Third one’s the charm

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Quiet and watchful,

Curious, cautious, patient;

A brief encounter.

 

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As I was driving along the back roads yesterday, I was thrilled to see a couple of wild turkeys on the road shoulder and three deer at three other different spots.

As I spied the first two deer, and they me, it was they who decided to leave the scene abruptly.

However, the third deer – the one in the photo – was not as skittish and even let me back up the car, stop, and catch a better glimpse.  We looked at each other for what seemed a few moments.  And then the deer, satisfied, turned away and leaped further into the woods.

Such an encounter always has me feeling so lucky and happy.  

 

 

 

 

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Three Birds and a Chipmunk

Last week’s assignment for my photography group was the theme of “Animals.”

It wasn’t until I had picked the final four and had written captions for each one, that I noticed that the majority were birds.  Haha!  And one solitary chipmunk.

So, here they are:

Animals #1 –  A swan looking comfortable and foraging in the grass on the banks of a pond that’s part of the huge expansive property of the Linderhof Palace in Bavaria (formerly one of King Ludwig II’s residences).

 

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Animals #2 –  On a hike along the Weitach river in Augsburg-Inningen, among a variety of water birds, my friend, Toni, showed me the nest of this Eurasian Coot family that he’s been observing on his daily walks there.
It was fun to see the babies poking their heads from beneath mama coot’s warm feathery embrace; one of the babies ended up following dad’s coaxing call into the water.
Also, I love how the colourful heads of the ducklings contrast and “jump out” compared to the more “formal” colouring of grey, black, and white of the parents.

(Note:  I had posted a lengthier story with photos on this coot family; find it here ).

 

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Animals #3 – It seems that I took predominantly bird photos on my recent trip to Germany. Haha! Here’s one of a grey heron that I observed for a good length of time as it hung around the Nagold river by the village of Underreichenbach.  At one point it flew up to the top of the train bridge, and that’s where I captured this one.
When it first flew up there, it had twigs in its beak, so I’m assuming it was working on a nest? I particularly like this pose.

 

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Animals #4 –  And here’s the chipmunk!  Recognize it from this recent post ?

This photo was taken up at a cottage near White Lake. There’s a resident chipmunk who decided  that the scent of my fresh untouched apple – MY lunch snack – was too irresistible and fair game for sharing. I had put my purse on the front porch with a slight opening…..not really thinking more about it. And along came Chippy! Poked its upper body into the purse opening….scratched up some fresh apple, sat up on its haunches, munched with gusto, and always kept a keen, curious eye directed at me. Did this several times. Haha!

 

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Picnic Table with a Creative Touch

My husband – a leader –  is taking part at a Scouting camp this weekend in a beautiful park called Wesley Clover Park in Nepean, Ontario.

He needed my help today, as he had left something important back at home.  Texted me in the afternoon.

It’s only about a half hour drive away, so I decided to combine the delivery to the camp with a couple of other stops as well.

When we met up near the front entrance to the park, he showed me this unusual picnic table.  Not only quite large, compared to usual picnic tables, but this one is made of big log pieces, made nice ‘n smooth and comfortable for sitting.  Plus, at both ends are charming animal carvings for that added artistic touch.

 

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Here, a well-textured bear…

 

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And at the other end, a busy woodpecker!

 

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A view of the woodpecker’s back….

 

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And finally, a full view of the whole picnic table, complete with roof…..

 

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“Will you share with me?”

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Completely at ease;

Perched on my purse; treat in hand,

You don’t mind, do you?

 

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Hahaha!

I can only be filled with admiration at the audacity, charm, and cuteness of this little furry friend I saw a couple of days ago.

I was almost done my work at the cottage I was cleaning and had already brought supplies onto the porch, along with my water bottle and purse.  The last thing to do was finish mopping the floor.

It wasn’t long before I heard the distinctive sounds of my chipmunk friend coming to check me out.

I learned something new that day.  And I shouldn’t be surprised….really.  My chipmunk friend has a tremendously keen nose. After coming up the stairs and investigating a bit, it crawled up on my purse which I had left open by about four inches, leaned in, tore off some pieces from my apple inside, sat on top of my purse, and munched quite happily on it. Did this a few times.

 

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It could smell the tempting scent of my fresh apple – which was intended to be my after-work snack – from a good distance away.

Funny thing was,  I’d forgotten that I had put an apple into my purse when I left for work, and the way the chipmunk was holding its hands together while eating, it looked more like it was eating nuts. Which puzzled me, because I definitely remembered not having any nuts in my purse!

It wasn’t until after the chipmunk continued on its purposeful way, that I looked inside my purse and found the food source!

Feels good to have shared with my little furry friend.  And yes, I DID finish eating the apple.  Haha!

Hmm….I’m thinking claw scrape marks?  As the munching was done while sitting on its haunches outside and on my purse, keeping a steady eye on me.

 

 

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*****

And a few more photos….of its arrival and just hanging out…..

 

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And then on its merry way again….

 

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Until next time, Chippy!  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

A Forest Encounter

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Mottled appearance;

Complement to rocks and wood,

The silent runner.

