Everyone should have a loyal friend –
With or without wispy ears –
To share a sunset with.
For more heart-warming shots, please visit: Camera Critters.
After the silence of winter,
Spring makes itself heard in the loud
Symphony of birds
Twittering, singing, warbling.
It’s a feathered harmony of music!
For more song, please visit: Camera Critters.
You never know what might be waiting for you
Over the brow of that hill you’re struggling to climb;
(Can you see Oscar waiting for me?)
Or what small delights await
Around the corner.
Please forgive me if I don’t get around to visiting you this weekend.
We’re having problems with the Internet, which makes it incredibly slow and painful to visit blogs at the moment.
In the meantime, pay a visit to: Camera Critters.
A girl, an Icelandic horse and a snowstorm.
For me, this embodies stoicism,
Spirit, true grit
For more amazing animals, please visit: Camera Critters.
Sometimes in the middle of winter
I like to nourish myself
With the patterns and colours
And silhouettes of vibrant summer.
This shot reminds me that
You don’t always have to go with the flow –
Going against it can also create beauty.
For more vibrant creatures, please visit: Camera Critters.
Please do not disturb…
I’m busy enjoying winter.
Let us love winter,
for it is the spring of genius.
For more snowy pets, please visit: Camera Critters.
He’s found some snow…
And a beautiful smile.
(A positive attitude and a great smile really are the best beauty aids, don’t you think?)
For more silly pets, please visit: Camera Critters.
She appeared out of the sunlight
Walking stately yet with the limp of old age.
She looked kindly at me and Oscar -
Then turned back.
She waited for her old owner as she hobbled towards us on crutches.
“Please take a picture of Tosca!” she cried.
“She’s my only company now that my husband has died.”
Her faithful companion posed regally for her portrait
Before returning to her owner’s side.
(Today I printed out these two shots on big glossy paper and delivered them to Tosca’s house.
Big smiles all round.)
For more regal pets, please visit: Camera Critters.
We’ve had some deliciously foggy October mornings
That part to reveal unexpected pleasures.
The geese honk their farewells loudly
As they sail above me in the mist.
My spirits rise up
And I let my worries float away on the winged sky.
For more worry-free skies, please visit: Skywatch.
And for more winged loveliness, go to: Camera Critters.
It’s been a very cold, stormy June so far and I’ve been wearing my woolly hat and gloves.
But the light, the storm clouds – just exhilarating!
I love the way the duck is moving from the stormy waves
To that calm patch of water.
It reminds me of life:
That after the rough patches,
There will be peace.
It’s going to be a busy few days with end-of-term celebrations and birthday parties. So please forgive me if I don’t get round to visiting everyone.
For more pictures, please visit: Skywatch.
And Camera Critters.
Spring is about pollen
And being knee-deep in flowers.
When you’re surrounded by petalled reminders of joy,
You just can’t help smiling…
Especially if you’re a dog.
For more happy creatures, please visit: Camera Critters.
Oh the conflict between being obedient and waiting for permission to swim –
And the overwhelming desire to jump in as soon as possible.
St. Augustine once said that “Patience is the companion of wisdom.”
I’m sure this is why I will never be as wise as Oscar.
For more patient creatures, please visit: Camera Critters.
The ‘rules’ say that two male dogs will be wary of each other.
Luckily, dogs don’t know the rules
And just follow their hearts.
(Picture taken in the middle of winter when Oscar met a new friend, Eddie.)
For more sweet pictures, please visit: Camera Critters.
Winter is fading away and spring buds are gently showing their heads,
So now it’s time to enjoy the full glory of winter colours:
Majestic and glittering,
A world in silver and white -
And, if you’re lucky, a winter explosion of colours.
(All pictures taken in February. Please don’t feel sorry for me – spring is already on its way.)
For more colours, please visit: Camera Critters.
When winter breezes in with Arctic breath
And white kisses flutter down from heaven,
Then the only way to enjoy winter –
Is to embrace it!
(It’s not really winter anymore here… but that inbetween time when we’re waiting for the warmth to come. I just couldn’t resist posting this photo though!)
For more wisdom, please visit: Camera Critters.
You can rant against the snow
Or say that they are kisses from heaven.
In which case, I consider myself well and truly kissed this winter.
In farewell to the snowy season, I’m posting one of my favourite winter shots that sums up – for me – the magic and beauty of the season.
A perfect snowflake glittering on a branch
And a blackbird in the background singing in the cold regardless.
Not a bad way to approach life.
For more birdsong, please visit: Camera Critters.
Ogden Nash once declared that a door is what a dog is always on the wrong side of.
Or, in this case, a window.
Not any old window, but the neighbours’ igloo window.
I sat there (in the igloo) for a while – just enjoying the tail end of the day…
For more views, please visit: Camera Critters.
Here are Oscar’s tips on how to find joy.
Make space for the spiritual.
And get plenty of love and rest.
For more stories, visit Camera Critters.
Most people don’t pee on snakes like I do. They tend to leave them alone. Or if they live in a country where a snake bite can kill you more quickly than you can say, “I’ve been bitten!” then the inhabitants are trained from birth to kill them (the snakes, not the people shouting “I’ve been bitten.”)
Such was the case in China. Many a time the shout would be heard, “Snake!” and people would rush out of their classrooms with sticks to chase the snake away.
But not all snakes managed to escape — as this unfortunate story goes to show…
When I lived in China, I had the upstairs flat; the other VSO volunteer lived downstairs and also on the ground floor was a room housing our two interpreters.
One night as I was dozing in the heavy, drowsy heat of summer, I heard a terrible shouting.
I rushed downstairs to the interpreters’ room just in time to see an enormous green tree python snaking its way in through the window.
Pythons are not poisonous, so together with the girls’ boyfriends, we took brooms and chased the snake out of the door and outside.
Where we hoped it would do the sensible thing and find another shady tree to lie in.
I went upstairs and fell asleep.
The loudspeakers woke me up, as usual, at 5 am and I groggily jogged downstairs to go to the university sports arena to do early morning exercises with my students.
Imagine my surprise when the sight of a fat green python greeted me at the bottom of the stairs!
I almost died of fright until I realized that the snake already had (died, that is).
Apparently, it had decided to slither back into the room – under the door – and got very aggressive when it got stuck and the boys had killed it. (Somehow, I managed to sleep through all the screaming that accompanied this event…)
After teaching morning lessons, my eager students returned to the flat with me as they all knew that there was a surprise waiting for me in the fridge. (A huge luxury, I know, and one that worked as long as we had electricity – which wasn’t very often.)
I opened the fridge and there, in my honour (after all, I was called Plofessor Peony by my students) was the skeleton of the python curled up in its own fat. Just heat it up and it would be snake soup, I was told.
Not my cup of tea soup, so I invited my students to lunch.
And before you could say, “I’ve been bitten!” they had polished off the entire contents of that bowl… well, apart from the skeleton, of course.
More animal stories over at Camera Critters.