The Photo of the Month (see gallery) is a year round calendar of selected nature images and stories with contributions from visitors, fellow photographers and friends.
When it comes to nature photography, it's not only those fascinating tales of high adventure that often accompany talent and skill for a fabulous result. If a picture is truly worth more than a thousand words then a well-timed shot, or a well framed one, can say just as much about you as a photographer too! So if you'd like to showcase one of your pictures here, free, for one calendar month with a short story on how you managed to come by it, then this page is for you.
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The Defiant Ones by Roger Cox
Mention the word rat and if we’re not thinking of a despicable former friend; a deceitful lover or disloyal associate; it’s usually with a sense of alarm over an animal associated with filth, disgust and disease. Understandably then, whether human or rodent, rats are creatures most of us would rather avoid.
Yet from an estimated 3.3 million streetwise rats in our *cities, it’s said we’re never more than 10 feet away from one. An adage perhaps true of their human namesakes, but with more than half the population of urban rats dwelling in our sewers, it’s more like 164 feet. A distance, unnervingly, not far enough to lessen any dislike of them.
Still, after thousands of years from living amongst us, rats have acquired a measure of intelligence, along with a resilience many today would scarcely credit. They’re naturally curious with strong, episodic memories and the ability to grasp concepts such as the importance keeping a low profile when studying us as benefactors; or how their deaths and injuries pertain to a method of pest control. Point of fact: in defiance of our centuries-long efforts to decimate them, there's little in the way of extinction facing the ubiquitous brown rat!
Proving themselves highly adaptable to human activities that threaten many other species, has placed them firmly on top as the most successful mammal on Earth, second only to ourselves. A commendable achievement for an animal widely held in such low regard.
*within the UK; 10 ft =3 metres; (164 ft = 50 metres)