It’s not often that I get the chance to spend time with a mole, I’m not sure many people do. Yet one day this summer, a mole surfaced in our Yorkshire Dales garden where we were house sitting.
After leaving a few hills on the lawn, he (sex unknown but I will refer to him as a he throughout) then explored the rockery area for the next hour.
This ended up to be one of the most challenging subjects to photograph. A dark subject against a dark background that never stopped moving and spent 70% of its time with its head in the ground.
Because of the subject matter I was shooting wide open at 2.8, after realising that my canon 100-400 f4-5.6 was not allowing enough light in. So a switch to the 100mm f2.8 macro allowed me to get some useable shots.
With a subject like this I tend to get carried away with my actuations, in total 950 shots were taken, 650 went into the bin and here is a selection of my top picks.
Fortunately the green of a leaf or the pink of a foxglove gave some much-needed colour.
I really liked its tiny tail, I imagined evolution would have removed that long ago, but it must serve some purpose in the darkness…
And as for how it can swim through the soil, there’s no guessing how it manages that!
Have you ever seen an eye like this?
A close crop of the eye:
After about an hour, he found a dark void in a dry stone wall and went to sleep.
I saw him again later that day making a furrow down a path in some dead leaves, he disappeared under a bush and has never been seen since.