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Betty LaRue
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5 hours ago, sb photos said:

Previously I have hunted for adders to photograph wherever I saw adder warnings without success. I actually finally saw my first adder this afternoon. It had been sunbathing in the extreme heat of the afternoon sun on the coastal path between Sizewell and RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk. I was carrying my full kit backpack, but with only a D750 and 70-300 over my shoulder. It was too fast scuttling into the undergrowth and I was too close for the 70-300. Still, was nice to finally see one in the wild. 5 - 6 miles in bright sun and heat and no drink or hat with me wiped me out. At least I bought some sunblock from the chemist in Leiston before setting off.

I don't have a marketable photo of an adder, but I've seen them a few times. On the first I was walking with my wife near Rothbury in Northumberland when she almost stood on a snake in the path. We later found out that we had been walking on Adder Hill.  I've also seen them basking in the sun on a very quiet road in western Durham while out cycling. Both occasions were pre Alamy, so no decent photos to show. My brother in law and his Mrs were staying at a camp site in Northumberland last year where there were adder warning signs, but they didn't see one. However the concept of adders lurking in the toilet block would be enough to give me nightmares !

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Yesterday, I had one of the most emotional evenings of the trip. Few people will be able to relate to it because it's quintessentially Australian, but I'll tell my story anyway.

Deep into the Bush at the end of a bumpy stony dirt road criss-crossed by dry creeks, is the historic homestead of Bullita, steeped in cattle industry history. The stockyards with heavy timber rails are preserved along with a few sheds, one being a water tank with 'shower', another a three corrugated sheets area acting as a windbreak for the 'kitchen' fire. Tough old days. No worries about slow internet or Netflix subscription then. Only dogged determination to push through continuous hardship, the pioneer spirit that I admire so much.

Nearby is one of the most wonderful bush camp in Australia set among baobabs by a creek fringed by pandanus. Evening came with a fiery orange sunset on one side and an incredibly bright full moon rising through the baobabs in the opposite direction at the same time. The fragrant smell of a campfire drifted through the air. The last bird calls sounded through the still air. I could not help but being in total awe. No photos. Totally under the spell.

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9 hours ago, sb photos said:

Previously I have hunted for adders to photograph wherever I saw adder warnings without success. I actually finally saw my first adder this afternoon. It had been sunbathing in the extreme heat of the afternoon sun on the coastal path between Sizewell and RSPB Minsmere in Suffolk. I was carrying my full kit backpack, but with only a D750 and 70-300 over my shoulder. It was too fast scuttling into the undergrowth and I was too close for the 70-300. Still, was nice to finally see one in the wild. 5 - 6 miles in bright sun and heat and no drink or hat with me wiped me out. At least I bought some sunblock from the chemist in Leiston before setting off.

Hope you are feeling better now Steve, I think we are probably not used to the heat this year and it was very humid and carrying a heavy backpack around and all the other gear makes it more difficult.  I was only at my local park yesterday with one camera & lens and felt quite unwell lightheaded and dizzy and had to sit down a few times.  Thankfully made it to the cafe just before it closed and got a coffee put 2 sugars in, and a banana (not in the coffee !) felt better after that.  Note to self: take a bottle of water with😀

 

Carol

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Beautiful doves in my garden this morning. I want to go out and finish my planting before it gets hot but I'll give some time for the birds to finish their foraging. Mourning doves are my favorites. 

 

Paulette

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On 16/05/2022 at 23:10, Bryan said:

I don't have a marketable photo of an adder, but I've seen them a few times. On the first I was walking with my wife near Rothbury in Northumberland when she almost stood on a snake in the path. We later found out that we had been walking on Adder Hill.  I've also seen them basking in the sun on a very quiet road in western Durham while out cycling. Both occasions were pre Alamy, so no decent photos to show. My brother in law and his Mrs were staying at a camp site in Northumberland last year where there were adder warning signs, but they didn't see one. However the concept of adders lurking in the toilet block would be enough to give me nightmares !

There is a golf course in Oklahoma, set among hills, rocks and tall grass/weeds just off the fairways. Signs posted warn of rattlesnakes and warn against going into the rough to find your mis-hit ball. It not uncommon to see a rattlesnake at the tee box.

I played the course once only, and hated it. Mainly because one green was like a small volcano with an undulating top with drooping edges. I think I chipped about 4 times, only to see my ball either not make it to the top, or make it to the top but roll off. I got tired of having my ball end up at my feet again.

