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Posts tagged “wildlife

Yellow Eyed Pengiuns of New Zealand

Thought for the day….”Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great”

“The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”

Lucky to have got one of the first Fuji X-T20 cameras in New Zealand, and while many people are waiting for their orders, I have been trying out the new camera.    Great new sensor (now 25.4mp) and also the ability to take 4K video (looks superb).   It has been said that Fuji cameras make taking photos FUN again, and it seems to be true.   Nice to have physical controls and also the ability to customize a lot of the menus and buttons to what you want.      Having upgraded from the X-T10 then a lot of features on the X-T20 are similar,  which makes using it much easier.  Same batteries and same lens mount (X system) too, so again changing cameras was no big problem.    A couple of photos of the Yellow-Eyed penguins, found on the South Island of New Zealand.    For those who are interested, the photos were taken with the Fuji XF 100-400mm lens, hand held.   As the light was fading fast (the penguins come ashore around sunset) then a much higher ISO was used than is normal.

and another of the penguins, taken the same day….

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Crazy security checks…..

Thought for the day…..”Actions and consquences are a packaged deal”

” Life is a one-time offer.   Use it well”.

Travel has just got easier for me.     The USA, as usual paranoid about security has introduced rules which stop TOURISTS like me from getting the ESTA electronic visas.    If you have visited any of the countries on the USA list, then you are now ineligible for the ESTA visa.   This also means that you cannot transit the USA.     The American government cannot get it into their heads that there are TOURISTS who visit countries like Iran, Iraq and Sudan to learn more about the culture and life there.   But paranoid American officials now consider TOURISTS like these as a security risk.   So it is an easy decision for me, no more visits to the USA.  I will take my TOURIST dollars/euros/dirhams somewhere else.

And now I see that Australia is also becoming much like the USA.   Now at international airports in Australia, they have made the body scanner machines compulsory.   Of course they are saying that there is no danger to the public, but officials also said the same thing with the original body scanner X-Ray machines, until it was discovered that there WERE health dangers with the scanners.   So when they tell me that there is no danger (officials also said the same thing after the Chernobyl nuclear accident) then I do not believe them.   So I will not be compulsorily irradiated because I am innocent.    So now I will be avoiding Australia as well, including in transit.   And apparently, Australia wants to start trials of facial recognition technology at gateway airports to avoid the need for passports.    How much more big-brother is coming???       So two countries on the off list (USA & Australia).   Makes planning the next trip easier.   Their loss, my money will go to other countries.    And is it not about time that these stupid rules about liquids are abolished???    Since when has a 200ml tube of tooth paste or shampoo been dangerous??

And why do they make the pilots go through security checks as well?   Are they afraid that the pilot might get control of the aircraft??   Has no airport official ever seen the STUPIDITY of making pilots (who have full control of the aircraft) go through a security check?   I watched one pilot at Brisbane airport recently having to remove his mobile phone from his pocket to go through security again.  Yet no official has ever questioned the logic of such a stupid procedure.

Having been attacked and robbed recently by a bandit with a bushknife (see the previous post) I was searching around for a new Fuji camera.  I was amazed to see on a website with sample images from a Fuji camera, and advertisement for stab-proof jackets (see the screenshot below).   Either my internet is being monitored, or it was an amazing coincidence….

fuji-x-t20-and-stab-proof-jacket-advert

and a photo from the now-stolen camera…..again great sharpness and colours from Fuji…..

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6 Billion variations on a theme……

Thought for the day…” You will never find a rainbow if you are looking down”s

” Go to Heaven for the climate, and to Hell for the company”.

It is amazing the variations that are possible with just 2 eyes, one nose and one mouth.      And add to that emotions and the variations become endless.    The English language has more than 400 words which describe emotions and sentiments, and studies have shown that when people are trying to conceal emotions, that they subconsciously show ‘micro emotions’ very rapidly.    For smiles, there are around 18 different types of smile, ranging from polite to cruel and false.   And body language also reflects our emotions, for instance, touching the nose often indicates that the person is hiding something.    Studies have estimated that the human face can make over 10 000 facial expressions, although most are too small to notice.      Few people are said to posses the perfect face, that is where both halves of the face have perfect symmetry, yet there are some 6 billion faces worldwide.   6 billion variations on 2 eyes, one nose and a mouth……here is one of them, a few years ago in Pakistan….

LOW-RES-Pak-faceand another photo from the archives…

WORDPRESS-Monkey

 

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Bath time in Thailand – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.   The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty”. (Winston Churchill).

” Do not limit you challenges.   Challenge your limits”.

Bath time for elephants in Thailand for today’s photo.  There are 2 sorts of elephants, African and Asian.  The elephants from Asia have smaller ears and also smaller tusks, and is also smaller than the African elephant.   Elephants also have the largest brain in the animal kingdom.  Interestingly, they have only 4 teeth which can be replaced 6 times during their life.  After the last tooth has come through, they cannot feed properly and die.    They can also run at up to 40 km/h and drink up to 80 litres of water a day.   They can also swim and are seen here in northern Thailand during their daily bath.

