Looking for Puffins

img_1133-3

 

Cute little faces,

Well-adapted to their homes;

The much-loved puffins!

 

********************

 

The Puffin – Iceland’s National Bird

These photos were taken on my very brief introductory visit to Iceland in May of this year.  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and am keen to go visit there again!

As part of a guided day-trip from Iceland via ferry to the island of Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago, included was a bus tour around the island with a side stop to where the puffins and several other seabirds have some of their nesting grounds.

img_1136-2

 

I brought two cameras with me, one of which had a small built-in zoom.  For the landscape views I used my regular DSLR.  Then depending on how the visibility would be for finding puffins and capturing some photos of them, I ended up relying on the other smaller camera for that.  As you will see, they were quite a distance away, so the zoom came in handy!

img_0015

Smack dab in the middle of this photo, you can see a small white dot.  Yes, that’s the puffin.  And I’m standing right up against a fence, which you will see further down.

img_0015-2

Here you can see it more distinctly, sitting on what looks like a precarious spot along the edge.

Needless to say, even after this shot, I realized that I would have to try the smaller camera to zoom in better and get more close-up photos, like the first two in this post.

Except that didn’t automatically ensure perfect photos, because, as our tour guide explained to us, we were on the “windiest part of all of Iceland.”

I took as many photos as I could – many of which were blurred – because the wind kept bustling my camera around, so my hands were more shaky than steady. There were even more advanced birders and photographers on this trek, who brought their HUGE cameras with LONG lenses…..tripods, too, I guess. But even so, I’m sure the wind was giving them a challenge as well

img_0006

This was the path to follow, towards the cliffs…..to where we might find the birds.

img_0008

An amazing view!

img_0012

On the right side is the fence we could use as our guide to hike further down the path, and I suppose, to preserve the distance between us and the puffins.

img_0014

I went just a little further down from where I’m standing as I took this photo, and I think all those people below just went to that edge and then turned back.

img_0016

Taken from a little further down and quite near the edge……with the fence nearby to keep us safe.

 

Advertisements

Riding with the Wind!

My girlfriend, Manuela, and I were invited to a friend’s house on Monday for some singing fun with a few other girlfriends.  Manuela and I had met up at her place, and she offered to drive us there.  She has two vehicles – one is an SUV type and the other is a convertible that only gets driven during the nicer, non-wintry days.  At first she had us all settled and taking off in the SUV, until I tentatively asked if we could go instead with the convertible?  And a sporty one at that!

It would be a totally new experience for me!

She could tell from my face how exciting that ride would be, so we returned to her place and then jumped into her cute, red car…..and sped off again.

I took a series of photos of our car ride and was lovin’ every minute of it!  Haha!

Even on the drive back, when the sky was dark and the air had cooled down considerably, she put on her jacket (as she knew from experience how cold it can get driving with the roof and side windows down).  I had an idea that it would be cooler, too, but this was my opportunity to soak it all in, and I can put up with a good deal of cooler temperatures, so I stuck it out!

And I savoured the feeling of the wind’s playfulness…..at times blowing my hair around and also caressing the skin on my face with its gentleness.

Here we are getting into Manuela’s car……with roof not yet down…

IMG_4395 (2)

Then a selfie of wondering what’s coming up!

IMG_4406

A cool photo of Manuela driving as the trees in the background whiz by….

IMG_4401

Looking out the back…..

IMG_4411

Then  a photo taken from over the windshield – all open!

IMG_4418

Here’s the windy shot!!  Big smiles and billowing hair!

IMG_4426

What a blast!  My inner child was in her glory!

I held my hands up, like some people do when they ride the roller coaster, and felt the wind breezing by!  And I stuck my head over to the right side so as to feel the speeding wind on my face.

At our friend’s place we were offered some refreshing fruit-infused water to drink during our singing session, but before that some ladies sipped on wine, some sipped on beer, and I tried something new again – a Rickard’s Radler – a beer with citrus flavour blended in!  In this case – grapefruit – Le Yum!

T’was a most enjoyable experience!!

IMG_4452

IMG_4453

Returning to My Walks…

IMG_8767

 

Chilly wind blowing;

Birds chirping; Watching cows…geese,

Time for walks again.

 

*******************

My schedule has finally eased up again, and so I have been looking forward at the prospect of incorporating my daily walks….or almost daily walks, like I did last year.

What discoveries shall I make this year?

Well, it was fun to see the neighbour’s tractor trundling along the path leading to this fenced-in pasture, bringing with it a bucket full of hay.  You should have seen how fast the dairy cows got moving, once they saw the “delivery” truck!  Feeding time!

And before I had arrived at that spot, I was walking past some trees, and there were several birds flitting about among the branches and calling out their songs.  Cheerful and happy and going about their business.  I think I caught sight of a goldfinch…..??

IMG_8744

 

There were two Canada geese couples looking as if they were settling in on one of the farm fields down the road.  I watched them.  They checked me out.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get photos of them.  However, if they ARE making a temporary home there, I hope to see them again on a subsequent walk.

I had the wind blowing into my face on the way back…..even with a jacket on, it felt oh so Brrrrr!!