It’s here, it’s finally here! For the first time in too long a time, I took my canon 5d out with me for my dog walk to take some proper pictures of spring in the woods over here on the dark side of the valley.

It might not have been the brightest, sunniest of days, but Dexter and I managed to find beautiful things to spot, just like we always do. Not opting for the easy option of the phone camera, and taking the time to be still and quiet (mostly whilst I fiddled with camera settings, if I am honest) really paid off. Dexter being a proper grown up dog, has learned to wait for me whilst I crawl about in the undergrowth, rather than going off and finding something unmentionable to eat, so I finally felt relaxed enough to dally with the proper camera for once.

It’s quite harsh on our side of the valley, as the sun doesn’t reach us from November until February and we are north-facing, meaning it takes a while for the soil to warm up and the plants have to play catch-up, probably only to be baked to death once high summer is here and they are in the sun all day long. It makes for hardy trees, lots of moss and lichen and interesting fungi. Walking around the woods I often hear the angry screeches of jays scrapping, and woodpeckers hammering the rotten trees (although now I think about it, I haven’t heard the woodpeckers yet this year – should I have, by now?). It struck me on this day how beautiful and vibrant the beech leaves are after a few fine days. Dry and rustling, Dexter loves a good beech leaf bath.

The biggest prize of all is catching a glimpse of a roe deer in the woods. Dexter is good, and doesn’t chase the deer when I tell him, he’s more interested in his ball and has realised that they are actually rather larger than him! This day I was rewarded with the sight of 4 in the field above me on the way back. I watched them for about 5 minutes, and they kept their eyes on me but weren’t too worried. Taking numerous (mostly blurry) photos, this was the one time I wished I had some amazing telephoto lens, rather than my prime! You can see the best result below, not my finest work, but I’m so pleased I captured them at all!

I have vowed to take out the big camera more regularly, although it caused me really bad back ache, so I have just bought myself a camera sling to combat this. I’ll let you know how that goes!

If you like my photos, you can always follow me on InstagramĀ onĀ @rachellucie where I post daily pictures of my walks, finds, jewellery and more.


I'm waiting


leaf bath

dog shake



mossy wall

mossy bank

honeysuckle buds

dexter labrador


Rachel x

Rachel Lucie Johns

Hi! I'm Rachel, a jewellery designer-maker & nature photographer. My work is inspired by the gorgeous countryside around West Yorkshire & Art Deco design. This blog is where I share my creative life and inspiration. find out more ...


  1. Reply


    10th April 2016

    I love the photo of Dexter waiting for his walk, and him rolling in the leaves. And how wonderful to see those deer! Hope the next time you venture out your back is a little more protected!

    • Reply

      Rachel Lucie Johns

      26th April 2016

      Thanks. No dear at all for a couple of weeks, I think this is because they are giving birth. Dexter has been continuing to have plenty of leaf-baths, it’s very funny to watch!