32. Dear Readers…

I’m not quitting, just moving!
This has been a great place to store my words, but I found them a new, even better home!
Since a while, my stories are posted on my shiny and new website and if you are subscribed here and you like my writings, you might want to move your subscription. (button in the upper right corner)

Some recent blogs:

duckfaceDucklings All Ditches United

 …”And so it went: whenever the duck party seemed to be over, new downy chick material was submitted.
It seemed like a kind of reverse Bermuda Triangle:
Not the place where everything disappears into nothingness, but the Place Where Baby Ducks Emerge…”

 

 

cute_rabbitChasing White Rabbits

“…wwhy is a rabbit white, in a country where it rarely snows?”
“Do white rabbits feed on radish instead of roots?”
“Is this a product of a dissolute mother rabbit and a fling with an outer-dune father …?”
“..or maybe a sort of freak of nature, similar to–let’s say- a pink grasshopper…..?”

night_heron_juvenile1The Night Heron or Backpack Quack

“….Having this said, I have to admit I just love them herons!
Besides utterly clumsy, they can be graceful like a ballerina….”

 

 

Thanks for all the kind reactions so far  & see you at my new blog! :D

Roeselien Raimond

31. Mr. Pink: The Pink Grasshopper

Not so long ago, one of my photo-pals found a pink grasshopper.
I have to admit: his special find made me a little bit jealous. ;)
After all it is just about the closest thing to a pink elephant!
At the same time, I realised how rare such a phenomenon actually is and how pointless to go out and look for one.
The chance  of winning the lottery is greater.

So of course we started our Pink-Grasshopper-Mission ;)
With literally thousands of green brown brothers jumping around, I felt like I was looking for a needle in a haystack….
And just when I was about to give up, I noticed something pinkish!
I had found a Pink Grasshopper myself!
He wasn’t very cooperative and despite his striking colour he managed to escape within no time.
But boy, was that cool!

pink erythrism grasshopper insect rare

The Pink Hopper: about the closest thing to a pink elephant

 

Only little is known about pink grasshoppers, except that the colour deviation is likely to be caused by the lack of black pigment (eumelanin) and on the other hand an excessive production of the red pigment (phaeomelanin).
This phenomenon is called erythrism and is defined as an unusual reddish discolouration of fur, hair, skin, feathers or egg shells.
The combination of red hair and freckles in humans is thought to be a form of erytrism, too.

pink erythrism grasshopper insect rare

Erythrism: an unusual reddish discolouration of fur, hair, skin, feathers or egg shells.

Albinism is characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes, resulting in partially or completely white hair or fur and red eyes.
In leucism the melanin is, at least partially, absent but the eyes retain their usual colour.
Melanism is the opposite of albinism.
An unusually high level of melanin pigmentation results in an appearance darker than non-melanistic specimens from the same gene pool.

pink erythrism grasshopper insect rare

pink erythrism grasshopper insect rare

In a predominantly green area, being pink obviously is no benefit.

Some theories claim that the gene for the pink colour would be dominant in locusts, but that they simply don’t reach maturity due to the vulnerability that comes with this pink colour.
In a predominantly green area, being pink obviously is no benefit.

Another theory assumes that the pink gene is recessive.
Two parents with a latent pink gene are needed, to create a pink baby grasshopper.

Of course it’s thinkable that the colour pink would provide an advantage.
Like for example in a field of pink flowers.
In a case like this, the pink version would have an advantage over his green brothers and theoretically this could result in an entire pink population!
And how happy would you be when you found that one very rare green one! :D

pink_grasshopper

In a field of pink flowers, a pink version would have an advantage. Theoretically this could result in an entire pink population!

PS. Ever noticed that  once you found something, you suddenly seem to see it everywhere?
Well…last week I noticed that there are a lot more pinkish creatures in my environment than I ever imagined!

pink erythrism grasshopper insect rare  frog

The Pink Tree Frog

pink erythrism grasshopper insect rare fox

The Pink Fox

pink erythrism grasshopper insect rare rabbit

The Pink Rabbit

pink erythrism grasshopper insect rare little owl

The Little Pink Owl

pink erythrism grasshopper insect rare kitten cute

The Pink Kitten

 

30. Interview by Bored Panda

Interview by Bored Panda:

Stunning Wild Fox Photography By Roeselien Raimond

Stunning Wild Fox Photography By Roeselien RaimondTalented Dutch nature photographer Roeselien Raimond has taken countless stunning photos of beautiful creatures and wildlife, but her photos of wild foxes are especially wonderful. She agreed to give Bored Panda an interview and talk about her work photographing these cunning and beautiful creatures.

