Starlings In The Tree

They fly together in loops above the roofs of the houses in my neighbourhood, and once they’re done with that, they settle down on this tree next to my house and chill out.

I wonder if they know how much they provoke my cat!

They also make appearance in my flash fiction short story The Camera Smiles (written for a prompt by The New, Unofficial, On-Line Writer’s Guild). The story is true, except it was initially a crow that made me reach for my camera, not the starlings, but by the time I got it out and pried the lens cap, which really got stuck on the lens (to the point where I had to google how to take it off), the crow flew away and the starlings took over the tree.

Magpie in a Tree

The first post of 2021 is here!

I start the year with a photo of a bird in a tree, for once not taken from my window. I took the picture while I was walking under the tree.

The magpie looked pleased with its catch–I think it’s the little cup-like thing that you bake muffins in, I don’t know what it’s called.

There are lots of crows and magpies in my neighbourhood, I can always hear them shouting, especially the crows in the mornings.

Hope

Quotes about hope are ten a penny. For this blog entry I picked two, both from popular series with the word “star” in the title.

Look up

I watch this office every day as I have for 40 years, believing one day others like me would walk through that door. That my hope was not in vain. Today is that day. And that hope is you, Commander Burnham.

Aditya Sahil, Star Trek Discovery S3 E1
The rainbow is very faint – but it is there

Blockade Runner Pilot: Your Highness, the transmission we received. What is it that they’ve sent us?

Princess Leia: Hope.

Rogue One
Road ahead

America, you have done it!

World in October Part 2

A follow-up to my previous post, World in October–more October pics!

I like crows but birds are always so impossible for me to photograph. This was taken from quite a distance and I cropped it a lot afterwards, hence the weird composition.

Over the years, I’ve taken a million pictures of this tree from my living room window (well, not literally a million but you know what I mean) but I have never seen that many birds on its branches. Must have got lucky to catch them at a conference. Or maybe they’re just chilling after some big event, whatever that was.

Alone But Not Lonely

See this bench in the grove?

I think it would go well with this quote from LM Montgomery book Emily’s Quest.

I was alone but not lonely. I was a queen in halls of fancy. I held a series of conversations with imaginary comrades and thought out so many epigrams that I was agreeably surprised at myself.

Remind you of something? Yes, LMM used this almost exact quote in in Anne of Windy Poplars. Windy Poplars was released in 1936 and Emily’s Quest in 1927, so Emily’s quote came earlier. (Note: Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Ingleside were written much later than the rest of Anne books.)

Compare the two books, though. Emily books are much darker than Anne books (there is also altogether more darkness in Montgomery’s work than people realise, but that’s another topic). Windy Poplars covers the three years in Anne’s life when she teaches school at Summerside, while Gilbert is working towards his medical degree. Large chunk of the book is comprised of her letters to Gilbert and that line is from one of them. They are apart for now, but they write to each other and look forward to the time they finally get married and start their life together. So, all is good. Emily’s Quest, on the other hand, is quite a different story. While her friends leave home to pursue their dreams, Emily stays and tries to become a writer. She and her love interest, Teddy, can’t seem to get together because they have communication issues. Emily gets ill, suffers from, what we call now, depression, agrees to marry a man she doesn’t love, and it takes years for her to finally find the happiness she deserves. It’s–bleak. Definitely not one for the children’s books section. Or even Young Adult section. Like one reviewer on Goodreads put it “Montgomery’s work is constantly under-estimated, and the way the books are marketed doesn’t help (the flowery script, the swoony illustrations).” I’ve been saying that for years.

Anne and Emily are both orphans with different journeys, but I think both of them would have loved that little bench under the trees.

Summer in the Time of COVID-19

Hello hi, it’s been a while. What can you photography-blog about these days?

It’s still got to be pictures from my local park, as that the only place I go to. That and Tesco supermarket.

Okay, the last one isn’t from the park but who cares.

I’ve not been outside my area for over 3 months. I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without using public transport in my life. I kinda like setting this record for myself. I will continue working from home for now so it’ll only be getting longer. I’m used to this new order, I don’t miss the old life much. The only thing is, my photography suffers. I don’t remember when I last took up my camera.

This blog might just turn into a rambling blog. Which, as I said to someone on Twitter recently, is really the best kind. *shrug