My husband made it up in one try. I didn’t speak to him for at least one other hole, when I redeemed myself by chipping in. 
One must start with a lot of spare balls, because even rolling or hitting into the rough any farther than one can reach with a club, forget it.

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I put stain on the last section of my garden fence today. About 25 metre run 2 metre's high. All morning and best part of afternoon.

 

Allan

 

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A robin fledgling! I had been worried about the little birds because for a long time I had seen no action at our nest over the light fixture. I had seen three little beaks sticking up for a while but then nothing. A few days ago I had also noticed the mom (same bird?) go under the eaves of our trash room. I saw there was a nest there but couldn't see any action there either. This morning when I went down to plant I kept hearing a loud bird call but couldn't locate the bird. Finally it moved and I saw it on a fire escape. A beautiful little fledgling. It is old enough to fly clumsily from fire escape to fire escape. I saw it fed three times!!! I also saw the mom go to the nest under the eaves with a worm. Can't see anybody peeking up there but there must be somebody. Very happy.

 

Paulette

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, NYCat said:

A robin fledgling! I had been worried about the little birds because for a long time I had seen no action at our nest over the light fixture. I had seen three little beaks sticking up for a while but then nothing. A few days ago I had also noticed the mom (same bird?) go under the eaves of our trash room. I saw there was a nest there but couldn't see any action there either. This morning when I went down to plant I kept hearing a loud bird call but couldn't locate the bird. Finally it moved and I saw it on a fire escape. A beautiful little fledgling. It is old enough to fly clumsily from fire escape to fire escape. I saw it fed three times!!! I also saw the mom go to the nest under the eaves with a worm. Can't see anybody peeking up there but there must be somebody. Very happy.

 

Paulette

I love robins! They must like the nesting area you have to keep coming back.

This is my fledgling from two years ago.2C875J8.jpg

Edited by Betty LaRue
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My helper's father made me a Costa Rican style cloth coffee filter stand for around $16.   Cloth filters for coffee are kinda between metal and paper, let through more oils but not so many fines.  I'd brewed some with the cloth filter in a French press cylinder without the pressing mechanism.  This morning, I brewed into cups, though I may end up getting a carafe in the future.    The the filter's shape is rather like a witch's hat and it is fixed on a plastic frame with a handle.  The wooden stand holds the filter just above the mugs I use.  I think I may need to go slower on the pouring.

 

Found a place a block away that sells coffee beans and I bought a pound for 150 cordobas, roughly $4.20 US., not quite a dollar more expensive than the coffee growers' coop coffee, which is a little further away, but still in walking distance.  If this turns out to be as good or better, I'll buy more of it, but the coop coffee tends to be very fresh roasted.   Both are locally grown Arabica, though the bag I bought today is apparently single estate organic.    I shall taste and decide.

 

I'll have the big Oncidium blooming soon, and the Laelias are starting to send up new leaves which will produce flowers in December.  Planted two pots of wheat for wheat grass for the dog and cat.   I have two other cats who are part-time.  One looks like the brother of the one-eyed cat that disappeared, same grey tabby with some brown undertones and black bottoms of the feet, but with two good eyes and male.  He looks well fed enough. 

 

 

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The last cat I had was a horse barn cat who caught mice living in our hay. He left for greener pastures and more petting, I assume. You can have working dogs, but not working cats. They like you to work for them.

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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

I love robins! They must like the nesting area you have to keep coming back.

This is my fledgling from two years ago.2C875J8.jpg

 

That is so lovable. I was in the garden again and things are a bit more complicated than I realized. The adult wasn't bringing food to the second nest she was bringing materials to make it comfy and cozy. Then I also saw her (think it's the same bird) working on the original nest too. Lots of moving around and up and down. I don't know what they look like when they are laying eggs but maybe that is what is happening? I'd like her to spend a bit more time feeding the little one. Nature is wild.

 

Paulette

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Good news… or bad news? I’m not sure. The money’s in the bank and someone else is now driving my Romahome camper and enjoying the freedom of the open road. We had some great times together, over five nomadic years, but, hey, everything comes to an end (except a mother’s love and Coronation Street)…

 

small-motorhome-romahome-25-parked-by-the-shores-of-wastwater-lake-FWRB8Y.jpg
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This is a day late but have been busy and only just found time to post.