Foxes, along with cats, are my favorite animals,” Raimond told Bored Panda. “Their depth and uniqueness appeals to me: Every fox is an individual character. With a fox you never know what they are up to. Will they be hunting, sleeping, swimming… will they even be there at all?

To see her amazing fox photography and read about how she takes them, keep scrolling!

Source: roeselienraimond.com | 500px | Facebook

It was an extremely harsh winter day with heavy snow fall…,” Raimond told Bored Panda about her favorite photo. “I could hardly see, let alone take a decent picture. And then this fox showed up. She looked so calm and at ease and just the sight of this magical creature made me forget about all inconveniences and immediately brought some warmth back in my body.

Foxes, along with cats, are my favorite animals. Their depth and uniqueness appeal to me: Every fox is an individual character. Some are very elusive, while others can be quite cheeky. Some are very spontaneous and playful and some are just plain boring ;)

The one thing they all have in common is their unpredictability: With a fox, you never know what they are up to. Will they be hunting, sleeping, swimming… will they even be there at all? That’s exactly what continuously challenges me to immerse myself in their intriguing doings.

Raimond told Bored Panda that all the foxes she photographs are wild. “Foxes have always thought to be nocturnal and very shy animals. And indeed they often are. Not by nature, but because we gave them a reason to be, by hunting them.

Once foxes are no longer hunted, they will be more diurnal and some will even come close to people. In the area I’m visiting, hunting isn’t allowed and dogs, cyclists and cars are prohibited. Thus, there is no threat for them at all and some foxes lose their elusiveness.

The last thing that interests me is a fox that sees me as a walking food dispenser. I’m interested in witnessing and capturing natural behaviour. Therefore, I need to make myself almost ‘invisible’ and a completely uninteresting part of the environment, waiting and hoping to witness that special fox moment…

Around 8 years ago, I bought a DSLR and a macro lens. In the winter of 2009/ 2010, I won a Canon 7D in a photo contest and I bought my Canon 300mm F4.0 and I almost instantly got hooked to capturing wildlife because of the challenge of ‘the hunt.’” Raimond currently uses “A Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a canon 300mm f4 is usm (eventually with a +1.4x TC).

It’s hard – if not impossible- to make a living out of nature photography. My photos are sold as stock and fine art and are published in many international magazines, but nowadays photographers need to be really creative to generate money from their photographs. Giving workshops (photography or post processing) is a more remunerative and reliable way to earn some money.

Creativity, nature and people have always been the most important aspects of my life and I’m always trying to find a perfect combination. As long as I can be creative, feel the grass under my feet and smell the fresh air and preferably share this with some pleasant company, I’m fine :P

We’d like to thank Roeselien Raimond for the interview and for sharing her photos with us. We wish her luck on her “hunt!”
Original interview: http://www.boredpanda.com/fox-photography-wildlife-roeselien-raimond/

29. If it Walks like a Goose and it Talks like a Goose

I’vgosling duckling baby duck goosee always loved the saying: ‘If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.’
Because nothing can argue with that, can it?

Elaborating on this idea, one could argue, that if it walks like a goose and it talks like a goose…it probably is a goose, right?
Wrong.
The Egyptian Goose walks like a goose, talks like a goose and she’s even called goose….
But guess what?
Instead, it’s a duck in disguise.

Originally, this so called goose broods along the Nile, swimming with hippos.
Since 1971, she also breeds in Britain and quite successfully.
(It was officially declared a pest in the U.K. in 2009.)

Egyptian Geese have their very own way of integration, just as simple as effective:
Every non Egyptian goose must go.
The same applies for everything that IS an Egyptian goose. (with an eventual exception for close family)
With a huge display of power, ponds and ditches are made coot-, duck-, grebe-, and gooseless, until the once so cheerful little water, is stripped of anything with a beak.
(This all takes place with such excessive force, that one wonders how these hippos survived)
In case there are still some ducklings left, the Egyptian is never afraid to help them to the bottom.

