Hedgehogs are one of those creatures that I just haven't managed to photograph so far, so imagine my excitement when I was told of a local lady who had a whole family in her care. These animals were amongst a number that had been taken in by a wildlife refuge.. cleaned up and looked after - before eventually being returned to the wild. This provided an amazing opportunity for me to endulge in some 'easy' and enjoyable photography, and to get to experience such a beautiful animal close up. I was first introduced to 'Hogrid' - an impressive adult with serious bulk. Ready with the camera on the ground, we simply put him down and let him wander the garden.
One thing was for sure - hedgehogs can move pretty quickly when they want to, and I had to be quick to shoot before he got too close to my lens. After a few images of this veteran animal, I turned my attention to two of the younger hedgehogs which were happily mooching around, and managed some pleasing shots of them with the older hedgehog. Using a wide angle lens was quite interesting as I could put them in the garden setting..
Finally, the tiny ones came out - and five of them! These hedgehogs were smaller than I had imagined, but absolutely beautiful. It was fascinating to see so much detail, such as the colouration of their backs, and their tiny feet and claws. The youngsters were a delight to photograph and it was hard not to admit to their 'cute' factor.
In a way, hedgehogs are a very forgotten animal - maybe because we rarely come across them anyway due to their nocturnal habits. It's hard to believe that this delicate, placid mammal is now under serious threat, but their numbers have plummeted. Those who get to hear their familiar bumbling and snuffling are indeed lucky to have such a visitor.