Despite some large storms erratically wandering
the landscape these last few days I think we can now safely say that "winter" has arrived in Thailand.
The forest is drying quickly, leaves are falling and the air and light now have that special "Thai winter" feeling to it. And my very own acid test - the "3 a.m. one sleeping bag is not enough" test - has been passed. Yes, that strange feeling when you wake at 3 a.m. in the forest and think "hell" and you huddle into a ball trying to make sure no parts of one's aging carcass are exposed to the cold crisp night air.
Its a time to try and sort the rear of my aging pickup again and try and create some order to the chaos that is piled unkempt camping gear, photo gear and musty forest gear. The detrious and aftermath of the wet season. It gives me both dread and anticipation to think about what odd bits of unused or forgotten dirt encrusted gear lurk under the piles of my more commonly used gear that holds place on the top of the pile. But as its a time of year I will stay in the forest more than any other, it just has to be done. From chaos should come order.
Its also a time of year to re-think ones intended photographic "prey". To try to take adavantage of the seasonal change as the different forest life forms change their habits, hang outs, routes and behaviour to counter for what is the start of hardship period for some forest dwellers. Indeed its a time of year when I, myself, get ready to concentrate on mammals again. There's currently a little too much foliage about for getting good light onto the forest floor but the open areas are now yielding impressive shutter speeds for those lucky encounters. And the ever important water sources are drying up already and creating nice margins by rivers and streams to spot some of the forest's mammalian inhabitants.
I always like to set each new "photographic season" with a quest, something that has eluded me or proven difficult. This dry season i plan to try some of the forest's squirrels. Try may be the operative word as I have found them incredibly difficult to photograph in the wild to date. Always elusive and scurrying, hidden by branches and twigs - but one has to have a plan! What's yours?