 

Went into Lincoln (Lincon/Lincone/Linconl) on the bus (free ride) yesterday. When I caught the bus to come home again we was do'in well until we entered the village. Just to clarify village is built on a hillside.  Then going uphill the bus was starting to have problems and getting slower. Eventually I saw my stop in the distance and rang the bell so driver would stop for me to get off.

 

I thanked driver and waited at side of road for him to move off before crossing but he was slow to pull away so went to cross behind bus carefully and before I got there he came rushing up and said there is a leak but it was water flooding out. At least not fuel. Driver said the engine overheated coming up the hill. I set off for home and the driver told everyone on the bus that they had to get off as the bus was knackered. At least I got home, the others were probably going to the next village or even the village after that.

 

Lucky for me.

 

Allan

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, John Morrison said:

Good news… or bad news? I’m not sure. The money’s in the bank and someone else is now driving my Romahome camper and enjoying the freedom of the open road. We had some great times together, over five nomadic years, but, hey, everything comes to an end (except a mother’s love and Coronation Street)…

 

small-motorhome-romahome-25-parked-by-the-shores-of-wastwater-lake-FWRB8Y.jpg

You made good memories. The trips we made in a rental RV, then our own, were special. There’s something to be said for following your nose. We’d have an end destination in mind, but each morning we decided where we’d go to eventually arrive there. Lots of side roads we’d spy and take, photographing all the way, listening to the whistles and chatter from our two African Grays, who loved to travel, while swaying on their perches.

 

2G00K8G.jpg

Edited by Betty LaRue
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9 hours ago, John Morrison said:

Good news… or bad news? I’m not sure. The money’s in the bank and someone else is now driving my Romahome camper and enjoying the freedom of the open road. We had some great times together, over five nomadic years, but, hey, everything comes to an end (except a mother’s love and Coronation Street)…

 

small-motorhome-romahome-25-parked-by-the-shores-of-wastwater-lake-FWRB8Y.jpg

 

Wasn't it a wrench to sell it? We do get attached to these vehicles. Next month will be 3 years on the road for us. I honestly cannot imagine a better life. Combining my two passions: travel and photography. We go where the wind/floods/cold/bushfires/Covid push us. It was too cold in the south for us (less than 20C) so we're back in the tropics. 36C every day, perfect. Yesterday we were going to see some Aboriginal dancing. Got to the place and found it deserted. An elder had died and they were in 'sorry business'. We never know what to expect, every day something new, without fail. My dream life. Until when who knows so we make the most of it.

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5 minutes ago, gvallee said:

 

Wasn't it a wrench to sell it? We do get attached to these vehicles. Next month will be 3 years on the road for us. I honestly cannot imagine a better life. Combining my two passions: travel and photography. We go where the wind/floods/cold/bushfires/Covid push us. It was too cold in the south for us (less than 20C) so we're back in the tropics. 36C every day, perfect. Yesterday we were going to see some Aboriginal dancing. Got to the place and found it deserted. An elder had died and they were in 'sorry business'. We never know what to expect, every day something new, without fail. My dream life. Until when who knows so we make the most of it.

Gosh, it seems like 10 years that you’ve been on the road. Probably because I’ve viewed 10 years worth of your lovely images that you took in only 3. You’ve definitely made the most of it, bad knee and all.

I wrenched my knee snow skiing in Aspen once. It took a year or more before the ligaments healed. My knee was very loose and I had to be especially careful before turning direction. A few years later, hurt it again=surgery.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

Gosh, it seems like 10 years that you’ve been on the road. Probably because I’ve viewed 10 years worth of your lovely images that you took in only 3. You’ve definitely made the most of it, bad knee and all.

I wrenched my knee snow skiing in Aspen once. It took a year or more before the ligaments healed. My knee was very loose and I had to be especially careful before turning direction. A few years later, hurt it again=surgery.

 

We move around quite a lot. What's after the next bend is always intriguing. Even the Aussies tell us 'you guys certainly get around'. There is so much to see and explore: sceneries, cultures, pioneering past, wildlife.

 

The knee has become a real problem. I can barely walk, only with a walking stick and knee brace. But I'm determined not to let it stop me. Only yesterday we went on a steep Escarpment Walk with many steps. I take each step one at a time leaning on the same foot. It took a while to get back down! But I did it. 

 

 

Edited by gvallee
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Just now, gvallee said:

 

We move around quite a lot. What's after the next bend is always intriguing. Even the Aussies tell us 'you guys certainly get around'. There is so much to see and explore: sceneries, cultures, pioneering past, wildlife.

