—us, or not? Read on and be enlightened.
BEYOND THE INFINITE
When I was just a little boy something triggered a train of ideas … you know, the good old classic ‘What if‘.
at ever passing moment, with every decision, with every action, with every non-action, with every event of any kind: what if— Am I a geni—Continue reading
and the FRUSTRATED too~!
Hey, it’s a jungle out there. In a recent post I lamented that cute little ducklings are born with out-of-focus feathery. (That was my excuse and I’ll stick by it given the circumstances.)
It’s an excuse invalidated a wee bit by some of today’s snaps, but these were more good luck than any skill with my camera. There was also a seagull down at the duckpond (Queens Park, in town) and he was loaded for bear; quite optimistic (or stupid) he not only persisted with his attempts to dine on duckling he also mixed it at close quarters with an irate mother and learned a few quick facts of life.
ON MY WAY TO
the park I snapped some poppies. So? So I shot these from across a wide and busy street using a telephoto, that’s so; modern cameras, stabilisers, aaah~
—I took a couple of others too but sufficient unto the post is the beauty thereof (and those others were a bit fuzzy in places).
THEN ON TO
the pond, seeking vindication for my previous fuzzy ducks. Even my beloved Spouse agrees (on close examination) that if the ground in front of, under, and behind the duckling is in focus then the bird itself must be out of focus. Physically. No? (As in born with unfocussed feathers.)
Moving on and quite unaware of the dramas to unfold I saw that today’s heavy winds seem to have cleared the place of ducklets. Nary a baby birdie to be seen, and just as I was beginning to feel a bit haunted there came a redemption—one, just one, baby duck huddled in close to the wall. I shot the bugger right where he stood. Okay, where he floated (picky)—
—and it never occurred to me to wonder why such an energetic little sucker should be so stationary by a wall. But looking at all the matt fur one can see why a poor frustrated camera has problems focussing sometimes …
A FEW MINUTES LATER
I saw another wee ducklet out on the pond—and even as I was locking on (graticule goes green when target acquired) he disappeared.
Quite simply, he disappeared.
As in vanished.
And moments later a white blur as a seagull zoomed over exactly where duckling had just dematerialised then beat back up for height.
I didn’t see baby duck again. But I did see the same scenario setting up for a repeat performance further along and managed to snatch my camera up, aim and shoot in one frantic movement. I make no apologies for the action shot below, what you see is what I saw—
—and once again no sign of baby duck. The seagull climbed away empty handed and empty beaked. I saw this happen three times more with three different disappearing ducklings.
It occurred to me that perhaps brand new little ducks are born (hatched~!) with anti-aircraft and crash-dive instincts? Obviously they did so, and swam off underwater, and for a considerable distance too. I didn’t know they could do that.
Eventually gull settled on the water and I thought to the effect ‘Oh goody; peace, tranquility and other such desirable stuff at last’ — poor naive twit, the gull had actually established himself in an ambush—
—he was swimming around in small circles and quite invisible to a Mother Duck and her brood approaching from the south. It was either pure luck or superb planning …
… but a mother’s instincts must have kicked in: while still out of possible sight the whole lot stopped and milled about … except for one who kept blissfully going and jumped in from what must’ve been a great height to suddenly find himself face to face with what would be a nightmare if ducks have nightmares—
—and then he was chased like all the other ducklings I’d snapped being chased by this gull.
Nothing I could do, no artillery, no rocks, and no conviction that I should intervene anyway: on a small scale this was Nature in the raw playing out (or as a Christian/Muslim might say, “God’s will being done”). Who has the greater right to live? The innocent duck, or the hungry gull? So just for now let’s leave them to their chase, which looked like this—
—and although this scenario played out often, and the gap each time closed alarmingly I didn’t see the gull score, not once. When motivated baby ducks can really hike.
Certainly gull scored from above. Three times he caught one particular swimming baby and each time he hefted it out of the water and tossed it—on the third time it prospered and escaped.
I took a brief sabbatical and wandered away to check the pond on the other side of the little bridge, where I met a baby duck coming down the hump just as I was about to go up. I saw him first and froze. By the time he got to me I was just another part of the landscape so he kept coming … and because my camera was at arm’s length hanging down I couldn’t get the shot as the little bugger tested my shoelace, fairly beaking it—and not even for the shot would I move. No harm done and no food value there, he wandered off and I walked back to where the scene had been reset in reverse—
—giving the experienced tactician the advantage of the high ground while limiting the novices apparently to two dimensions—
—and once again the ‘disappearing ducklings’ scenario played out. Several times, and each time the gull scored nothing more than wet feet and/or beak.
Eventually he desisted and peace returned to Canterville. An uneasy peace—a little later I saw a brood, the gull, and a Mother Duck over at the other side of the pond.
I got two shots, the first was Mother explaining to the gull in no uncertain terms that if he wanted to keep his feathers he’d better be on his best behaviour; but it was the second that I’m posting here—
—because some of the babies, knowing full well that they were quite safe now, actually went right over to the gull and checked him out.
And he knew there was nothing he could damn’ well do about it but smile through gritted beak …
AND NOW, ESPECIALLY FOR YOU
a Gull’s eye view of a swimming duckling …
not to be confused with
.IN THE CITY LIBRARY
a couple of weeks ago I was ploughing through the ‘Chuck-out Cheapies’ racks sniffing for bargains when I saw several works on modern business techniques, methodologies, nomenclatures, in-speak and call-signs.
ONE IN PARTICULAR
offended my sensitivities: ‘Human Resources‘.
Those two words say a lot. They also tell us a very great deal about the boofwits and barf-brains using ENGLISH GRAMMARContinue reading
when you haven’t
GOT A GUN
as my ol’ Dad used to say.
BUT IN BRIEF
tomorrow is General Elections Day in New Zealand. No-one is allowed to advertise their con-men or otherwise push their political rubbish on election day (but they’ve been at it for long enough already to make the average cynic even more so).
SO I GLADLY
cast my eye over the local newspaper this morning and was promptly attracted by what could be the supreme example of ‘Truth In Advertising’— THE THINGS YOU SEEContinue reading
three lots of Global Warming. It’s actually an abbreviation for the reasons why the United States is failing to achieve anything but endless slaughter: won’t achieve anything, can’t achieve anything.
But don’t ask me, I covered this one in various blogs in the past. As in the old naval gunnery, look at the fall of shot and adjust accordingly—
… And although the US might feel obliged to tackle Isis with the old tools of war, the 13 years since 9/11 have taught us a holding pattern is about the best the old tools can achieve. You can suppress the symptoms but air strikes never address the root cause.
Obama didn’t define victory because there is no immediate victory to be had …
To read more* : click here
—or take my advice to adjust not physical gunsights but mental mindset. It’s not a physical war now but (as ever) a ‘War of Ideas’.
wars are not between people, races, nations, or empires. They are always between ideas (the people involved are nothing more than the tools ideas use in furtherance of their aims).
IN THE MEANTIME
the dinosaurs running America and its various lapdogs (Britain, Europe, NATO, ANZUS, anyone?) are running last century’s models simultaneously on both obsolete and Empty. Not good.
* Ye gods, it’s even become obvious to the Kiwi Herald, but why not to the desperate vested interests with no option but to continue business as usual (while praying to the God of War aka Prince of Peace for assistance?)