What lurks beneath?

A clump of beautiful green water lily leaves shimmering in the sunshine looks so innocuous doesn’t it? But wait just a moment; something is lurking quietly there almost imperceptible unless one looks closely.

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Big Al is on the prowl, making not a sound as he glides along. I wonder why his teeth seem too big for his mouth and hang out at the side.

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As he comes into view, I can see the sly look in his eye as he scouts around for his prey.

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He does look rather mean and purposeful today and I’m sure he won”t go hungry for long.

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Wishing you all a happy weekend, but do be careful around water lilies. You never can be sure about what lurks beneath.

 

 

 

 

 

Mundane Macro Monday: Just Hovering

Actually, nothing in nature is ever mundane, but some things, especially the smaller  flying insects may sometimes escape our attention. The Halloween Pennant dragonfly is one of the most prolific and colourful found here in Florida. They don’t stay still for long, so one has to be very quick.

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Wishing you all a very pleasant week.

Thursday’s Special: Saturation

Well, here in Florida I think we’ve reached saturation point with all the rain we’ve been having, but today the sun is shining so here’s hoping we’ll have blue skies for the weekend.

One very colourful visitor to our backyard is Mildred Muscovy. She has a face that only a mother could love, but maybe in Muscovy world, she would win a beauty contest.

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I’ll add just a touch more rouge to make her really outstanding and get her noticed by the judges.

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Happy weekend, everyone. To join Paula’s Thursday’s Special Challenge, click the link below.

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More Feathered Visitors

Our backyard is aflutter with birds since we put up the new birdfeeder which hangs on a wire between two palm trees. It’s almost impossible to get photos of the birds actually on it, as I have to go out of the screen room door, and no matter how quietly I try to open it, they always sense my presence and are gone in the blink of an eye. My best option is to lurk by my bathroom window and take a shot as they land on a tree.

We have two pairs of Cardinals who are regular diners at our little restaurant.

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The beady-eyed Grackles descend in a gang and completely take over the feeder, whilst the other birds and Sammy squirrel hop around underneath picking up the seeds that fall to the ground.

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Hubby and I are very excited to soon be going off on our travels again to England and South Africa. We’ll have happy family reunions and also there’s my Mom-in-Law’s 105th birthday to celebrate in August.

Happy Thursday to you all.

 

 

 

 

Feathers On Friday: Looking Back

Have you ever wished that you had ‘eye’s in the back of your head’? I know I have, especially when I was teaching at school. Ms Anhinga has solved the problem by turning her head through180 degrees. A very clever trick indeed.

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Wishing you all a splendid weekend, filled with love, laughter, good food and lots of fun.

Mr. GBH building his love nest

Some may say that Valentines’ Day is ‘for the birds’, but Mr. GBH takes his courtship very seriously as he builds his not-so–little love nest.

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This is my entry for Debbie’s ‘Six Word Saturday‘.

Wishing you all a relaxing weekend.

Silent Sunday: A Frolic of Dolphins

” On the Planet Earth, Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much …… the wheel, New York, wars and so on –  whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time.

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But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons.” ~ Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Wishing all the Dads a very happy and relaxing Fathers’ Day.

The Gentoos of Waterboat Point

On the last day of 2016, our cruise ship the Seabourn Quest, anchored just off Waterboat Point in Paradise Bay.

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Here is Chile’s Antarctic Base which was active from 1951-58 and again briefly in the early 1980’s. The base was named after Chilean president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla who in the 1940’s became the first head of state of any nation, to visit Antarctica.

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Waterboat Point is an official historic site under the Antarctic Treaty and this sign honours the smallest ever wintering-over party of just two men, who spent a year and a day in 1921-22 in a shelter they made out of an old whaling boat they found on the site. Maxime Lester and Thomas Bagshawe, 22 and 19-years-old respectively, were junior members of the British Imperial Expedition, and when their particular project was aborted because of lack of funds, they and two others hitched a ride on a Norwegian Whaling ship. Against the advice of the whalers, these two opted to stay over in Antarctica for a year. They survived the Antarctic winter ‘against the odds’ by extending the hulk of the old boat with packing cases, sacks and timber. This small, uncomfortable but almost weatherproof hut became their base, and they supplemented their meager supply of biscuits, baked beans, pemmican, sweets and crème-de-menthe sweets aand a little alcohol, with seal and penguin meat, as well as penguin eggs. They used seal blubber for heating and cooking fuel. When the two whaling Captains returned for them on the 18th December, they sent them away again, refusing to leave until they’d spent a full year there and completed their research. They left on the 13th January, 1922. Theirs is an incredible story of  ‘survival against the odds’.

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Whilst there, they did daily metrological measurements and conducted detailed studies of the wildlife. Bagshawe wrote the first scientific study of penguins and their development, and today the Gentoo penguins, the descendants of the ones he studied, nest in the ruins of the whaleboat shelter.

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If you’re a penguin hugger, this is the place to go. You can really get up close and personal with the gorgeous Gentoos. This Mama-to-be even stood up from her nest to proudly show us her eggs. (I told her you’d like to see what she was sitting on.)

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Here is Marilyn, the blondest and most glamorous of these red-beaked creatures. Our expedition leader told us that she’s very popular and never without a partner.

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This jolly pair were most cooperative and posed very happily for their photo shoot.

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We only had about an hour to explore, as there’s a limit to how many people are allowed on land at any one time. Passengers on our expedition cruise were split up into five groups, and as one lot left to rejoin the ship, the next ones were arriving.

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At this point, we had travelled just over 3.500 km from our starting point in Valparaiso.

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We still had another two weeks to go, so I have lots more to share with you.

Tonight we’re going out for dinner with friends to a restaurant who’s motto is “Eat, drink and be comfy.” It gets great reviews, so I’m looking forward to it very much. Hope you’re having a relaxing and fun weekend.