Animals, Outdoors

Ducks Are Awesome

Ducks are awesome.

Let me tell you.

ducks r awesome3

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.

Miscellaneous

Manchester: One Year On…

#ManchesterTogether

It has been a year since the Manchester Arena attack and Manchester remembers the victims.

manchester together5

All bees must buzz… As I mentioned previously, bee is a symbol of Manchester.

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Trees have been placed in the city centre between Victoria Station and St Ann’s Square, on which people can hang hexagon-shaped cards with written wishes.

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Messages in chalk in St Ann’s Square.

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Miscellaneous, Random and Weird Phone Shots

Random and Weird Phone Shots – What’s the Deal with Avocado Toast?

I don’t know what the deal is with avocado toast. I just eat it for breakfast.

 

avocado toast 2
avocado toast, guilty as charged

It had, in fact, already been my breakfast choice before that dude Someone Or Other blamed the Millennials’ inability to buy a house on their penchant for avocado toast. I thought it was so absurd, because, well… I’m not a Millennial (Gen X maybe, if I even fit into any of those boxes at all) and I’m not a hipster. I like what I like and hate what I hate, regardless of whether it’s cool to like or hate it. I rent but I don’t care about buying a house. I switched to avotoast from my previous bacon sandwich because I needed a healthier choice after it turned out I had high cholesterol. So, that’s that.

I also never bought an avocado toast in my life, because I make my own. And this is coming from a person that spends minimum time in the kitchen, no “I cook everything from scratch” from me. It’s dead easy, you just get an avocado, peel it, mash it in a bowl and add salt and pepper. One avocado can last a whole week. As can be seen from the pic, I like it with a slice or two of tomato. Yummmm.

So, make of it what you will.

PS: Also, since I’m on the topic of breakfast, I never eat cereals. I hate those things. There, I said it.

Miscellaneous

Super Special Random Phone Shot Because I Have Just Seen Avengers Infinity War…

And I know this is not what I normally do on my blog but this time, I have to share. Spoiler free!

This is my Instagram story, which I have saved.

Infinity war IG story.jpg

You can’t be serious! A superhero movie starring more than 20 characters! It’s gonna be too packed! No way you can pull it off!!!

But they did!

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo are the true cinema heroes we need!

joe_and_anthony_russo

 

Outdoors, Weekly Photo Challenge

Awakening

So–Awakening. I even love the title of this week’s photo challenge. Here I am taking part in the challenge again after some absence. Unusually for me, the picture I’m contributing is a phone camera shot.

tree buds

Snapped on my way home from work.

I can’t resist throwing in some daffodils as well, because, well, spring.

daffodils

For today’s quote, I turn to my long-time favourite girl, LM Montgomery’s Anne Shirley of Green Gables once again:

That is one good thing about this world… there are always sure to be more springs.

~LM Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Awakening

Miscellaneous

My Godson is a Cat

Yes, you read the title correctly. My godson is a cat.

If you think it’s too late for an April Fools’ joke, you are quite right. It is not the 1st of April and it is not a joke, because I’m serious. I also dislike April Fools’ tradition, I hate pranks and I find majority of jokes I hear desperately unfunny and lame. Now that’s out of the way, let me tell you about my godson Anthony and why he’s a cat.

godson

This boy is now between 18 months and 2 years old and is also a half-brother to the boy whose hand is in this picture. I thought it would be better to post a photo of him where his face is not visible, even though his parents gave me permission to post about him.

Why is Anthony a cat? Well, I came to this conclusion when I visited his home last Christmas Eve Eve.

  1. I brought some presents with me in a bag. When I put the bag on the coffee table in the living room, he immediately went to the bag to look inside and inspect the contents. Just like a cat.
  2. Then, with one sweep of his small arm, he knocked down everything from the said table. Just like a cat.
  3. He is very agile, easily climbs the furniture without falling down. Just like a cat.
  4. His mum went to do her cooking and instructed us not to let him into the kitchen, to prevent him getting burned but he insisted on going there anyway, even as I kept picking him up and carrying him back to the living room. Just like a cat.
  5. Following on from the previous point, he wanted to go into the kitchen because he was so nosy about what was going on there. Just like a cat.
  6. He knocked the Christmas tree down. Just like a cat.

