Close encounters

Close encounters of the deer kind. This one was SO tame I could have walked up and petted it!

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Eye contact

Saturday evening sitting out the back when this deer walked across the gardens then stopped to eat some weeds at the edge of the hill. It also patiently waited till I went back inside to pick up my camera.

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What’s that?

Then as I slowly approached it started walking over TOWARDS me. I must have taken about 100 shots; it was one of the coolest things that has happened to me in a long time.

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She’s off!

Then just as quickly she ran off into the woods.

Technical stuff – Pentax K5 (for once I actually just put the camera in auto and started shooting not having time to figure out the ISO/exposure compensation etc.) Tamron 18-200mm lens, shot at almost full zoom. These are pretty much straight out the camera.

P.S. 3 posts in a week!!! Check me out being all bloggy and stuff!

WPC: Transient

Transient: Lasting only a short time. Impermanent.

Some old photographs (again) but sums up my idea of transient. Isn’t nature wonderful?

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A moment of love

A dream

A laugh

A kiss

A cry

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Our rights

Our wrongs

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A moment of love

A Dream

A laugh

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A moment of love

A dream

A laugh

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Lyrics: The Temper Trap, Sweet Disposition

 Transient

WPC: Dange

Question: Why is my ‘R’ not working in the title? It’s working in the post field? RrRrRrRr – see! Are R’s dangerous? I suppose it depends on who’s doing the R-ing. *sigh* I’ve had Internet troubles all week and now it looks like I’m having keyboard trouble.

Anyway the post. Danger. A week late.

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A dangerous beastie!

Never trust a smile on a crocodile. Except this is an alligator. Don’t trust them either… they’re pretty dodgy too.
Danger!

WPC: Surprise

I didn’t think I was going to participate this week in the Weekly Photo Challenge as I couldn’t think of anything to photograph and didn’t have time to look through my archives, but yesterday I was up visiting my daughter at her apartment and got the cutest surprise when I saw the baby geese (goslings?) sitting at the edge of the pond right outside her front door.

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THEY’RE SO FLUFFFFFYYYYY – I’M GONNA DIE!

I suggested daughter kidnap them and let them live in her bathtub but daddy Goose gave me the stink-eye when I made the suggestion.

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Daddy, or mummy, who can tell?

Anyway a nice wee surprise and I was happy that I had my compact camera with me to capture them as my phone wouldn’t have done justice to their cuteness level.
Surprise

WPC: Security or my fabulous guard dog

Dawg takes his position as my personal guard dog very seriously. If he’s not sleeping outside my bedroom door he’s underneath my feet at the computer desk when I’m working. He’s my furry shadow. Of course if it was up to him he’d sleep IN the bedroom with me, or even ON the bed, but I’m not into pets in the bedroom. Under the computer desk has it’s own hazards as well – he’s likely to be run over with a wheel from the chair or, more likely, put my feet to sleep as he forces all feelings out of my toes by lying on my feet.

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Whatcha doing? I help? Whereya going? I come?

His favourite ‘on-guard’ position is upside down with all four feet in the air. I’m almost certain any burglars who managed to get in our house would be caught because they’d trip over him! Once he’s sleeping and snoring (yes, he snores) only the words “Walkies” or “Cheese” can awaken him. Don’t let his sweet angelic sleeping face fool you though, he’s like a ninja when someone dares to walk past our house, and God forbid anyone who actually comes to the door and rings the doorbell! If anyone wants a sound recording of what a ferocious guard dog who will eat you if you enter his domain sounds like then drop me a line. Of course once you’re actually inside the house he’s more likely to knock you to the ground and slabber all over you. He’s a 76lb lap dog who loves nothing better than to try and fit on my lap, especially when I’m reading, which is very inconvenient! From his early morning squirrel patrol to his (barking) conversations with all the neighbouring dogs he likes to make sure the world is secure enough for his humans.

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Squirrel patrol reporting for duty. Backyard all safe and secure Ma’am!

Someone once asked me back in Scotland if I wasn’t afraid to walk the dog through the woods on my own? My answer was “Look at my dog. Do you really think anyone will try to grab me with this right beside me?” I was talking about my last dog obviously, but he was also an Airedale. I feel the same here in the USA, Airedales are very protective of their humans. No, I feel very safe and secure with my dog guarding me, whether it’s outside walking or whenever I’m alone in the house.

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What hole in my bed? No of course I don’t eat fabric! What do you mean this is my 3rd bed in a year? Darned mice!!

Security

Against the Odds: WPC

A few years ago I did a National Photowalk in my nearest ‘big’ town where all sorts of amateur and professional photographers met up to wander round the town taking photographs of things that interested them. Well I found myself wandering through a small downtown park when I felt rather than saw an enormous swoosh go past me. It was a fabulous red-tailed hawk and at first I really did think there must have been a trained bird-of-prey type display going on in the park as I thought it was trailing some tethers on its legs. Lo and behold it landed in a tree right next to me and I saw it didn’t have any tethers, it was actually holding a dead squirrel. I’ve never gotten so close to nature before and even though it was pretty gruesome it was fascinating watching the hawk rip the guts out of the squirrel. Also they don’t eat the fur. It was ripping the fur off and dropping it on the ground. As I said fascinating and gruesome. I stood and watched it for a good 20 minutes then it moved trees. I followed it and watched it for another 15 minutes before it was time for me to leave. Did I get lucky or what? My camera had a 90mm lens on as I was trying to use only one lens that day to improve my composition skills, but even without the superzoom I think I managed to get some pretty decent shots. Anyway I thought these were the perfect photographs to go with this week’s theme of Against the Odds.

