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.

Outdoors

The Ha-Ha

What am I laughing at?

Well, nothing. It’s a different ha-ha I’m talking about today.

A ha-ha is a type of a wall (keeping the theme here) that keeps livestock out but doesn’t ruin the view.

ha-ha definition
Sign in Heaton Park

Heaton Park in Manchester has them and here I give you some pictures:

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ha-ha1

Naturally, the first question one asks is, how the hell did they get that name? From Wikipedia:

The unusual name “ha-ha” is thought to have stemmed from the exclamations of surprise by those coming across them as the walls were designed to be invisible.

It’s a good job those coming across weren’t swearing. Otherwise we’d have to call them fuck-where-did-this-come-from.

Outdoors

Bratislava Castle

So I was scrolling through my blog the other day and saw a post where I said I should post pictures of Bratislava Castle one of these days. The post was from July 2016. I don’t know if the present day counts as “one of these days” in relation to July 2016, but I guess late is better than never.

Bratislava Castle 1

These were taken with my old compact Fujifilm. I’ve not actually been to Bratislava since I got the Canon.

Bratislava Castle 2

The castle has a long history; there have been settlements of sorts ever since any people lived in this part of the world. It has been converted numerous times, at one point even burned down. Here’s the Wikipedia article.

Bratislava castle hill

The castle is on a hill as well–here you see the towers just poking out from the trees.

For all other pics of my hometown, check out my Bratislava tag.

And if you want to see more castles, here’s my Pinterest board.

To blog or not to blog?

As I bring my blog back to life, aside from my Gloomscapes series, I still intend to be posting nice things. There was a time in the second half of 2017 when I wasn’t sure what to do with the blog, I felt it lost direction. Even the Weekly Photo Challenge wasn’t doing anything for me.

Well, not only have I got over that, I’m more excited than ever about blog and can’t wait to post more!

Some Song

One the topic of castles on hills:

 

Outdoors, Weekly Photo Challenge

Bridge – Bonus

I’ve already posted my contribution to this Weekly Photo Challenge, however my fingers keep itching to add one more. I really need to talk about the most (in)famous bridge in my home town of Bratislava–the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising. Most SNP in Slovak (most means bridge). It is also commonly referred to as UFO Bridge. You can see why.

Bratislava UFO bridge2
Danube River

This is a controversial bridge. Why is it controversial?

The construction of the bridge started in 1967. For the bridge to be built, a portion of beautiful Old Town, including a Jewish quarter and a synagogue, had to be demolished.

For one reason or another, they built it in such a way that a roadway had to lead onto the bridge and it was for this reason they deemed the destruction of historical streets and buildings, even a part of castle hill, necessary.

Well, that’s Communists for you.

Bratislava UFO bridge1
Photographed from Old Town side, the other side is Petrzalka

Obviously it’s deeply tragic. As far as I know, no such sacrilege took place in any other Communist country (please, feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong). But the way I see it now is, you can’t escape your history and so, the SNP Bridge is as much a part of Bratislava as all the nice parts.

That round spaceship thing at the top has a restaurant in it–I haven’t been there as an adult though, so can’t tell you what’s on their menu. Apparently there is also an observation deck–imagine the views! I really must go there on my next visit.

You can find more information on the UFO Bridge here, if you want.

Also, Girl Astray has a cool post about it.

That’s it for my Bonus Bridge post.

Although, try not to knock down beautiful historical castle walls, while you do it!

Bridge

Outdoors, Weekly Photo Challenge

Narrow

Let me just start with saying I really, really like this photo challenge! It just opens up so many possibilities. In the end I decided on a shot of Bratislava’s Old Town (the historical city centre).

Bratislava Old Town alley

This little street is, I believe, called Castle Steps and so it literally is–it leads up to the castle. Speaking of which, I should post some pictures of the castle one of these days.

Bonus, also from Bratislava, one of my favourite buildings:

Bratislava Clock Museum

It’s known as House of the Good Shepherd, was built in 18th century and is so narrow, it only has one room on each floor. It’s also a museum of clocks.
Narrow

Outdoors, Weekly Photo Challenge

Earth

Danube River Devin

River Danube in Devin area near Bratislava, Slovakia. Taken on the same day as the first picture in my State of Mind post. It’s one my favourite photos I’ve ever taken.

If I had a chance to board a spaceship and explore the universe Star Trek-style, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Though I’d be happy to just explore planet Earth a bit.

Earth

Outdoors, Weekly Photo Challenge

Harmony

Some time ago I made a post called Red Yellow Green. I don’t know how I forgot to include this picture in it, maybe I forgot I had it, but it was one of the first things I thought of when I saw this week’s photo challenge. So here it is.

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Taken last October in Heaton Park.

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.

Bob Marley

Harmony

Animals, Indoors, Outdoors, Weekly Photo Challenge

State of Mind

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River Danube in Devin, a village near my home town of Bratislava, Slovakia. The other bank belongs to Austria. I still remember how hot it was on that day, which helps with the freezing weather we’ve been having lately. I think it looks quite peaceful–and what’s better than a peace of mind?

Though my mind is mostly made up of a lot of nonsense and random memories.

Another idea I had for this weekly challenge was the feline mind.

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What is a cat thinking indeed? That we will never know, probably. The popular idea seems to be world domination, but to be honest, cats pretty much rule the world anyway. They do what they want and humans feed them and pet them and anything more is just too much hard work. Besides, how are you gonna organise cats?

Other than that…

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Game of Thrones is on my mind A LOT, ‘cos I’m such a fan. Scratch that, I’m obsessed with it. As Season 6 approaches, that state intensifies, especially as it’s looking like we’re not getting Winds of Winter anytime soon.

How do you say “all pictures must be taken” in Valyrian?
State of Mind