Alsace in winter

As a new year is about to start, we see flashbacks on 2015 pop every there and then. I’ve just discovered that WordPress offers you a summary of your blog’s year, if you type /2015/annual-report/ after the address.

What does it tell me?

A tramway in San Francisco can transport 60 persons. My blog was visited 1500 times this year. If every visitor was to take this tramway, it would have to make 25 trips to carry everyone.

Here is the full report (might be in French). Of course that’s the summary of only half a year of blogging, as I published my first article on the 18th of June.
Nevertheless, this has been a very enlightening experience for me, I learnt a lot while writing. The most successful articles were Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard, Icy sunrise, Helsinki, beautiful city, Foggy day and Staunings Ø, but I’m sure 2016 will bring new exciting adventures!

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Mosede Havn

DOF’s Mikkel took me to a new place last week-end. The presentation said “possible Long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) and rare gulls”. As you can imagine, the prospect of nice birds on a sunny day proppelled me out of bed early this day, and I arrived to Mosede Strand before sunrise, the meeting time being 8 am. The sky, partly clouded, was purple, but as the sun rose behind a thick haze, it turned to pink then orange instead. Glorious Danish sunrise.

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Stand Still, Stay Silent

The other day, I was walking in Utterslev Mose when I saw a heron fly down a canal, in the direction of the main path. When I got there, on the small bridge, I couldn’t find it! I hadn’t seen it fly away, so I was a bit surprised, but that was nothing compared to the moment when I realized it had in fact landed a mere three meters from the bridge; I was looking for it much farther! So here I was, standing on a bridge, basically on a bike lane, with a young heron hunting near the bank a few meters away. Fortunately, few people were in the vicinity, so the bird was far from frightened, and I was not at a too high risk of being trampled by a careless biker.

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)

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Playing with the clouds

I think I’ve already mentioned that here, but I like cloud pictures. These huge masses suspended over our heads are impressive, and when the sun starts playing hide-and-seek with them, you’re in for a magical moment; however, what I like most is the liberty they grant the photographer in post-processing. Push the clarity to 100? Sure, no problem. What about altering the colors? Yep, let’s go.
When I’m editing the picture of a bird, I feel like I must keep it realistic, natural. When it’s a cloud picture, I feel like I can do anything, and that feels good!

Here are illustrations of what I’m talking about, all taken in the end of my day in Ølsemagle Revle. Enjoy the pictures, but don’t hesitate to share any thought you’d have about them, or any personal experience related to clouds or post-processing 🙂

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Ghosts in sunlight

Previously, at Eiwawar

Note: I have included cards from the bird inventory I’m building, with a picture and names in different languages for each bird species. See the end of the article, and tell me what you think of that :p

Witnessing the sun rise over the horizon, Greenfinches and Twites feed in bushes, Horned larks walk along the beach and a White-tailed eagle scare scores of geese was not enough for me this morning, especially since I was not able to reach the southernmost tip of Staunings Ø. I had planned to go home around noon, to study a bit, but well… I took the sight of two Bearded tits (Panurus biarmicus) flying overhead as a good omen, and decided to go south. I knew the next sandbar, Ølsemagle Revle, was also good for birds, but I had no idea of the distance I would have to walk.

Nevermind, let’s go! I departed along the inner shoreline, increasing my count of perch birds with Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and a flock of Eurasian tree sparrows (Passer montanus) noisily enjoying free food from a man-made feeding station. Unfortunately, the path ended, and I had no other option than to walk along the road. Tricky thing, with the snow and the ice, but I eventually reached my target after what seemed hours of clumsy peregrinations on a deserted bike lane.

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We need to talk // Il faut qu’on parle

Toute ressemblance avec un article déjà publié ne serait bien sûr que fortuite. Version française après l’anglaise 😉

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I’ve had the idea of this article for some time… almost since my friend Ark published this column on his own blog (in French). It’s a direct adaptation, but I don’t think he will resent me for that.

Watching one’s blog’s statistics is one of the blogger’s most addictive practices… “Oh, one more view! Oh, a reader from New Zealand!”
Sometimes, I get a like here, a like there… Few people leave a comment, but I wish it was different! In an ideal world, readers talk to me, share the emotions they feel when they look at my pictures, when they read about my adventures. Oh, I don’t expect you to be in awe of my pictures, or to forget all that surrounds you when you read me; that would be pretentious. Still, I can imagine that my endeavours remind me of yours, sometimes, or that you find a bird very cute, or funny, or graceful, or scary, or majestic… Sometimes, maybe, one picture stands out of the mix, for its composition, its light… but how could I know?
For sure, not everyone always has the time to write a whole comment, to “put words on one’s feelings”. Still, I’d like to know what you like, what you DON’T like (yes, that too), what you feel could be improved, what was better before… I’d like to know what you feel, so don’t hesitate to share memories, anecdotes related to what you saw. I would love to know who comes here and reads or watches, and that’s probably the best way to do it.

I’d be delighted if you had this attitude here, but I’d be even happier if you applied it to every artistic site you visit: you probably see a lot of them over the internet, be it on Facebook, Instagram or on a blog.
“Those who are really passionate by what they create live and die only by the glance of others. You are our reason to exist, do not turn your back on us”, Ark wrote. I like this statement, it’s really poetic, and powerful at the same time. That’s something I realized when I read his article: I didn’t tell people that I admired them. Now I do.

Although I write in English, you can also comment in French. If you feel more confident in Danish, Spanish or Finnish, I promise I will try to understand you 🙂 . As for any other language, well… please use something Google knows, that would help me a lot!

Talk to me!

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Ça fait quelques temps que cet article me trotte dans la tête… pas depuis que mon ami Ark a publié le sien, mais presque! Je m’en inspire directement, mais je ne pense pas que ça le dérangera.

Je dois vous avouer une chose: j’ai une dépendance aux statistiques de mon blog. “Oh, une nouvelle vue. Oh, un lecteur en Nouvelle-Zélande”.
Parfois, j’ai droit à un like, parfois un petit commentaire (c’est souvent Jérome, de De bec et de Plumes, d’ailleurs)… mais j’aimerais en savoir plus sur vous. Ce qui vous plaît ici, ce qui ne vous plaît pas (ben oui, ça aussi), ce qui pourrait être amélioré, ce qui était mieux avant… parfois, une photo sort du lot, pour une raison x ou y, ou alors ce que vous voyez vous évoque une vos propres aventures (et je suis sûr que chacun en a vécu). Faites m’en part!
Bien sûr, tout le monde n’a pas le temps d’écrire un commentaire complet à chaque fois. Un petit mot, de temps en temps, suffira à me combler 🙂 Ça me permettra de satisfaire mon insatiable curiosité, mon envie de connaître ceux qui me rendent visite.

Enfin, essayez d’adopter cette attitude avec tous les artistes dont vous visitez les pages Facebook, Instagram, blog…
“Ceux qui sont vraiment passionnés par ce qu’ils créent ne vivent et ne meurent que par le regard des autres. Vous êtes notre raison d’être, ne nous tournez pas le dos.”, a écrit Ark. C’est beau, c’est fort, j’aime beaucoup cette phrase. Dites aux gens que vous appréciez ce qu’ils font, ça les rendra heureux.

Parlez-moi !

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Now that you’ve read this article, I have a small exercise for you: what do you think of my series of articles “music+nature combined”. The latest is called ‘Smoke on the Water‘, but there were ‘Burning Leaves‘ and ‘Fields of Gold‘ before that. Did you listen to the songs? Was the connection relevant?

Oh, and as a reward for reading all this, I have a sneak peak of the next post. Enjoy 🙂

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