I had an interesting experience on Saturday. We had decided to pay a visit to Dublin's Phoenix Park, a place I hadn't ever actually been to before, which is probably considered a cardinal sin for people who live in Dublin. The Phoenix Park is a huge park land just outside the centre of Dublin. It's one of the biggest public parks in Europe and houses the Dublin zoo, as well as the residence of our President, among numerous other attractions. I had been years ago to the Zoo, but I had never really been around the park.
Now, when I say it's big, believe me it's pretty damn big. It's roughly 7 square kilometres. Compare that to New York's Central Park which is 3.7 square kilometres. We had gone to see the beautiful Autumn leaves, but I had forgotten about one of the Parks other famous residents: a large number of wild deer, which roam freely throughout the park. Apparently there re between 400-500 deer in the park. We got out of the car in order to take a closer look and get some pictures. There was a large group of them in one spot, with lots of tourists also having a look and getting pictures.
There were plenty of signs up telling people not to approach the Deer, and I kept a reasonable distance. Other people didn't seem too concerned,but there were a lot of stags and I wouldn't want to be in their way if they got pissed off. Also, you just have to be respectful of nature. Even keeping a good distance, it was still kind of scary. The herd is very loud, and the sounds coming from the trees was like something out of Jurassic park. Luckily I had a long lens with me. It was a Nikon 28-300, which, while not ideal for Nature photography as it's quite slow at the long side, still allowed me to get some great shots (well, not bad for someone who doesn't normally shoot nature).
It was a really enjoyable, albeit somewhat scary experience (as a couple of deer flanked me at one point!) , and It was a pleasure to be able to photograph these beautiful animals. It's also great to have this on your doorstep, and I can't believe that I never visited the park before. If you're visiting Dublin make sure to put this on your list!
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