More or less the same rule applies to the nests of their feathered fellows .
This goose unceremoniously topples crows, storks, buzzards or hawks from their nest, to use it themselves.

Of course that’s no way to make friends!
Say ‘Egyptian goose’ to a birder and you know what I mean.
Many would love to see them take a one-way ticket to the Nile.

But ….the Egyptian geese found a way to reverse this hostile tide.
They created a highly effective and ruthlessly efficient weapon, called :
The Gosling
An irresistible charm offensive, consisting of a ball of the softest material, cute beady eyes and two mini feet: a touchingly awkward gait guaranteed.

As soon as this Army of Cuteness arrives, the most fanatical birder goes “awwwwwwww”.
Bold loitering spontaneously share their sandwiches, a homeless worriedly counts whether they are as many as yesterday. (not making this up!)
Tough businessmen hit the brakes in order to perpetuate them with their Android and even a police officer gets off his bike for them cuteness.
Resistance is futile against this Cute Overload.

And so it happened that the number of nests has increased enormously.
System works!

Maybe we should take a good example to the Ancient Egyptians under the guise of “if you can’t beat them, join them!”
They worshiped the Egyptian goose and portrayed her regularly in their art.
I’m in! ;)

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

Egyptian Gosling: a charme offensive on legs

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

Daddy Goose, a duck in disguise

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

Egyptian Gosling and a mini palm tree, probably fantasising about hippos at the Nile

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

Dual Powerrrrrr

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

Baby gosling enjoying her soon to be private pond

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

The baby animal and the daisy: the epitome of innocence, but appearance deceives …

Baby Gosling

Hatchoom Sneeze

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

Made for the spot lights

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

Romantic gosling ;)

 

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

Zen Gosling

 

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

How many goslings fit in one mother goose?

gosling,duckling,goose,duck,mallard,cute,egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiaca

“In a family portrait, we look pretty happy…”

 

28. Autumn Reflections

autumn light mood atmoshere bokehSome time ago someone asked me: “How on earth do you write complete stories about…NOTHING?!”

Well…erhm…lots of fantasy I guess…
That’s to say: usually.
But not today.
Today I intended to write about autumn.
But what can I write…?!

You shouldn’t talk about autumn.
Autumn should be done.

Autumn should be smelt.
The drizzly sweet smell of soggy moss.
The dirty-but-yet-delicious smell of wet, rotting leaves.
The almost tasty odor of leaking, drooly mushrooms

Autumn should be seen.
Magnificent gradients, simply created by leaves, perfectly overflowing from fresh spring green to almost winter brown.
That beautiful soft light, which makes these leaves shine through the trees like early Christmas lights.
Countless mushrooms in shapes that you wouldn’t even imagine.
Some of them looking like candy, as if the candyman discharged its stock in the forest.
And of course, all these creatures, even the ugliest birds look like top models in an autumn decor!

Autumn should be heard
The restless fluttering of leaves and imminent crunching of branches during a storm.
Only to be interrupted by the thud of a pine cone, or a broken branch.
Relieved birdsong, when the autumn storms have dried.
And especially this very silent silence, just before an autumn storm blows away this years fall.

Autumn should be felt

I love all seasons, but autumn has this je ne sais quoi,
That magic…
Autumn has atmosphere …..
Autumn has…
…autumn is….
Nuff said!

Autumn light in the forest

bokeh Autumn fall mushroom fungus

Forest light

bokeh Autumn fall mushroom fungus

Autumn reflections

Mushroom in an autumn forest

autumn_mood

porcelain fungus Oudemansiella mucida autumn fall mushroom fungus

26. Fox Yawns

Red fox vulpes vulpes yawning Foxes yawn.
So do we.
So what?

And yet, yawning is quite luxury thing.

Being scared, cold or thirsty isn’t a good starting point for a decent yawn.
Yawning basically requires a really safe environment and a full stomach, to begin with.

Like most animals, foxes prefer being lazy and don’t tend to waste energy.
Once their stomach is filled and the enemies are defeated, the magic word is chill.

They just lay down, close their eyes, enjoy the sun light, stretch a little and yaaaawn.
Mindfulness avant la lettre.