Any further questions?

IMG_1728WHAT

Peace out.

 

 

Miscellaneous

Stop Brexit March, Leeds

stop brexit leeds5

I attended a Stop Brexit March in Leeds on Saturday, my second march of this kind. I’m posting about it somewhat late; I felt exhausted all day Sunday as I also went to a friend’s son first birthday party when I got back to Manchester. I normally barely set a foot outside on weekends if I don’t have to. My body can’t quite handle so much action!

stop brexit leeds6

This march was one of similar marches taking place around the country to mark the first anniversary of the triggering of the Article 50. The Leeds march represented North.

stop brexit leeds2

This was my first time visiting Leeds and I will definitely visit again, properly with my camera; this time my attention was dedicated solely to the march. All pictures were taken with my smartphone.

It all started on the train:

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I caught the same train as some fellow protesters, who hung EU flag on the window.

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Of course the giant EU flag wasn’t missing.

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More pics and signs and banners:

stop brexit leeds8

stop brexit leeds1

One of the speakers at the march was Richard Corbett MEP, you can see him on the above picture on the very left, talking to the woman with blond hair. I’ve met him before at a Q&A session he did at the University of Manchester last year.

I suppose the next picture should come with a trigger warning!

brexit monster in leeds

I was pleased I got to photograph the Brexit Monster up close, it was too far away from me at the Manchester march.

stop brexit leeds4

Will this message get across?

What’s been frustrating to me recently is not the events that are happening, it’s the fact that people don’t seem to care a bit. They’re going about their lives, probably thinking it’ll all work out or possibly believing that Brexit won’t happen, whilst doing nothing towards it not to happen. It’s this apathy that that’s the worst. I’ve not heard anyone outside my circle even mention the Cambridge Analytica story. Even Remainers say we should just “get on with it”. Um, no.

One day they’ll wake up in the morning into a first day of dictatorship and will keep asking, how did this happen? Like this, motherfuckers. Sigh.

samuel jackson wakethefuckup

To end the post on a positive note, it’s been great seeing news about March for Life in USA. To all the people that came out to the streets, I want to say: you absolutely rock!

Outdoors, Random and Weird Phone Shots

Random and Weird Phone Shots – Strange Skies

strangeskies

I snapped this on the way back from Tesco yesterday evening. It looks like a shot from a different planet–maybe something the Curiosity rover took on Mars–but trust me, it’s just a Wednesday in Manchester.

I don’t often photograph sky with my phone, but when I do, it’s out of this world.

Outdoors, Random and Weird Phone Shots

Random and Weird Phone Shots – Wheelbarrow in the Snow

So we have been having some BAAAAAAD weather lately, aka Beast from the East; temperature below freezing, icy wind and snow, lots of snow. Snow is not something I want to photograph, mainly because I hate it. But my tram stop gave me a sight to behold.

Some construction work has been going on here (this is quite usual, Manchester Metrolink network has expanded so much in the past few years–with help from EU funds, but that’s another story).

Can you see the wheelbarrow sticking out from the pile of snow?

wheelbarrow snow3

As I said in a previous Random and Weird phone Shots post, I have a thing about wheelbarrows. I even have a Wheelbarrows Pinterest board. So naturally I always notice them and if I can, photograph them. Closer shot here:

wheelbarrow snow2

It looks so sad and abandoned and lost in the snow. It seems as if The Beast got the poor wheelbarrow.

However, this is the next day:

wheelbarrow snow4

It endured. And so it will, while the snow will (eventually) melt.

And so will we. Though we still have days of The Beast in front of us.