3 years ago I was walking along the coast off Barentsburg, Svalbard. For a while, I had this feeling that something was watching my every step. I looked around for polar bares who are quite common in these areas. There was nothing, just the sound from the wind and water washing up the shore. As I could nothing see I figured that I might just being imagining something. Then suddenly I noticed two seals quite far from the shoreside looking at me. I continued to walk up the coast, while they patiently followed me for quite some time. After some time I simply couldn’t help not laying down close to the water level for a few photos of this beautiful animal.
Mountain hare encrusted in snow – To be honest we were already heading down. It had been a numbingly cold day in the mountains with long periods of inactivity and we were both pretty much done. I’d spent the best part of several hours lying close to one particularly confiding hare that had now decided to move and sit somewhere particularly unphotogenic. With the cool, blue light of dusk enshrouding the mountains, and hot food/tea/fireplace screaming to us we both broke, the nods of agreement and shoulder shrugs were silent, we were heading down! On this particular part of the mountain the descent was treacherous, steep snow combined with uneven ground made for some comical tumbles. I ended up going arse over tit several times, a 35kg backpack often meaning that I face-planted, face down in the freezing snow, barely able to breath and equally unable to extricate myself. My uncle drew solace from his own suffering by belly laughing at my expense. Schadenfreude is what we do when we’re with each other, there is no greater pleasure than in the other’s suffering! I was to get my revenge though. ‘Look Rick, a [email protected] His face said it all. We didn’t want to have to unpack all of our equipment, we didn’t want to have to start the arduous belly crawl, we didn’t want to spend any more time being tired and cold. Mentally we were already there, back at the vehicle, a comfy seat, heater, maybe even a flask of lukewarm tea, a wet sandwich. Anything, but not another bloody hare! But she was too good, too beautiful, too tempting. ‘Oh FFS’ is what we both muttered as we started unpacking all of our gear again. Wildlife photography is not all joy, it’s not all pleasure, it’s not all a spiritual experience of being at one with nature. Sometimes it’s absolutely shattering, exhausting and ever so occasionally soul destroying. All that being said, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Artist: Kunisada III Utagawa (1848-1920)
Title: Kabuki play, Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy
Date: late 19th century
3 21212 hours ago
19 февраля - всемирный день китов. Пузырьковая охота горбатых китов в Антарктиде. В один из дней наблюдали в одном проливе два десятка китов, которые группами по 4-5 особей занимались охотой своим особенным способом. Один из китов поднимается по спирали вверх, непрерывно выпуская из дыхала пузыри в окружающую воду. Таким образом сплетается сетка, окружающая скопление добычи со всех сторон. Оказавшись у поверхности, он хлопает по воде хвостовым плавником, вероятно, чтобы еще больше дезориентировать добычу или чтобы дать сигнал напарникам о том, что пища окутана воздушной сетью. Те в свою очередь устремляются наверх прямо в гущу добычи и с удовольствием поедают ее. Уйти добыча не может, поскольку данное скопление пузырьков заставляет планктон и рыбу сбиваться в плотную кучу и ограничивает их подвижность. После этого киты меняются ролями — тот, кто поел, становится загонщиком.
The Fushimi Inari shrines in Kyoto were something else to see. Tried to make it to the top but after walking up for an hour and a half and hearing that there was an equal amount till we hit the top, decided to turn back.
The famous Hanoi train street. Officially closed now since there were too many tourists on the train tracks taking photos 📷
2 8517 hours ago
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