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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“Moving Water”

Yay!  An opportunity to participate in this week’s photography assignment with the topic being “Moving Water.”

The following were my four submissions:

Moving Water #1 – (taken over a week ago) Fascinating circular sprinkler action in the garden of a swanky hotel in the Black Forest that my uncle showed me at my recent visit to Germany.

 

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Moving Water #2 – (Archived from May 2016, Copenhagen). I love fountains! Be they whimsical, artistic, or large and commanding. I picked this one out of my fountain collection, because of the solitary frog spurting out an endless supply of water…..and cleverly missing the tiny human tucked just under the water’s arch….. 😉

 

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Moving Water #3 – (Taken over two weeks ago)….in the midst of take-off sitting in a propellored airplane – Bombardier Q400 – and I sat enthralled, watching the wheel outside my window spinning along, through the puddles that had accumulated from all the rainfall that day.

 

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Moving Water #4 – (Taken just over a week ago)…..on a hike along the shores of the Weitach River on the outskirts of Augsburg, Germany. My friend, Toni, pointed out the family of ducks he’s been keeping track of on his daily walks here. And I immediately began taking oodles of photos of this Eurasian Coot family. Here, the Papa is gliding along towards one of the two ducklings who was curious enough to move out of the nest and Mama’s warm, feathery embrace to join in for some swimming and feeding.

 

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NOTE:  Some of you may recognize this last photo from the blog article I posted a couple of days ago, entitled “Eurasian Coot.”

“Photographer’s Choice”

With busy Christmas time happening, I just now squeaked in to submit four photos for this week’s photography assignment, entitled “Photographer’s Choice.”  It’s a nice change.  A bit like picking a flower bouquet…..an open-ended mix.

The following were my submissions:

Photographer’s Choice #1 – Archived, Feb. 2014 – Walking towards the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau (formerly known as the Canadian Museum of Civilization in what was formerly Hull).
This street seems to have this lonesome feel to it; I just like the afternoon sun’s shine on the street.

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Photographer’s Choice #2 – Archived, Nov. 2015 – Well, music is an important part of my life, and it seems that when I plunged back into playing music at a later age of my life, I also made up for my younger years by going to more rock concerts than I did back then.
You can imagine my excitement, when a girlfriend wrote to me and said that she had two tickets to see Santana!! I had missed seeing him the previous year, when he had come to Ottawa to perform at Bluesfest…..so I was bound and determined not to miss this second opportunity.
Yep…we were willing to drive two hours to Kingston, Ontario, in order to see one of his last concerts on this most recent tour.
He and his renowned band delivered to the audience with incredible energy, lots of enthusiasm, great verve….and included a song as a little tribute to Prince (who had just passed away a few days before).
We all were such a happy, pumped, appreciative audience!

I picked this photo from the bunch that I took, because you can see Carlos Santana as he is…..with his larger image behind him…..with the warm yellow lights shining brightly and casting that same warm yellow glow on all the heads in front of me.

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Photographer’s Choice #3 – Archived, July 2007 – This time I’m picking one from another area of huge interest to me…..travelling. For this one I picked a photo of a smaller Air New Zealand jet that was going to fly from Auckland Airport on the North Island to Blenheim Airport on the South Island, which included seeing some picturesque views of the water between the two islands and some snow-covered mountains on the South Island.

In this photo all of the passengers have boarded, and the flight crew of two (pilot captain and navigator) are getting us ready for take off.
To note that we are ONLY 16 passengers on this plane! There are eight single seats on both sides of the plane. I was in the fifth row. Outside of once being a passenger in a four-seater Cessna, this was the smallest jet plane I’d ever flown in. SO COOL!!
And it was a double propeller plane…..quite noisy. Haha!

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Photographer’s Choice #4 – Archived, July 2007 – On a hike in the Nelson Lakes National Park on the South Island, New Zealand,
I spotted these two black swans foraging and swimming together in the lake that my friends and I passed as we headed for the Brunner Peninsula Nature Walk.

These two seemed to be in their own little world…..and I thought of how swans mate for life What a lovely intimate moment!

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NOTE:  Some of you may remember this swan photo from my Nov. 30th post – you can see it here –  in which I had written a haiku along with this photo.  It’s one of my favourites; hence, why I included it again in this assignment.

“Song Titles”

The theme for this week’s photography assignment was “Song Titles.”  It’s a fun exercise in that it encourages to look at photos from a different and newly imaginative angle.

The following four were my submissions:

1)

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Song – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (by Randy Newman)

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2)

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Song – “Downtown” (sung by Petula Clark)

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3)

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Song – “Sunrise, Sunset” (from Fiddler on the Roof)

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4)

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Song – “The Rose” (sung by Bette Midler)

A quoting Pumpkin?

Over the years our family has carved a variety of designs into our annual candle-lighted pumpkin…..animals, faces, unusual designs.

This Hallowe’en our pumpkin is expressing a philosophical thought…..

…..creatively hollowed and carved by Conrad and Stephen.

