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Patience pays off for Inverness wildlife photographer

By Gregor White

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Andy Howard's shot of a mountain hare is to be exhibited in a US show.
Andy Howard's shot of a mountain hare is to be exhibited in a US show.

A snap of a Cairngorm mountain hare lazily grooming made it to the finals of a US nature magazine's awards.

Posted among 25,000 entries from 63 countries, the accolade in the ‘Nature’s Best’ magazine awards comes four years after Andy Howard (49) quit as general manager of Simpsons Garden Centre to pursue his dream of a career in wildlife photography.

The work will be exhibited later this year at the Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri.

Mr Howard has already had two books of his photography published, the first titled The Secret Life of the Mountain Hare and the second The Secret Life of the Cairngorms.

A third, on otters, is due out shortly.

Welcoming his award, Mr Howard said: “I feel very honoured, given the competition’s status internationally and the vast number of entries.

“This particular hare became known as Mrs G, as in Mrs Grey, given the colouring of her back, she is one I came to know over three years.

“The secret to wildlife photography is getting to know the individual subject, rather than species, over time. You become more aware of its individual character and habits and it becomes more comfortable with you.

“Mrs G, I knew, liked to stretch her foot when preening and so I was ready to catch the gesture and glow of the light on her fur.”

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