wolf, originally uploaded by

Now here’s an animal that needs to watch out in case Trading Standards decide to take umbrage over their name.. .Grey Wolf… I’ve got more grey hair than these animals – perhaps I should change my name to Grey Skelton… actually, that has quite a ring about it – especially if I want to be a wildlife photographer, writer and adventurer. Perhaps that could be my “stage name” if the BBC ever does come calling.

There are 37 subspecies of wolves, and are found in most regions throughout the world, though they became extinct in the UK in the 1700s. With the re-introduction of Beaver back into areas of Scotland there has been similar talk about the reintroduction of Wolves, and possibly Bears, in and around these locales as well. A big factor in favour of the reintroduction is the damage the ever expanding population of Red Deer have been creating as they feed upon the landscape. Game keepers will keep their numbers in check, through careful management and culling if need be, but the thought that the introduction of an apex predator might take care of this in the way nature intended. Of course, it may be that the wolves don’t prey on the Red Deer if they were introduced, and take easier prey, prey that itself may well be under threat itself… a difficult one.

Pack animals are fascinating to watch; especially when the pecking order is being challenged and there was some challenging going on when I was photographing as can be seen in my Flickr stream today. Strangely, none of the animals showed the very obvious kowtowing body language that I’ve witnessed numerous times with the various wolf packs I’ve seen before. None of these animals were laying on their back or offering the back of their neck with a bowed head – which left me a little confused why these animals were scrapping amongst themselves, they weren’t even fighting over food either.

Now the dark nights* are with us in the UK, it’s time to fall back on some indoor pursuits to while away the evenings – top of the list is to try and repair my flashgun (which I’ve sorely missed) which has a loose hotshoe plate. I don’t really want to send it off to Canon (ker-ching) and after a quick search on the internet, I’ve managed to find the service manual for the 580ex II that I own. The manual is freely available, and has part numbers listed, and examining where the problem lies – it looks like it’s a pretty easy part to disassemble… I’ll just have to make sure I’m careful when I do as I’m sure some of those small parts could easily disappear too easily.

Having mentioned Red Deer earlier in the Blog, I couldn’t not mention Fenton…. who on earth is Fenton? You must have see the clip of a man chasing his pet dog, Fenton, across Richmond Park as the dog runs after a herd of Red Deer that roam wild through the park park. Fenton!


* Why so serious



  1. In this photo I can see all the pride of the gray wolf. Great shot!

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