Snapshots

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MM is back after a few days away from the ranch. Here are a few pics of what I saw there.  Back to service as usual soon – now I’m going to get my head around all the stuff you lot have written in my absence…..

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Wind, wings and waves…

Wings. Wind. The desire to take off. To use the power of the wind in the sky, on water. Take a birds-eye view of things. Here is a collection of wings, sails and flight, illustrating the use of the wind both in the natural world and in our own. For those who may, like MM, want to take off and be carried by the wind, and leave all their worldly worries on the ground.

Now fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gents….. and thank you for flying MM airlines.

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Let’s change the picture….

I decided to do something a bit different today, and post my latest photography efforts. Those who follow the blog on a regular basis may remember that I won first prize in a writing competition recently. I thoroughly recommend getting yourselves over to the Expats Blog to read up on expats throughout the world, and exercise your writing talents without restraint in their two-weekly competitions.

After much hesitation about what to do with the prize vouchers, I decided on a lens for Candide the camera. I have been trying my hand at macro photography ever since – here are my first baby steps….

 

Changes: Climbing out into a new life.

This week’s photo challenge asks for a photo depicting change. It’ll be no surprise to you that I’ve pulled out yet another photo of nature, taken by my husband: a cicada emerging from its exoskeleton in our garden last June.

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Cicadas in this region spend two years underground as nymphs. They dig an escape tunnel of over 30 cm to the surface, like light-hungry prisoners armed with hope and teaspoons. How do they know which way is up? When they finally pop out and discard all the unnecessary packaging, the poor things have just two to three weeks to live (if they don’t get eaten first).

This little guy popped his head out of a hole in front of PF, who spent the entire afternoon observing him as he shed his exoskeleton. (The cicada, not PF. Obviously.) Then his wings dried and unfolded little by little. We left him to get on with his short existence…. but does life feel as long for a cicada as it does for us?

To reassure any of you who found Mr Cicada a tad on the ugly side, here is a pic after a few hours of wing unrolling and drying, and a picture of what he would have finally looked like: a fully fledged miniature army helicopter.

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One in a Million.

Today I got home, grabbed my camera, and shot right out again. Nature had slapped me in the face and got me thinking. Today’s lesson in life, provided courtesy of the flora and fauna of the local vineyards, is as follows: If you are tempted at times to see yourself as plain, ordinary and insignificant in the great scheme of things, think again. You are an essential part of the big picture. You’re one in a million.  Here’s the proof.  Have a beautiful day.

ORDINARY?

                                           ORDINARY?

 

EXTRAORDINARY.

                                             EXTRAORDINARY!