 

The knee has become a real problem. I can barely walk, only with a walking stick and knee brace. But I'm determined not to let it stop me. Only yesterday we went on a steep Escarpment Walk with many steps. I take each step one at a time leaning on fhe same foot. It took a while to get back down! But I did it. 

Be careful you don’t damage it beyond healing. You’ve got grit. Sometimes I pushed my body beyond sensibility, and I’m paying the price. I had more grit than good sense sometimes, I just continued on. Hindsight is 20-20.

I worry about you.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

Be careful you don’t damage it beyond healing. You’ve got grit. Sometimes I pushed my body beyond sensibility, and I’m paying the price. I had more grit than good sense sometimes, I just continued on. Hindsight is 20-20.

I worry about you.

 

By the way Betty, your motorhome was a big rig. Did you need a special driving license for it? I had to take a Middle Rigid license (up to 12 tons) for ours. Hubby has a Light Rigid one (up to 8 tons).

 

 

Edited by gvallee
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Posted (edited)

It's always a good day to have one of your kids graduates from college and today was that day for my son.  Camden is on the autism spectrum, he has always had a passion for maps...his grandfather on his mom's side, was a mapmaker.  He just earned a degree in Applied Geography (cartography) so he can hopefully get a government job where they always have a need for people who know the GIS program, the standard program for mapping.  Ever since he was very little, he just absorbed maps and had a great sense of direction.  Instead of doodling in school, he would draw pretty accurate maps of places all over the world.  Autism has its benefits at times.  There were times that I didn't think he would go to higher education but one day, while he was a senior in high school, we took a tour of a local college and we walked past a classroom with sign next to the door saying "Cartography", and that was it, I made an appointment to meet with the woman who ran that department and she promised he would be a great fit there, and she was right!!

Edited by Michael Ventura
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14 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

It's always a good day to have one of your kids graduate from college and today was that day for my son.  Camden is on the autism spectrum, he has always had a passion for maps...his grandfather on his mom's side, was a mapmaker.  He just earned a degree in Applied Geography (cartography) so he can hopefully get a government job where they always have a need for people who know the GIS program, the standard program for mapping.  Ever since he was very little, he just absorbed maps and had a great sense of direction.  Instead of doodling in school, he would draw pretty accurate maps of places all over the world.  Austism has its benefits at times.  There were times that I didn't think he would go to higher education but one day, while he was a senior in high school, we took a tour of a local college and we walked past a classroom with sign next to the door saying "Cartography", and that was it, I made an appointment to meet with the woman who ran that department and she promised he would be a great fit there, and she was right!!

 

What a heartwarming story Michael ! You must be so proud. I wish your son all the success in the world. How great to be able to have a job that one really enjoys. I hope he'll find one and that it works out for him. Congratulations to both of you!!

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55 minutes ago, gvallee said:

 

What a heartwarming story Michael ! You must be so proud. I wish your son all the success in the world. How great to be able to have a job that one really enjoys. I hope he'll find one and that it works out for him. Congratulations to both of you!!


Thank you Gen!☺️

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10 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

It's always a good day to have one of your kids graduates from college and today was that day for my son.  Camden is on the autism spectrum, he has always had a passion for maps...his grandfather on his mom's side, was a mapmaker.  He just earned a degree in Applied Geography (cartography) so he can hopefully get a government job where they always have a need for people who know the GIS program, the standard program for mapping.  Ever since he was very little, he just absorbed maps and had a great sense of direction.  Instead of doodling in school, he would draw pretty accurate maps of places all over the world.  Autism has its benefits at times.  There were times that I didn't think he would go to higher education but one day, while he was a senior in high school, we took a tour of a local college and we walked past a classroom with sign next to the door saying "Cartography", and that was it, I made an appointment to meet with the woman who ran that department and she promised he would be a great fit there, and she was right!!

 

So wonderful that he has found (with the help of teachers) the way that he can contribute to the world. We need people who can do what he does. I'm sure your support has made a huge difference.

 

Paulette

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1 hour ago, NYCat said:

So wonderful that he has found (with the help of teachers) the way that he can contribute to the world.

 

Paulette, so glad you brought up teachers.  He has had many wonderful teachers throughout his schooling.  Some were clunckers but most were very dedicated teachers, many of whom are specially trained to work with kids with Autism.  The resources today are phenomenal compared to what we had when I was a kid. The teachers he had mostly taught for the love of helping kids excel, certainly not for the money, as I think they are way underpaid.

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