Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Believe I Can Fly ...

As I was washing up I spotted this unlucky creature on the lawn, a magpie without tail feathers looking rather sad. One can only speculate how it had lost its rudder like that. Those feathers must be there for a very good reason, the design has been perfected over generations, so how would it cope I wondered.

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But all of a sudden it took off and headed for the neighbours' garden. So, yes, it could fly, but I wonder about the landing. Maybe it crashed and rolled over. I will never know. (It is somewhere in the middle, slightly blurred.)

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Spring/Summer Animal Watch

Not only do I keep pen and paper near me or on me for when some writing ideas come up, but this time of year there is a lot going on in the garden, so my camera is never far away either.

When I wake up in the morning I often hear how young birds are calling for more food, now! They congregate by the feeders under our bedroom window. Since we are in mid June now, all fledglings have left their nests and ventured out into the big unknown, and it is fascinating and rather sweet to see how some of them are still trying to understand how to get to the food. They can see others eating from the feeders and those fatty balls full of yummy seeds.

This young greenfinch could not figure out how to approach and land safely to get some food, but ended up on the ground looking slightly bewildered.

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This juvenile great tit is getting some help though.

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Not only birds are hungry but also this female squirrel is in need of replenishing her energy levels. She is pretty agile and acrobatic!

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When the great spotted woodpeckers fly in, the crowd of smaller birds disperse in a flash, and you cannot avoid hearing the young ones calling for food. In these pictures a male adult is feeding a young one.

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Since I started supplying water I have also realised that birds do not only have a bath every now and then, but most of all how often they need to drink, and it is not only birds who come to drink. I have many times seen birds repeatedly visiting the water bowls between sessions on the feeder perch. When everyone else has gone to bed the hedgehogs appear.

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No wonder I always keep both camera and tripod close at hand. Like yesterday when a jay turned up all of a sudden. I have never before seen one in the garden, only in the woods.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Last Week I Slept with ...

... a note pad and pen next to my bed. Why? To record my dreams? No, but that sounds like a fascinating idea. To help realise my dream of finishing my book that I am hoping to publish some time? Yes!

Often when I wake up too early, especially when on holiday, my brain kicks into action, and I often find myself thinking about plot ideas, expressions and words. I might even be half asleep, but my brain seems to go into a creative mode automatically.

I have many times cursed myself in the past for not remembering those thoughts later in the day, just like with dreams. So this is where the note pad and pen come into the picture. I found it very useful last week, especially since our French country house has several Velux windows (roof windows), and the ones in our bedroom lack blinds. If it is a sunny morning the room gets very bright.

It's funny how it works. Sometimes when you sit down and try hard to think, to be imaginary, creative, nothing comes out. But when you're more relaxed and just let your mind float freely, you're rewarded with even the odd eureka moment.

Early one morning in that bright bedroom I had a particular idea, which I used in my writing. I noticed that the light that was shining through one of those roof windows created an image on the opposite wall, and this projected image then moved with the movement of the sun.

The sun was shining through a big birch outside and projected the movements of the foliage onto the wall, just like a fuzzy black-and-white film.

I really should carry pen and paper all the time, because you never know when the writing muse strikes next. Or maybe I simply should go on holiday more often?

I managed to take a few photos as well, and I leave you with a solitary poppy in a crop field.

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