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The Big Cat Sanctuary: Fishing Cat

So, I've decided to upload my Big Cat photos in stages - one species at a time! I took around a thousand photos and whittled it down to 114 that I like (and hope to put into one of those cool photo books you can make). I took my pocket rocket (my Canon Powershot SX260) and also the Lumix bridge camera that was a much appreciated hand me down from my future brother-in-law. :)

The Lumix was actually my back up, as it performed pretty badly at BirdWorld (all my photos there were taken on my Powershot) and I was really wary of it after using it at the SESHA show - when I got home from that event, I found that a lot of photos which I thought were fine on the viewer were actually slightly blurry or out of focus. So I was really paranoid about ending up with unexpectedly bad shots.

The battery on my Powershot died by lunch time, however, so I had to switch to the Lumix. And I'm glad I did! The guide was helping us all get the best from our cameras, and although I found it tricky at times I think I got some nice shots with it. I'd glanced through my morning photos during lunch, and had been really disappointed because they didn't look as good as I'd thought at the time; I started feeling really down about it. But then I overheard the guide telling someone that, on average, people on this course would take a few thousand photos and only have seven or eight really good ones - or just one good photo, if they were picky. And that was normal and totally oki. So I brightened up a bit, because I figured getting just one shot I was happy with was totally doable. :)

So anyway, these are my Fishing Cat pictures, taken with the Lumix. I want to stress that I don't think all of these are wonderful; I chose these ones because there were things I liked about them and that made me happy. I'm not trying to pretend I'm a Proper Photographer Person. As for the watermarks - I feel a bit pretentious using them, but our guide strongly recommended that we mark all images before putting them online. Something to do with a proposed bill that means all photos without a watermark that are found on the internet are free to use. And I have had pictures stolen and sold before, so ... no harm in taking precautions, I guess.

Twelve photosCollapse )

The Fishing Cat is found in Southern Asia, and is listed as endangered. They have slightly webbed toes and can swim underwater, using their tails as a rudder! They eat fish (obviously), birds, small mammals ... and also snails and snakes. Despite their diminutive size, they are strong enough to take down larger prey, like calves and dogs! Man, these cats are just badass! In the water, they hunt by tapping the surface so that the fish thinks there's a tasty insect that's fallen in. 

TBT: The Ifach Cat

In January 2012, we had a family holiday to Spain to visit my granny. Ben came too, which was awesome, especially as I was able to cajole him and my little brother into climbing the 332m Ifach Rock with me. And what did we find when we got to the very top? A cat. What else. :) This is also the photo that nearly won me a trip to photograph my beloved lynx at The Big Cat Sanctuary; I got through to the finals, but did not place. Luckily for me I have the best fiance in the world and he bought me a BCS photography experience day for Christmas - I'm going next month! :D

TBT: Riding Cash

I've started doing Throwback Thursday photo posts to my FB, and I thought I'd share them here as well...

Winter of 2011: By the hammer of Thor! An actual over-the-ears photo of Cash, taken shortly before his brain fell out and he stopped being a riding pony. Aw. :(

A three year voyage.

In 2011, glenatron took me out on a fishing smack in Brightlingsea, Essex, on her first run of the season. She was called the Saxonia. Three years to the day later, and we are engaged to be married ... so I reckon it was a pretty good day out. :) Tonight we're going out for a meal to celebrate that day, and our first meal together ... and possibly the mead-fueled stupidity later where Nelson/Napoleon showed up. That was a good night.

saxonia2

Also three years ago today, I nearly killed everyone on board after someone unwisely gave me the helm.

saxonia

Adventure on the North Downs.

Current thoughts on my mule: bbhdsfwerjeot[g ADORABLE. I love him so much I can't talk about him coherently. He's awesome. He's put his nose into the halter two days in a row, now, when I go to catch him. And when I take his halter off at the end of our session, he stays with me. :)

Anyway. Today I mostly had a day off, so Ben and I went adventuring in the North Downs. We started at St Martha-on-the-hill, a 12th century church, and transcribed a circuitous route down in the weald and back up again (today's educational insight: 'weald' is related to 'wald', the German word for forest. At the time of the Saxon invasion the entire valley would have been thickly forested, and a pretty dangerous place to be). Along the way we explored the ruins of the Gunpowder Mill, which was seriously awesome - I'm fascinated by the idea of buildings returning to nature, and it was really cool to see it up close.


View from the North Downs

In which I take many photos of woodlands and ruinsCollapse )

We had lunch at a pub on the halfway point, which turned out to be South African themed - I ate springbok, which was delicious! My quest to eat various animals continues admirably. 

100 Happy Days: Week Three

I'm so excited about our mule! :D Ha, sorry, I will stop talking about him soon. ...Until he arrives, anyway. Omg I hope we can persuade him to load!

Having something as smart, loyal and long-lived as a mule is going to be a challenge and a huge responsibility; in fact I feel like it's almost akin to parenthood, only better because we can leave him in a field overnight ... and he won't cost anywhere near as much. I've also been hearing that, once you gain a mule's trust, they will stick with you through thick and thin - and, unlike a horse, are capable of actually loving you (rather than just seeing you as a food provider)! Oh no - what if the mule loves Ben more than me? D: What if, because Ben is the one training him, he loves Ben and doesn't want to be my riding mule?! Noooooooooooo!

...Oki, sorry, calming down now. Here are some happy moment photos from week three of my challenge. :)

Week threeCollapse )

I've been having trouble with FB pixelating some of my photos, so I've linked these from my Flickr account; but do they still look kinda fuzzy and out of focus to you? :s Some of them do for me. Argh!

An afternoon adventure.

it is sooo good to have my 'extended lunch breaks' back on Weds-Fri! Yesterday, Ben and Iris came to meet me as I finished work for the morning; we then went home the long way round, along country roads and through the Devil's Punchbowl, making it about 6 miles in total. I learnt that trying to photograph from a bike is much harder than photographing from horseback or on foot. :P


Coming down the hill to meet me! :)

Ben & Iris

Oki, I got a bit snaphappy - but the scenery around here is so goddamn awesome, I just can't help myselfCollapse )

Songs What I Does Like: Chapter Fourteen

"The Captain's Lament", The Patient Wild (listen here)
Folk rock
UK

So the lead guitarist and mandolin player in this band is pretty hot, just saying ... hehe. :) Ben's band have released their album, which you can buy here (for only £5! Bargain!), so I thought it was only right that I feature one of my favourite songs from it! It was a hard choice between this one and Gifts of the Sea, but in the end Lament won out. I mean it's probably the least rock of all their songs (and possibly the shortest?), but it's just so beautiful. Gives me chills every time.

I've decided to go back to embedding videos when I make these posts, so the rest of this month's songs are beneath a cut. Do you prefer embedded videos or links to videos? Do you even care? :P

Five songs beneath cutCollapse )

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