 

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Here, Stephen gives the lettering some fine-tuning…

 

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That famous philosopher’s name is also included…

Remember him?

Pum’kin Descartes.

 

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And here…..that well-known philosophical quote……”I think, therefore I pum’kin”

 

“Anything Rural”

This week’s theme for the photography assignment was “Anything Rural,” and so today was my opportunity to go for my walk.

I know from occasional comments on some earlier posts that focused on my walks that some of you enjoy joining me, so I welcome you along again.

I didn’t have anything specific in mind, other than I just knew that I’d find something to fit that theme.  Which meant there’d be all sorts of surprises!

 

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Photo #1

There they stand in line,

Square and rounded mailboxes;

Just a motley crew.

 

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Taken in the early evening…..I’ve always found the “jumbled” look of a collection of rural mailboxes fun to look at. They look like a group of old cronies hanging out, just “shooting the breeze” – some leaning forward, some leaning back, some slanted. Different mailboxes have different bases – with cement or just wooden poles – creating that uneven look. And sometimes that jumbled look is caused by a touch of vandalism. Every once in a long while, someone gets the “bright” idea to go waling at innocent mailboxes with a baseball bat…..you get the idea.
The somewhat faded maple leaf pattern on the one mailbox gives a hint as to this country…. 🙂

 

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Photo #2

Shimmering waters,

Some clusters of green brushes;

Home to ducks and frogs.

 

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This spot is a lovely little triangular shaped bit of land and pond – between two country roads and at the bottom end of where I live. It’s a fun little pond which, when the water is at its highest, joins up with the bigger pond on the other side of that dirt road (the one I’m standing on), leading to the dairy farm there….and that part of the road can get a bit “soggy.”
Primarily, this pond is the home of several duck families….and a host of loud and delightfully raucous peeper frogs, singing with heart and soul in the evenings until dusk and into dark.
I love this little wildlife habitat.

 

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Photo #3

Setting sun shadows,

Endless rows of sprouting greens;

The cycle renews.

 

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Since I was walking with the approaching sunset, the lighting has some things jump out more. In this case, I was enjoying the sight of the newly sprouted bright green plantings in another nearby farm field. I love looking at the even rows throughout the field and then a bit of criss-crossing with the oblique lines from the tractor tire tracks.

 

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Photo #4

Three pure white petals

Combined with deepest green leaves;

T’is the Trillium!

 

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Again, for my last submission, I pick my most favie of the bunch….a flower. And a special one at that. The trillium; the provincial flower of Ontario. It only grows in wooded areas, and this one I spotted in a small woods adjacent to a small bungalow, along the main country road where I walk. It’s actually that small wooded area on the left side in my #3 photo. The trillium is a protected flower, in order to prevent overpicking and so that we and future generations may always enjoy seeing its lovely, white, three petalled beauty in the month of May.

 

 

 

 

Photography Assignment – Trees

In this week’s photography assignment, the theme focused on trees, which happens to be one of my favourite subjects.  I love trees! So much variety and beauty in design and patterns.

So I dug around in my archives to pick four for my submissions.  In addition to sharing these photos with you, and in keeping with my usual style on this blog page, I have decided to add in new haiku poems to accompany each one.  I hope you like them.

Here they are:

 

Dead Tree Trunk from Oct. 2012

 

Resting in silence;

No longer alive, and yet

Supporting new life.

 

Trees #1 – (from the archives)  I took it in October 2012, when I was on a hike in a nearby conservation area. I loved the peacefulness of this scene. The tree having transitioned to the next phase of its life in that it provides nutrients and shelter for the life occurring then.
There were all sorts of things that caught my eye. I really liked how this tree stump was positioned…in three parts – stump and long log and end log – in a cushiony bed of colourful leaves….and a cloud of “yellow” leaves up above.
The yellows and oranges having a good contrast with the dark grey of the dead tree and the thin saplings.

 

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Shelf bracken on tree from April 2015

 

Jutting out in groups,

As stepping stones up the tree

For small animals?

 

Trees #2 – (from the archives) For this one I decided to focus on a close-up of a tree, to see its bark texture and other fascinating details. Taken last April of a poplar tree in our back woods – I love how the bark curls with that paper-thin look, the splotches of green moss, and I was especially fascinated with the abundant collection of shelf bracken attached to this tree.

 

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New Zealand Christmas Tree from 2010

 

That familiar shape,

But the needles face upwards?

Gentle, big brushes.

 

Trees #3 – (from the archives, my trip in 2010) – the uniquely shaped “Christmas” tree as found in both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. I took several photos in different places, because this tree continuously fascinates me. I picked this one to share, as with the light sky as background, you can see more clearly the frond design of the leaves – or “needles” –  and how they grow upwards.

 

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The Lost Tree - March 28, 2016

 

Trees #4 (taken in March 2016)

Some of you may remember this one….

I featured it in a previous blog post….with the title “The Lost Tree.”

(complete with haiku and background story)