 

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The common lizard.  Or so my research tells me.

My uncle first said it’s a salamander, as salamanders are native to Germany.

We also bandied about gecko and lizard.

Either way, a sleek-looking and fascinating creature!

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We – my uncle, my husband, and I – spied this little lizard on our extensive hike up towards Schloß Staufenberg in the Black Forest during our recent visit.  The first part of the hike was on a good-sized trail through a forested area, followed by a road along hilly fields, covered in rows upon rows of wine grape plants.

This lizard had been coming along the edge of the trail and then decided we were such big creatures and it was better to hide away in among the sticks and old wood.

Scrambled away quickly!

So cute!

Curious Bovine

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Silently watchful;

In the midst of eating….and

Also curious!

 

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Returning back home from the same walk where I took those cloud photos (see the previous post), my walk takes me along the road that skirts one side of my neighbour’s farm.  And so, I often get to observe what the dairy cows – and in this case, some horses, too! – are doing.

And sometimes, as these two fine bovine ladies demonstrated, I get a little extra attention.  Nice!

I greeted them and talked to them, and they then continued with their favourite pastime.  🙂

 

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Hello, Deer!

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I was being watched

With curious interest;

I returned the gaze.

 

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On my drive home after finishing work this past Sunday afternoon, I drove with the windows opened a smidge to let the relatively  warmer  outside air blow into the car.

Also savouring the sunshine-bathed view as I looked around, at one point I noticed there was a brownish shape standing among the dried up corn stalks in one of the fields.

Realizing what it was as I drove by, I continued a bit further and then pulled around to go back.  I wanted to have a better look at these four-legged beauties.  There were three of them – two of which you can see in the above photo.

So, I stopped the car, put it into idle, and took my time watching the deer.

Until they moved further into the field.

That was my gift from nature, and I felt grateful.  😀

 

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A few more photos….

 

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My Beloved “Born Free”

Here is a montage of photos from a youtube channel I just found, when I went searching for links to go with my beloved “Born Free” song.
I say beloved, because from the first time I heard the song and saw the movie, it made its home in my heart.

Something about Elsa, the lioness, and her caring human friends touched me deeply.

Every time….and I mean EVERY time I hear that song, I get all choked up inside. It’s a good choked up. My eyes water. I have no idea why, but it gets to me.

I suppose because it’s a song that speaks of freedom, which is the joy and true being of every creature on earth – human and animal – and to be born free and to live free is so important.
Thank you, Spotify algorithms for sharing the song again with me…..Matt Monro sings it.  I forever associate the song with his voice, too.

I love Elsa’s story.
I have had a soft spot for the large cats, since I was a young girl.
Panthers, tigers, leopards…..and especially lions.
The movie “Born Free” came out in 1966, so I was 6.
It made a lasting impression on me.

Even when watching the movie again years later, that child-like love resurfaced.

It’ll also explain why I felt compelled to get all THREE books at one point in my teen years. The two movies were based on the books (Born Free, Living Free, Forever Free) – written by Joy Adamson, describing the adventures she and her husband, George, experienced, when they lived in Kenya. Among their adventures was when they rescued orphaned Elsa, raised her and successfully (with some challenges, of course) returned her to the wild.
And Elsa managed to be part of a lion pride again and have her own cubs.

But mostly I fell in love with Elsa. Her wild and gentle spirit.

Here’s the song…..perhaps you’ve heard it before?

 

NOTE:  There are photos in this montage excerpted from Joy Adamson’s books and from the movie, “Born Free.”

 

“Hey, Howdy, Hey!”

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Friendly companions;

And a neighbourly hello,

Such a warm welcome!

 

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When I was down to Picton on the South Island of New Zealand for my  visit in 2007 on the occasion of my girlfriend’s wedding, I had rented a tiny cabin as my home base.

And adjoining the property where my cabin was located, marked with a dividing fence – there were about 10 cabins in total – on the other side was the yard of someone who had some charming animals milling about.  There were several geese and sheep, and at one point these two came right up to where I was standing to get a really good look at me.   Haha!  Fair is fair, right?  I was being inquisitive about them.  So….it works the other way, too.

 

470. West Street (1)

I love murals, especially ones painted on the sides of buildings – they are large and thus eye-catching, reflect a lot of artistry and skill, and are visible and accessible for everyone to see. And some have layers of intricacy, like this one by Andy Council……..various points of urban interest blended into an animal form. So COOL!

I am re-blogging this from Scooj’s blog, here

Natural adventures

I have been aware of this wonderful Andy Council horse for some time now, but was never quite sure where it was. I actually found it when taking pictures of some other works from Upfest that were a bit of a trek away from the main drag.

Andy Council, West Street, Bristol, September 2016 Andy Council, West Street, Bristol, September 2016 Andy Council is a favourite son of Bristol, and has produced countless murals around the city, many of which remain in place after several years. The distinctive style of blending architectural and urban features (such as the Clifton suspension bridge) with biological form to create his animals is unmistakable and really interesting. One can spend a long time studying all the little details that make up the whole.

Andy Council, West Street, Bristol, September 2016 Andy Council, West Street, Bristol, September 2016

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