Miscellaneous

2018 Recap

I’ve not done this ever but I had such a productive year of photography, I decided to post some pics from this year that didn’t make it to Some Photoblog. I will also look back to some of my memorable posts from this year.

A snail, snapped not far from my neighbourhood.

City Tower in Manchester city centre. Taken by my smartphone, from the Piccadilly Bus Station. I like this angle.

Radcliffe area, near Bury, north of Manchester. Not quite the moors of Yorkshire, but still offers a great scope for imagination, as Anne of Green Gables would say.

This is in the above mentioned Bury, away form the town centre. Proper farm area, I heard cockerels and everything!

Save the best for last, this is Formby. Visiting Formby was definitely one of the highlights of the year for me. Here I am holding a pinecone, which I have actually kept and even used it in my autumnal and Christmas still life posts!

To say 2018 has been a turbulent year is not an exaggeration. The Beast of the East freezing conditions in February and March were followed by scorching hot summer (there was like four months, of no rain in Manchester and that happens, like, never). Climate change is here–so what are we gonna do about it?

Elsewhere, politically, I best not to even talk about it–but a huge shout out to Ireland, who knows how to do referendums right! (They voted in favour of making abortions legal, which is an issue I will never not feel strongly about, even when I’m dead in the grave.) I also went to two anti-Brexit marches, the second of which was attended by 700,000 people; an event I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Creatively for me it’s been the best year ever. I took over 1000 photographs between May and July, ran a dystopian series, blogged about Kindle eBooks, ducks and trees that look like Yggdrasil. Although I wish WordPress didn’t kill their Weekly Photo Challenge. That was not cool, guys.

So there it is, my 2018 end-of-year recap.

Raise your glasses for 2019 and let’s hope for the best.

Animals, Outdoors

Geese in the City

Geese time!

As I said in Ducks Are Awesome, geese also deserve their own post. So here they are.

geese four

All the photographs in this post are recent, taken in the past month. Above and below are both from Salford Quays, Manchester. In the below shot, geese are feasting on seeds that a kind lady was throwing them and as you can see, some pigeons helped themselves as well.

geese food

One evening in May I went to town to take pictures and look what I spotted near one of the canals:

geese goslings

How cute are goslings?

geese family

A little family taking a swim near Castlefield in Manchester.

geese lovebirds

Love birds. They even form a heart-like shape. From the the right angle, I mean.

geese goose

All these hoomans with their cameras.

So, tell me. Do you live a city and encounter any ducks or geese in local rivers or lakes or other bodies of water?

Animals, Outdoors

Ducks Are Awesome

Ducks are awesome.

Let me tell you.

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ducks r awesome1

I have posted ducks before, as part of one of Cee’s challenges. In the linked entry, I mentioned a Tumblr post that went something like this:

Humans from 150 years ago would be very confused if they suddenly found themselves in our time. Not so ducks. Ducks would be like, still have lakes? Okay.

Most of my duck pictures come from the same place–the little pond in the woodsy area of Heaton Park (which was hit by algae occupation on the day the above photos were taken–it’s not normally like that).

Apart from this pond, Heaton Park has a boating lake, but that one is usually inhabited by geese and swans. Geese can also be spotted in the canals of Manchester city centre, but they deserve their own post.

So, ducks. The first time I started appreciating these animals was when I went to Heaton Park sometime in October 2013. It remains a very memorable trip, as I narrowly escaped from getting soaked in a short, but very intense shower. Luckily there in the woodsy area, next to the pond where the ducks hang out, is a little shelter. You can see it on the below picture, on the left:

ducks r awesome2

So on this day, it started raining and I, being in its vicinity, quickly hid in the shelter. The little pond was full of ducks then, but were they bothered? Naah. They didn’t move a feather. Unlike me, a loser human who had to run from a bit of water.

ducks 1 – 0 me

See it here (this was shot with my old compact, hence the low quality, but you can see the raindrops falling in the water):

ducks unbothered
Rain, what rain?

That particular trip was a surreal experience, because it suddenly got very dark and I lost the network on my phone and for a while it seemed like I was the only person in the whole park, but that is a story for another day.

Water off a duck’s back.

~an old saying

Here they are sharing their pond with a heron.

ducks with heron

On this occasion I observed that ducks, when they land on the surface of the water, look like they’re surfing–and what’s cooler than that?

Now, check this one out:

duck in the city

I snapped this one with my phone on the way from work. I remember it was one of those freezing cold days we had at the end of March. The area in the middle of the picture is called Cathedral Gardens and far on the left side, not visible on the picture, is National Football Museum. The terracotta-ish coloured building on the right is Chetham School of Music. Behind me is Victoria Station. What’s a duck doing there? I thought that maybe it got lost; there’s an arm of a river not far from here, where I have seen ducks before, so I just thought it lost its way. People were smiling and laughing at the sight and the duck actually quacked as if to say, wot you lookin’ at? 

Then, not long ago, one evening I was coming back from the city centre where I was taking some pics and was passing Cathedral Gardens again, when I saw them:

ducks in fountain

There’s a fountain and that’s where the duck was going!

Of course, I should have known that a duck wouldn’t be so stupid.

I guess for ducks, any pool of water will do. Or, if you’re Joey and Chandler from Friends, a bath is fine.

duck chandler joey
image credit: Coolspotters.com

I’m glad I found an image of them which features rubber ducks. It just proves the awesomeness of ducks, because if ducks weren’t awesome, why would we be making toys of them? For kids to play with while they bath?

I also have a pencil sharpener at work shaped like a duck.

duck pencil sharpenner

Being the boss of the canal.

duck swimming

Conclusion:

Ducks are awesome.

Bonus: a video of ducklings

So–how you feel about ducks? Love, hate, indifference? Do you like photographing ducks or other waterfowl? Share your thoughts in the comment box.

Random and Weird Phone Shots

Random and Weird Phone Shots – That Time of Year

Christmas markets in Manchester.

Wonderful. Just close your eyes and pretend Brexit never happened.

Then you order a new Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon. For yourself, because you are the best person to buy Christmas presents for.

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Yes, it’s The Hobbit

You get the thing you wanted and your cat gets a new box.

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Animals, Outdoors

Seagull

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I don’t live by the seaside so I don’t see anything of these guys, of course. Though I hear they are thieves that can snatch food out of your hands. This one came up to me while I was eating my burger and shrieked and kept looking at me and something it the way it was acting reminded me of my cat when she wants food. Don’t ask me how a bird can remind one of a feline. I make all sorts of weird associations.

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Pictures taken in Blackpool, North West England.