Category Archives: Wild places

Sealy Phocas (South Africa series 4/10)


Playout date: 14 November 2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location: Hout Bay, Cape Town
Other people featured: David Uncleborough, Afrikaaner boat captain, Viktor Dmitrievitch Huliganov, Pierre Delauney
Genre: Environmental
Music used:  Heaven for Everyone, Queen
Languages used: English, but with Russian and French words for seal.
Animals featured: Arctocephalus pussilus, Cape fur seal

I rarely do a lot of different voices on one video, but this is one occasion. I do what I hope is a passable
impersonation of David Attenborough (I called this character David Uncleborough and he comes up a couple of times in my films), and also I do a South African, some Huliganov and some Pierre Delauney.
The Hout Bay cape fur seal colony is a beautiful thing to see. This is the part of the world where the great
white shark preys on these creatures, even jumping out of the water to attack them. We didn’t see any of them today, though.
The mountains around are the twelve apostles, very majestic neighbours of the Table Mountain.

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

Quanta Squalia – What Big Sharks!


Playout date: 21st March 2011 (Made August 2010)
Camera: Creative Vado
Post Production: CyberLink Power Director 8
Location: Sealife Centre, Great Yarmouth
Other people featured: Sophie
Genre: Zoo and Aquarium showcasing
Music used: Quanta Qualia by Hayley Westenra

Hayley Westenra Paradiso

Hayley

Languages used: Russian, Ukrainian
Animals featured: Nurse sharks, zebra shark, reef sharks, green sea turtle, Monodactylus fishes

A film showing the beauty and intelligence of aquarium sharks. The nurse sharks and zebra shark showcased here are a beautiful thing to observe at close range. These are not dangerous attackers in the main for human swimmers, as you will see that the size and form of the mouth is not similar to that of the notorious great whites, etc. Even these smaller fishes like the monos, and also the sea turtle sharing the aquarium are relatively safe from being attacked by the big sharks. The smaller sharks, the reef sharks, are ironically more risky than the big ones, but they are not really large enough to damage a turtle.

The zebra shark (Stegosoma fasciatum) has a long tail which it uses to thrash through schools of larger fishes to stun or kill by impact and then it can turn and eat what it has hit. The monos here are even too small to be impacted by that, and they fly under the zebra shark’s radar – as long as it is kept well-fed!

Enjoy the pure tones of Hayley Westenra, and my atrocious pun in the title that you need to know Italian to be able to get.

In the Eastern Forest


Playout date: 3 October 2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – medium use
Location: Primorskiy Kray, Russia
Other people featured: Various Foresters
Genre: Environmental
Music used: Solovenko Ukrainian Songs
Languages used: Russian, Ukrainian
Animals featured: Not many other than the ladybirds on the video, but this is the domain of
the Siberian Tiger, black bear and snow leopard. Numerous unusual forest
plants are also seen in the gallery

It’s a long story how I came to be here, and in fact I can’t go into details at it involves work – I ended up auditing the forestry operators of a territory larger than Greater London. The climate was hard and the Mosquitos were hard. I was working for China, and they needed an English speaker who knew Due Diligence and knows Russian, and they received recommendations that I was the man for the job.

Well, it took all summer five years ago, and I still have the Mosquito bites. The gallery shots show in places the anti mosquito suit they managed to bite through. suffice it to say they are simply not in the same league as the European ones.

This is one of my earliest “gallery style” films showcasing photographs and I haven’t really got the style right, they are flashing through too quickly and they’re not fading into each other as I started doing when I got the hang of it.

But still some of the photos are not too bad though I say so myself and worth a few additional comments – the foresters were very friendly folk, we spend a great few days with people that live a very close to nature way in the forest in conditions that most of us would find wearing. These are not the kind of parks you get in Europe. They are logging and replanting in forests that are being cultivated effectively for the first time. This sort of forest in Europe exists only in any size in Bialoweza, where the bison are. The fauna here is very varied, but it’s not common to see them. When I went behind a tree to go to the toilet at one point, I saw a Siberian chipmunk,  or “burunduk” – but when I told the woodsmen about it they said that when I go off to have a leak I’d better let them know so that they can cover with a rifle, because it’s when they do what I just did that they come across other “stripey animals” but ones who are more inclined to attack us than the burunduk are!

We saw cedar nut trees and manchurian nut, and those strange grape like things that you see in the woodsman’s hand – to get them he swung out over a fifty-foot drop on a tree branch, as agile as a monkey. Also you’ll see the huge ladybirds that they had there, you can see one that landed on me – they are so pick that when they land on you it feels like someone’s flicked you with their finger.

The tipped over lorry full of logs you can see in one photo there goes to show how tough the terrain is there – they basically dig their roads out as they woork the forest.

Don’t miss also near the end the home-made fitness area they made for themselves from various machine parts. It showed their skill in making do.

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