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This next photograph was funny. I could just picture the squirrel going “Oh cr*p! I’ve picked the wrong tree! Maybe if I just stay still he won’t notice me…” “Mildred, Mildred, where are you? Watch out, there’s a big sock monkey up this tree!” (for sock monkey reference see a previous post https://alba1047.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/sock-monkeys-and-giant-mice/)

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Uh-oh!!! Be the tree. Be the tree. I am the tree.

Poor Mildred was lunch for the hungry hawk (sounds a bit like a childrens book!)

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“Have any of you seen Mildred?”

Against the Odds

Aloha, part 2

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Just around the corner from Shipwreck Beach

In my family I’m probably the only one with any sort of good sense of direction, therefore I’m nearly always the map reader and directiononteerer (I just made that word up). The kids nowadays nearly always use their phones for (they say) more accurate directions than mine, which usually consist of “just around the next corner” when I really mean just around the next 5 corners. Anyway, on the photo above of the cliffs at Shipwreck Beach, Kauai (which WAS just around the corner) believe it or not they actually cliff dive off the point at the LHS of the photograph. Madness!

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Shaka – Hang Ten or Hang Loose

Yeah, I didn’t have a go at surfing. Maybe if I’d been younger and didn’t have a dodgy hip…. But I did embrace the Hang Loose sign (tried to find an emoji that I could cut and paste into my text, but after countless hours searching Google (2 minutes!) I gave up)

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Na Pali Coast

Na Pali. Undoubtedly one of the most amazing places on Earth, and definitely one of the most fabulous places I’ve ever seen. I was totally in awe of the beauty of this place. It’s pretty inaccessible except for hikers or from a boat or helicopter. This fifteen-mile stretch of rugged coastline on the northwest shore of Kauai literally means ‘The Cliffs’. Much of Na Pali Coast is inaccessible due to its characteristic sheer cliffs that drop straight down, thousands of feet into the ocean. I could stay there all day and NEVER get tired of the views. Nature at her finest I’m sure you’ll agree.

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Lucy the Duck

Lucy decided to join the guided tour around Allerton Gardens in Kauai. She was very friendly and posed nicely for me when I asked her.

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Spouting Horn, Poipu

On Kauai’s south shore you’ll find the spectacular Spouting Horn blowhole, one of the most photographed spots on Kauai. The Poipu surf channels into a natural lava tube here and releases a huge spout of water during large swells. You’ll also hear a hiss and a roar that is the basis of a Hawaiian legend.

Ancient Hawaiians believed this coastline was once guarded by a giant moo (lizard) named Kaikapu. Everyone was afraid of the moo because it would eat anyone who tried to fish or swim in the area. One day, a young boy named Liko entered the ocean to outwit the lizard. Kaikapu attacked him, but Liko thrust a sharp stick into her mouth, swam under the lava shelf, and escaped through a small hole to the surface. The moo followed Liko and got stuck in the lava tube. To this day, you can hear the lizard’s roar and see her breath spraying from the blowhole. *copied from ‘GoHawaii.com’*

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A curious gecko

A lucky shot for me. Sitting eating lunch one day and this little fellow comes up and goes “Whatchadoing?” so I grabbed my compact camera (Fuji 900exr) and got exactly 2 shots before he ran away. This is a huge crop and zoom so I’m very pleased at how good it turned out considering. Anyone want to buy some car insurance now?

It’s an Airedale

Alert and ever ready to spring into action at a moments notice.
Questions people ask me. 

What kind of dog is that – it’s an Airedale

Is that a labradoodle – it’s an Airedale

Is that a giant poodle – it’s an Airedale

Is that a schnauzer- it’s an Airedale

Are they easy to train – it’s an Airedale, so no. Only if HE wants to be trained. 

Can I pet your giant teddy bear – it’s an Airedale. And no. 

Are they good guard dogs – it’s an Airedale, so yes. Unless of course you’re a burglar and he’s sleeping, in which case you’d probably trip over him. 

Is he smart – it’s an Airedale, so yes.  

Is he pure bred – no, he’s half crocodile

The Airedale. Fierce, ferocious , furry friend.

Birdie on the golf course

Or several birdies on the golf course.

These were all taken at Buffalo Creek Golf Course, home of the 15 foot alligator.

Yes I was playing (sorta). No I’m not very good. Yes I kept getting distracted by alligator hunting. No I wasn’t allowed to drive the golf cart in the ponds or through the sand pits (Seemingly that’s frowned upon on golf courses. Who knew!).

I would have loved to get closer to the Ospreys but there was a stonking great alligator in the pond in front of me, hence the 300mm long zoom plus cropping.

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I got a birdie on this hole. A Heron to be precise.
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Osprey. Would have loved to get closer but, you know, alligators.
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Another Heron looking pretty beside the flowers.
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Spoonbill and another bird.
Vulture
Cute Black Vulture.
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Cormorant

Alligator hunting at the golf course

When I was at my sisters the guys (and my sister) went to play golf at Buffalo Creek, which is their local course, and I went along for the photo opps. A few weeks ago there was a video all over the internet about an alligator wanting to play golf at Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Florida. Well guess where I was alligator hunting? This is the video of the alligator. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXn1g0xtUMk

And this is my photo of the gigantic alligator. Luckily he didn’t come out the water as I don’t know if the golf carts can go fast enough to escape him!

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It’s an alligator, not a log!

I did find a small one sunbathing at another pond, but when I got closer it swam away. This is a huge crop from my zoom lens.

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Sunbathing alligator

This is it swimming away when I approached it.

Alligator 2
I can still see you

Then when we were driving back from Miami to Tampa through I75 ‘Alligator Alley’ we stopped at a conservation area and although we didn’t see any alligators my sister and I swear this was a dead body in the pond. Both husbands say it was a rock… BUT WE KNOW BETTER!

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A woman’s white top methinks!