Category Archives: Gallery style (showcases my photos)

Studying the origins of the Japanese kana


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Hezký čin přeci parkujícemu debilovi.

Football fever


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England-Italy about to kick off.

Old Usenetposts Gallery #7 Fish Pond in West Poland


Gallery Page 7 – Fish Pond in East Poland

The lake you see in this photo is not far from the last photo. Here it is possible to see the black stork, a much rarer sight than the usual white stork, but I didn’t manage to photograph it. This lake is man-made and each spring it is commercially stocked with carp for the table and for sport fishing. Each winter it is drained, and lies empty and, in theory, dry over winter, which greatly reduces the ability of pests and the parasites of fish to overwinter and wreak havoc with next year’s lot.

Lake near Golebiowki, Siedlce region

There are not many natural lakes within striking distance of Warsaw, even Zalew Zegrzynski, the large Y-shaped reservoir north of Warsaw at the confluence of the Bug and the Narew has been flooded artifically, but the North of poland has many more natural lakes from Mazury through to Pomerania, and some, such as Lake Sniardwy (Poland’s largest lake probably a few hundred times larger than the one above) are among the largest in Europe. The Polish Sniardwy compares to Lake Windermere in England or the Hungarian lake Balaton. Contact me for recommendations if you are planning a holiday in Poland.

Lake near Golebiowki, Siedlce region

More scenes from the other parts of Poland and coming up, as well as many other themes, but they will be reposted later on. I’ve done these seven for now, and I will move on to something else to avoid a monotony – especially of things you don’t usually see on this blog – and come back to the remainder of restoring this part of my old Usenetposts.com website some other time.

Old Usenetposts Gallery #6 Birch Forest


Gallery Page 6 – Birch forest in East Poland


The birch forest you see here is typical of East Poland. When I first came to this country 19% of the country was forest, including the largest original forest in Europe, the Bialowieski Park, home to the European bison. Now, because of tax breaks for reafforestation, the figure quoted is around 22%, making Poland one of the most forested countries in Europe. This is part of another piece of ancient woodland, not so large as Bialowieski, but not far off it. It contains a huge selection of wild forest fruits, and we always go here to collect cowberries, bilberries, cranberries, and a variety of edible wild mushrooms (not something to be done by the uninitiated, by the way, as you can end up with the ultimate gourmet event!). I cannot give the exact location, as in Poland it is tradition to keep one’s forest finds secret.

Polish birch forest in the summer – Photo taken at near Topory, Siedlce region June 2004

The typical fauna of the forest in this place are deer and boars, and storks and cranes are plentiful. Last time we came here we saw three cranes walking nearby, a very rare sight on the forest floor, as they are very cautious of humans.

More scenes from the same part of East Poland and coming up, as well as many other themes …

DJJ 13th February 2005

Old Usenetposts Gallery #5 Coots in cahoots


Gallery Page 5 – Coots in cahoots


The birds you see here are the common coot, Fulica atra, which is similar to the American coot Fulica americana, only with a ‘balder’ appearance, as the white headshield is higher in the Eurasian version, leading to the expression ‘as bald as a coot’. The term ‘coot’ in itself is in all likelihood onomatopoeic in English, as one common noise the bird makes, among a large playlist of other calls and alarms made by the splashing of its specialised lobed feet, is like the syllable ‘coot’. The only language that shares with Engolish the name ‘coot’ is Dutch, which calls the bird ‘Meerkoet’. The German term is ‘Blaesshuhn’, the Scandywegian languages are ‘blishoene’ and ‘sothoene’, but don’t ask me which is which, the Russian is Lysukha’ and the Polish is ‘Lyska’, and the Romance languages show mainly variants on the latin ‘Fulica’ (Fr. ‘Foulque’, Sp. ‘Focha’ , It. ‘Folaga’)

Coots wintering on the Vistula near Plock – Photo taken at Nowy Duninow, December 2004

These coots are resting together on the retention reservoir which has been made in the Vistula River between Plock and Wloclawek in a ribbon several birds deep and several kilometres long, strongly calling to mind the appearance of the band of rooks in migratory flight over Warsaw each spring and Autumn, only resting on water rather than flying through the air. These birds will migrate in the spring into East Poland, Belarus and Russia for the summer breeding period – this is the most westerly point on mainland Europe that they are found all year. They live for about 18 years, are omnivorous, and considered as a type of rail: family Rallidae, order Gruiformes.

More beautiful landscape scenes from Poland and elsewhere coming up…

DJJ 13th February 2005

Old Usenetposts Gallery #4 Pineapple Pleco


Gallery Page 4 – Pineapple Pleco

English: Pseudorinelepis genibarbis (Valencien...

Image via Wikipedia

(As you can see from the insert, this photo was also given by me to Wikipedia and remains there to this day.)
Here’s one of my two pineapple plecos – Pseudorinelepis sp. I don’t find it easy to take fish photos, as invariably either a piece of algae gets in the way or they swim off or turn round and look at me, or I get a reflection, but this for me is a relatively good shot. The fish is a true delight, very elegant swimmers, relatively peaceful, needing to supplement their diet with bogwood The piece you see in the photograph has been diminished in size by their occasional nibblings. (The rock to the left is jasper, by the way, a very good aquarium rock). They have gradually learned to compete for surface food by swimming upside-down and grazing the surface, which looks very odd, and I have never seen this behaviour in a large plecostomid before.

Pseudorinelepis sp., called the Pineapple pleco, is one of the loricarids known to science under an ‘L’ number – in this case L152 – as there are too many to sort out

They are called ‘pineapple plecos’ for the pineapple skin appearance of their armour. These armoured fishes, of which there are so many, are the ideal creature to be found in the fossil record, and yet very few have been found, one of many facts consistent with a major catastrophic flood, but not millions of years of evolution.

Stay with the tour for more natural history photos, and numerous other topics….

Old Usenetposts Gallery #3 Gecko on the Wall


Gallery Page 3 – Gecko on the Wall


Here’s a tropical lizard on the wall of the villa I was staying in. I assume this is a gecko of some sort, but what I don’t know is what sort, exactly. It allowed me to take a load of photos at quite close range, of which this is perhaps the most detailed. Please E-mail or bulletin board if you know what species of lizard this is precisely.

Gordon the Gecko is not wired for sound this time, but was under surveillance anyway

Stay with the tour for more natural history photos, and numerous other topics….

DJJ 13th February 2005

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