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Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

I do not know the name of this little fellow.  All I know is that once Steve took the rod from my hands and began jiggling the line, this creature clamped on tight.  Steve hauled him up long enough for me to snap a picture and then he was released back into the bay.

This lovely trio stared me down as I walked toward them.  I think they quickly realized I knew very little about fishing and so they patiently waited for the lobster boats to return to dock.

Can you see the bright eyes of this seal?  I was scanning the waves for a whale so I nearly missed this svelte form bobbing up and down in the waves.  I heard tell of a green snake in the woods and saw deer hoof prints in the mud but few other animals did I see this past weekend, up north, except for this butterfly feeding on minerals in the soil.

You can see more images from a weekend journey to Grand Manan here, and learn more about this beautiful island here.  A very short trip from where I live — a drive and then ferry ride — but somehow it was a world away.

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Okay, I have to admit, not only the mallards paused to let me snap a photo.  As I watched the swans’ feathers rustling in the winds whipping through St. Stephen’s Green, I thought of the Greek myth Leda and the Swan.  Only later as I walked through the National Library of Ireland’s exhibit on William Butler Yeats did I learn that Yeats had published a highly regarded sonnet on the subject in 1924. 

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As Steve and I walked through a wooded area this past Sunday, something rustled the dried leaves at my feet.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something move.  A pale shape.  Small.  I followed.  Soon I found myself kneeling in the mud inching closer to this little fellow, whose photo I took for a friend who loves frogs.

That same day, at an adjacent park, we walked around a pond and through the neighboring woods.  In the middle of a bustling town the park was well-visited by local families.  So, the animals were quite used to people.  We walked through flocks of geese.  Mallards looked up at us wondering if we had a treat.  A chorus of gray squirrels chided Steve for not bringing them nuts.  He promised to do so next time.  But up high in a tree, more reluctant to be seen, sat a black squirrel.

Around grassy knolls we continued to walk.  Then up a hill, past a little fort.  Tucked here and there, in open spaces and sometimes beneath the largest trees, sat families.  Some picnicked.  I saw one man teaching his young daughter how to draw.  Her little boy threw rocks into the pond and up high into the trees.  I wonder if he noticed the beauty that lay at his feet?

The park was not large.  And, truth be told, there were not that many trees, especially around the pond.  Yet somehow, because it stood so still upon a dead branch, a great blue heron remained mostly obscured.  Even as Steve and I stood there and stared at its quiet beauty, other people walked past us and muttered, “I wonder what they see?”

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Not to be cliche, but I have indeed always dreamed of traveling to Africa.  To this day, I remember as a child watching on network television shows like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and National Geographic.  At first I wanted to be one of the researchers on the ground studying the animals and the people.  That interest influenced my decisions to study subjects like biology, environmental history and geography.  Over time my interest evolved to include the people behind the scenes, shooting the footage that influenced my life so much.  I’m sure that’s why I picked up the book, The Africa Diaries, An Illustrated Memoir of Life in the Bush by Dereck & Beverly Joubert.

It is a beautiful book of words by Derek Joubert and images by Beverly Joubert, of the landscape, the animals, the local people, and mostly, of the relationship between a husband and wife with a common passion for Africa. I highly recommend.

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