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Drifting on Still Water~


“But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful,” WB Yeats

Swans swim,

in synchronized,


silhouettes.


Mama delicately rolls her precious eggs,


to keep them evenly warm,

and plucks her feathers to tuck them in.

Black swan,

slides in singular grace,


while Narcissus is bewitched by his own reflection.
Cheers to you from European swans in springtime~

Strasbourg Reflected~


Stunning Strasbourg’s,

medieval beauty,

quietly reflected,

by the still waters,

of the sleepy River Ill.

The old city, (click to enlarge to see the kayakers and people)


UNESCO’s pride,

a paradise,

to browse,

and explore.

Cheers to you from romantic old Strasbourg

Venice Reflected~

Oh Venice, you are so wonderful, and so overcrowded with tourists!


It is hard to fully appreciate you, amongst the hordes.


Avoiding the main tourist draws is the only way to be alone in Venice, and it is still quite a challenge to find quiet spots.


We were here in the first week in April and the crowds were significantly problematic. I can only imagine summertime.

I would recommend visiting Venice, if you want to, in the off-off season.


Several years ago we visited in winter and there were no crowds, even in Piazza San Marco. It is also much less expensive.

It is cold in winter, but so lovely to see Venice as she should be seen, in all her solitary glory, with locals who are actually happy to see you.

Cheers to you from amazing, but crowded Venice~

Saker Falcon~


Saker Falcons live in Austria, Eastern Europe and Asia, including Russia.

They are considered an endangered bird due to rapid population declines in their Asian breeding grounds.

They are a large falcon species,
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that prey mostly on rodents and other birds.

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Sakers often hunt horizontally like Kestrels, not vertically like Peregrines.
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I watched a Saker swoop down on an unsuspecting pigeon, but my presence, in response to the pigeon cries, called off the hunt!
Cheers to you from the remarkable and endangered Saker Falcons~
(Note: These photos were taken in raptor reserves in Europe)

Curious Kestrels~


Are rare for me to find.


This pair was mating on the rooftops in Alsace France.


Kestrels are a type of falcon that live all over the world.


These were photographed in Canada and France.

Kestrels will hunt and nest in populated areas if prey is available.


They don’t bother building their own nests, preferring to steal other bird nests!


They often hover in mid-air over prey, before dropping to consume them.

Cheers to you from the quite handsome French & Canadian Kestrels~

Mandarins in Baden-Baden~


These guys weren’t part of my plan for the day!


I was going to show you Baden-Baden,

but the Mandarins got in my way!

Why are Mandarin Ducks swimming wild in Germany you may well wonder?


Although Mandarin Duck populations are dwindling in their native Russia and Asia, some escapees from captivity are breeding in the wild in Germany and The UK. I happened upon these guys today on the Oos River in Baden-Baden Germany.


So, it is cheers to you, and Happy Spring, from the gorgeous German Mandarins~

Kayserberg in Alsace~


seems to be a magical,

hobbit Village,

where Bilbo Baggins,


will appear,

around a corner.

A Tolkien world,

you never want to leave.
Cheers to you from Kayserberg France~