Now look at us: what do we do when we’re not working?
We are busy, doing things.
And if we’re not doing things, we are planning to do so.
With our calendars filled to the brim with appointments and to-do-lists.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to do like foxes do?
At least for one time a day.
Just relax and do nothing, but yawn ;)

I’m pretty sure that during the time I spent typing this text, I could have produced five serious yawns.
At least .
What a waste ;)

More stories about foxes and fox kits can be found in my Fox Stories.

A nicely civilized, but somewhat modest yawn

A nicely civilized, but somewhat modest yawn

A Red fox yawning towards the photographer

A perfect symmetrical yawn

Red fox yawning unabashedly

A quite unabashed yawn

Red Fox yawning with tongue out of its mouth

Just a Perfect Yawn

Red fox yawning against a black background

The Evil Yawn

Red fox  yawning on a rainy day

The nonchalant yawn

Red fox showing its teeth

Yawning like there’s no tomorrow

Red fox yawning and stretching

A sandy yawn

Red fox with a mouh full of teeth

Mother of all Yawns

27. Interview @ 121clicks.com

Some time ago I was interviewed by the famous 121clicks.com, if interested you can read the interview below:

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

“Outstanding Nature Photography by Roeselien Raimond”

“Outstanding and out of the world captures of beautiful nature, this is Roeselien Raimond for all of us, simple and elegant compositions playing a wonderful art touch to these photographs. Let us listen to her answers while taking a look at her wonderful works.”

=> Few Words about Roeselien?
As a former art therapist and webdesigner, I’ve always been interested in both art and living beings. Nowadays I’m trying to combine my love for nature and art, using a camera to express what I’m experiencing.
Besides making photographs, I paint and I write about nature as well.

=> How did Photography change your world?
Although some kind of anticipation can be helpful in nature photography, it’s quite difficult to foresee natural behavior. Nature and animals are far more unpredictable then people tend to think and nature photography demands lot of patience and flexibility. It learned me to take things as they come, just go with the flow, which can lead to unexpected, but beautiful situations. Not worrying about tomorrow, but just ‘being in the moment’ is something that can quite be useful in daily life as well.

=> When did you get fascinated by nature photography?
A few years ago, I was living a very hectic life and I felt like a Chinese juggler, trying to keep all the plates up. I needed a counterbalance for the stress and deadlines and found some peace of mind in the sounds of whistling birds and the smell of fresh green nature. My camera was a pretty good excuse to roll in the grass and at least temporarily forget about demanding clients, targets and deadlines.

=> Your Passion behind this constant travel and exploration is phenomenal. Few words on it?
Nature is an endless source of surprises and secrets, like some kind of infinite grab bag. This mysterious world keeps challenging me constantly to explore and learn more.

=> One place you all always want to visit for Nature Photography?
If I can find nature in my own over-industrialized country, I can find it everywhere, so when it comes to photography I have no special wishes. I once travelled through Indonesia though and I was completely overwhelmed by this beautiful country.
I’d love to go back there one day to try to capture the Indonesian nature and more than that: the Indonesian ‘soul’. Other countries I’d love to visit are Costa Rica and Madagascar.

=> Your favorite photography quote?
“Free your mind and your *ss will follow.”
Photography and life don’t differ that much: you try, you sometimes fail and (hopefully) learn from it. If you can let go of your rational restrictions and just follow your heart, your creativity can flow , which will most probably lead to more personal and therefore more interesting photographs.
Best compliment you received so far?
“Your photos made me cry”. I think it was meant positively, haha.
Your favorite photographers?
Photographers that truly work from the heart.

=> Your Gear?

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EF 300mm f/4 USM L IS
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

=> Any final thoughts / advice for our readers?
Learn and get inspired by looking at others, but finally choose your own path.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-
The photos below are just a random selection of some things I did a bit more recently.
The original interview, with the photos chosen by 121Clicks can be found here: http://121clicks.com/showcases/outstanding-nature-photography-by-roeselien-raimond

A Mallard in the grass

Yellow autumn leafs in late evening sun

Field of poppies on s sunny summer morning

Damselfly climbing in the sundew flower

Young fox relaxing in the grass

Geese floating on a lake on a foggy autumn morning

A Blue Heron in a yellow  autumn forest

Gull on a foggy summer morning

Mushroom in an autumn forest