LOW-RES-elephants

And another photo from the archives…..carnival time in El Salvador……

LOW-RES-El-Salvador-carnival-woman

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Butterfly close up – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ”

“Not all those who wander are lost “.

Close up of a butterfly today, taken with close up function of the Panasonic camera.   I did not know previously, but the wings of a butterfly are made up of a protein called chitin, which are covered by thousands of tiny scales.   Also unusual is the fact that they taste with their feet, and that they have their skeleton on the outside of their bodies.   They can also only eat liquids, usually plant nectar.   As they are unable to chew they rely on the long tube-like proboscis to suck up liquids for feeding.    They only live for a short time, up to 4 weeks normally, and must concentrate on feeding and mating during that time.   A few butterflies can live up to 9 months, such as the monarch butterfly.     They are also able to see ultra-violet light, invisible to humans.   The Monarch butterflies travel from the Great Lakes area down to Mexico (around 3200km) and return north in the Spring.    There are around 24 000 species of butterflies, here is one of them.

LOW-RES-Butterfly

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Keeping watch – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Your dreams are only temporary until they become reality”

” Life may not always be as good as it should be,  but it is never as bad as it could be”

I read that a new tourist attraction has opened in Dachstein, Austria.   Skywalk, a new 400m high viewing platform will give those brave enough to walk across it views of the mountains and glaciers.    Steps lead down to a glass floored platform looking down 400m, even the walk to the platform will be exciting!!    The height would probably not worry Otis the dog, who has just completed his 64th tandem skydive.   According to the British ‘Telegraph’ newspaper, the dog and his owner have been jumping in Acampo, Los Angeles for the last 9 years.    The dog wears a special set of doggles to protect his eyes.

Another photo of an iguana today, on the lookour for intruders.   Iguanas are members of the lizard family, and are cold blooded.   In the wild they can live up to 20 years, and they are also good swimmers, some are able to stay under water for over 20 minutes.     An unusual fact about iguanas is that after the females have laid their eggs, they leave them, so the newborn iguanas have to survive on their own from the beginning.    They have long tails, which make up over 50% of their body weight. If captured, they can release their tails to escape, and later grow a new one.   They also have a third eye in their head, although this is not used for vision.

LOW-RES-Iguana

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Photo of the Day Sunday 19th May 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Follow your heart, but take your brain with you”
“If Something is important then you will find a way, if not then you will find an excuse”. ” One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar”

On the news we read that the European Union is to give Mali (AFRICA, so not part of the EU) 520 MILLION euros to help it rebuild.  Could this be the same EU that is struggling with financial problems in places like Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain?    Could this be the same EU that is now forcing people to wait so long for operations that some of them die?   Could this be the same EU that is cutting jobs, benefits and reducing the living standards of its citizens?   What is the EU doing giving EU taxpayers money to Mali anyway?    The EU has severe financial problems so cannot afford to give away money that it does not have.  It is an insult to every tax-payer in the EU.   It is just another example of how bad the EU has got, especially with the severe hardships that some of its citizens are now facing.  Politicians have a lot to answer for, but I bet that the EU politicians will get away with this.

And with that, I will end with a photo of a monkey.   Very appropriate.

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WORDPRESS-Monkey

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Photo of the Day Saturday 18th May 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former” (A. Einstein).

” The superior man understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell”

Did you know that the chicken is the closest relative to Tyrannosaurus Rex?   Or that the smallest bird egg comes from the Hummingbird?  Or that there are 9865 different species of birds?  The largest bird is the ostrich, which also produces the largest bird egg.

Nice photo of a Ground Eagle today.  Interestingly, the female of the eagle family is always larger than the male.  Their fantastic eyesight is the key to their hunting success.  The Bald Eagle holds the record for the heaviest load carried by any bird, when it was verified as carrying a 6.8 kg mule deer fawn.

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LOW-RES-Ground-Eagle

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Photo of the Day Thursday 14th March 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Never test the depth of the water with both feet”

“Never mess up an apology with an excuse”.                       “If at first you do not succeed, then skydiving is not for you”.

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Another photo today which proves the quality that you can get from a cheap camera.  Remember that the photos are taken with a normal ‘consumer’ camera, and NOT with an expensive DSLR.    I assume that it is an iguana, although with the colour of it, then I am not sure.  Can anybody identify it?

LOW-RES-ARUBA-Lizard

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Photo of the Day Sunday 3rd March 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day…” To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail”

“Maybe you do not have to push yourself forward.  Perhaps you just have to stop holding yourself back”.

And today’s photo is a close up of an Iguana, one of the lizard family.  Common in Mexico, Central American, South America and some Pacific Islands.   As well as having sharp claws, they are also excellent swimmers and have excellent vision.  They live for up to 20 years, and can sprint at up to 30 km/h.   They can grow to over 1,75m long.

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WORDPRESS-Aruba