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Friday, 21 February 2014

Foiled by the weather

We have been very lucky that our first winter has so far been mild by Bulgarian standards. But one small niggle has been the fog. There has been a lot of it, and though it doesn't disrupt our lives as such, after all if we don't want to go out we don't have to, but we like to visit beautiful places, and we like to go early so that the animals we love to see are still about. We both love taking photos and have different priorities and cameras with different strengths. I absolutely love my Sony Cybershot point and shoot, it has great zoom, excellent low light abilities, great video and macro. Dave has a Sony Cybershot bridge camera with bigger zoom and a proper eye piece as well as screen, does all sorts of clever things, but is too big and clumsy for me, and although his zoom is even better than mine, his macro isn't. Unfortunately mine is suffering from use, has a cracked body and dirt in the lens or on the reflector or something, so is showing spots on white or blue backgrounds. I can't afford a new Cybershot so cheaper alternative is on the cards, then we will try taking this apart to clean it and have it as a second camera.

I digress. It was a nice morning this morning and we have been itching to get out with cameras, so dogs walked and chooks freed, off we went to our local lakes and rivers, about ten minutes drive away. By the time we hit the main road we were in thick fog! Never mind, carry on. The area around the lakes could be beautiful, but there is a lot of rubbish dumped there which spoils things and makes you worry about wildlife. It doesn't put people off going there to swim and make a fire for picnics though. However, today it was hard to see much. We saw a few Gypsies with their carts hanging about, they go through rubbish to see what they can sell we are told, like anything metal or clothes. The first wildlife we saw (vaguely) were a tree full of cormorants, eerie in the fog. Of course the white showed up the spots on my camera, but when Dave got out of the car they flew off. The bird song was great, but trying to see what the grey blobs were was difficult. Dave had a look in the mud by the river, finding poo (otter) and tracks of dog and something small, plus a half eaten fish.







 We wandered off the usual track and came across a rather macabre sight. It seems that there have been a lot of dead animals dumped here in the past, there were skulls and bones, big ones, in a heap and spread out. It must have stunk to high heaven, surely must have upset visitors to the river. We decided they must have been horses as they has upper teeth and the bones were large. Interesting if rather gruesome. Further on and the snowdrops are lovely, but not in huge clumps as in GB, more singly as in the garden. There were also lots of tiny acid green helebores, very cute.





Off up another track, still very murky, and there was a buzzard looking for worms. A bit further and there were flocks of corn buntings mixed with what Dave thinks are fieldfares, but difficult, again, when everything is grey. We gave up and turned around and the buzzard was still hunting. This time Dave was on the same side and got an amazing picure of the bird lifting it's tail and having a poo! What are the chances of that?

Woodpecker
 Buzzard
 Errrmm....birds!
 Buzzard pooing!
By the time we had reached the first lake again and decided we might as well go home, the sun was trying to come out and Dave got a nice but moody reflection shot.




 Well, spring is definitely showing itself. In the garden the 'lawn' has turned into a mass of tulip leaves interspersed with daffodils and snowdrops, and the first of the daff buds are showing. The flower buds on the cornus by the gate are bursting open, though they were not open when we viewed the house in early March last year. It will be interesting to see what it looks like in full bloom. We are both covered in insect bites....this is February isn't it?


Dave had better luck with the weather when he went out yesterday and found katkins and bugs, including a pair of firebugs mating and a black cricket. He saw hares but they were too quick for him.



So now there is blazing sun outside, I can't cook as I have cut my finger badly, so I had better get outside and make the most of it. Temperatures are set to go down to around 15 and we have been promised a shower or two. We need it.


Till next time.



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