Care to go for a walk? p1


Alkmaar, Netherlands

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Last Saturday morning emerged under a bright blue sky, which was a rare sight in March. I took my camera out, hoping to find some springtime activity in the ducks, herons, doves, etc., that are common here. They should be choosing mates, building nests, dancing and fighting… things that could look good through my lens. This outing is also part of my own therapy; taking time to do things for ME is something I’m learning to do. Care to join me?

We can see it’s quite windy out there, so you’ll need a jacket. We start out in the narrow brick streets between the old brick homes. We are heading for the canal that surrounds the old part of this Dutch town of Alkmaar. There are no protective walls on the inside edge of the canal anymore, so there are patches of tall weeds now between stretches of park lawns reaching down to the water’s edge. We see a few ducks as we arrive at the pathway to the bridge that will takes us to the inside edge of the canal, but they are just sitting like ducks do, bouncing on the wind-blown surface. There are no mating dances, no fighting to win the lady, no poking around in the weeds to build a nest. We cross the bridge and turn right to enter the narrow parkway that follows the canal for most of a mile.

After only a couple minutes’ walk, we see a big duck-ish bird that is familiar but I don’t know its name, a fish-eating duck, swimming seemingly with purpose in the opposite direction. I’d love to get some pictures of it, so we move to the water’s edge ahead of it so it will swim past us. I’ve got the big zoom lens on, and the camera is mounted on the tripod, so if we can get lucky here we’ll at least get a couple of basic shots of this new fishduck. Nope, it’s a nervous one and does a noisy splashing take-off running along the water to get away from us. Dumb bird, eh? No shots. [The fishduck photo here is from a couple of days earlier… sorry to mislead you :)]
…to p2

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  • Daniel J. McCauley IV
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