July Challenge - Day 22

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:54 am
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From Country Scene

A bell is tolling, fading, fading
Just like love. Only poetry lasts.

SHREW

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:36 pm
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
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Yesterday I got to see a tiny shrew very close-up and it was very exciting.

So I was sitting on a muddy path in a wooded area because of reasons (ok, exhausted after climbing) when I saw movement and a tiny thing scurrying past me. I figured that glimpse was all I'd see, but I turned round to see where it'd gone and it was on the path on the other side of me, and with great caution so as not to startle it I managed to dig my phone out of my coat pocket:

longshot in which a tiny shrew may be visible among rocks and moss

(There's nothing to give a sense of scale, but the shrew is a few centimetres long. It makes mice look big.)

THEN --

Cut for blurry close-ups and blurry worm death )

July Challenge - Day 21

Jul. 21st, 2017 07:16 am
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From Spring-Watching Pavilion

Where is nirvana?
Nirvana is here, nine times out of ten.

July Challenge - Day 20

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:57 am
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From Viewing Cac-Co Cavern

Here sweet water spatters down
And the path into the cleft is dark.

Wood Pidgeon, York

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:43 am
highlyeccentric: A seagull lifting into flight, skimming the cascade (Castle Hill, Nice) (Seagull)
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I get the impression these are perfectly normal birds in the UK, but they're quite a novelty to me. Those fancy collars! There were three in the yard of the pub we stayed in, but they wouldn't sit still to be photographed. Here's one from the walk into town:

Tawny owl

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:50 am
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Short-eared owl
[Grainy photo of a short-eared tawny owl sitting on a lawn]

I know this isn't the greatest photo of all time. In my defense, I did take it from behind a dusty windowpane in an upstairs bedroom where I was crouched breathlessly lest I frighten it off.

There've long been barn owls living at my partner's parents' home in rural Norfolk, but I'd never seen any other type of owl there. I was surprised, therefore, to see this tawny owl (h/t to [personal profile] shapinglight for corrected identification) sitting on their lawn at dusk a couple of weeks ago. I worked out that it was watching a group of four partridges who were pecking through the pebbles in the drive, closer to the house. They seemed a rather optimistic target, given that the owl wasn't much bigger than they were.

The owl flew off and returned to the lawn several times whilst I watched, but never made a move on the partridges, who eventually moved onto the roof of the house and over to the other side.

July Challenge - Day 19

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:07 am
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From Old Pagoda

Crowds gather at this door of compassion,
Placing incense sticks on smoking altars.

Pigeon!

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:16 pm
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
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I had to check the comm profile to try to decide if this was legit, as this was clearly not a wild pigeon; it was obviously someone's sleek, well-fed and well-cared-for homing/racing pigeon.

However, it was definitely "unsupervised", as it was hanging out at a gritstone crag eating bilberries and watching the climbers.

It wouldn't quite let people touch it, but was otherwise very comfortable with humans and happy to let you get very close.

I took a lot of photos of it trying to get a shot of the tags on its legs, as I was worried it was someone's beloved pet and lost. But when I got home, I found out that the "report a found pigeon" websites (they exist, naturally) say in rather weary tones not to even bother unless the pigeon's been around for at least 48 hours; apparently they like to take pit stops.

Pigeon with beautiful iridescent neck

Cut for more pigeon )

July Challenge - Day 18

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:54 am
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From The Lustful Monk

A life in religion weighs heavier than stone.
Everything can rest on just one little thing.

July Challenge - Day 17

Jul. 17th, 2017 03:33 pm
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From Quan Su Pagoda

The monks no longer beat the temple drum.
The nuns just say their beads and then are gone.

Insect Season

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:43 am
redsixwing: Two water lily leaves with smaller plants between (stems)
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Cattails and water skippers in a local ditch.

skippers and cattails

A very vivid ladybug on a maple tree.

ladybug on maple

Great crested grebe

Jul. 17th, 2017 04:18 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
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Urban great crested grebe nest
[Macro image of a great crested grebe sitting on its nest.]

I spotted this great crested grebe brooding on its nest in the canal at Westerdok in Amsterdam. I thought its nest was a remarkable construction: the usual twigs, but also bits of plastic rubbish, and finishing touches of hollyhock. I was also impressed by the two female mallard duck bodyguards who immediately rushed over when I started taking photos. They didn't quack, but eyed me up silently as they circled the nest at a careful distance.

We were staying on a barge nearby for three nights and I checked on the grebe morning and evening. I don't believe it stirred from the nest in that time, so hopefully soon there will be some freshly hatched urban grebes learning to navigate the Dutch canal system!

July Challenge - Day 16

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:09 am
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From Young Scholars

Jostling about by the temple door,
They'd like to be scholars but they can't even talk.

July Challenge - Day 15

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:57 pm
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From The Retired Doctor

Finding great peace again and again
He claps out rhythms, shouts out joy.

July Challenge - Day 14

Jul. 14th, 2017 06:11 am
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From The Condition of Women

Yet, everything must be put in order.
Rushing around all helter-skelter.

July Challenge - Day 13

Jul. 13th, 2017 09:39 am
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From Consoling a Young Widow

Your funeral cries just hurt our ears.
Stop wailing or you'll shame the rivers and hills.

July Challenge - Day 12

Jul. 12th, 2017 07:09 am
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From Cats

Proud as stags, they lunge and joust.
Royal tigers, they rear back and roar.

July Challenge - Day 11

Jul. 11th, 2017 06:42 am
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From The Wellspring

A narrow path descends through brush
To the bright water of your wondrous pool.
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