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Tag Archives: flying

I spent a few minutes in the garden this morning – smelling the roses.  Actually, we don’t have any roses but I wanted to get a couple of shots of the flowers on the Gardenia.  By the grace of God, this beautiful plant has survived four summers and has given it’s best bloom this spring.  I wasn’t taking the shots for the blog.  They’re for my garden log-book and are therefore less artistic and more practical.

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I spend a lot of time in the air. I have done for more than fifteen years.  It’s fair to say that whist I don’t hate flying, there isn’t much out there that impresses me! This was the first time, in a long time, when I was actually excited about a flight.

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With many hundreds of business cards collected from various people around the world, we needed an idea.  Although I didn’t intentionally collect the cards, they filled two boxes which had started showing cracks.  The thing is: once I’ve scanned the cards, they’re useless… but throwing them out felt too easy.

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In fact there wasn’t a single cloud in sight.  I just couldn’t think of a better title to describe the feeling of my experience yesterday. Imagine suddenly growing wings… then imagine something grabbing you, rocketing you a thousand metres up and… letting you go.  It was exhilarating!

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I’ve wanted to get a photograph of the flamingos in the Free Zone for some time. I’m either there late in the night, or I forget my camera during the day.  Yesterday, I had my camera with me and I managed to find a couple of them.  I looked everywhere for the others and all I could see were seagulls and a dog!

I got back in my car and as I started to drive off I saw them.

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It’s a beautiful morning with blue skies and a gentle breeze.  Plants and animals are just as grateful as we are for this wonderful time of the year.  These two pigeons refused to land after taking off this morning.  They were dancing in the air for quite some time.

Wishing everyone a happy start to the week.

I was asked by intlxpatr if our white pigeon, Softmint, is my favourite.  I explained that I prefer the “ugly grey ones” and she asked for a good photograph of one.  This is an old photograph, from October 2008, of one of our homer pigeons returning home.  It doesn’t look any nicer, nothing can do that, but I hope you agree that a nice moment was captured.

They may not be good acrobats, nor particularly attractive – in fact they’re quite boring – but the way homing pigeons navigate and fly home is impressive every time.

This bird is an aerobatics genious.  Whenever we see him, he’s up there showing off his flying skill, and what a skill.  He flies as high as possible – my guess is around 20-25 metres high – and would turn on himself by rolling in the air – head first!  The  children would say the RolyPoly pigeon is up.

This was taken just before sunset.  It doesn’t look particularily difficult, but this photograph was a challenge.  I wanted to show the movement of the bird – illustrating this using an atypical flying position.  The low light and his high altitude made it a little tricky.

I try to ensure that I only add my better photographs on this blog.  Although this is not a technically nor artistically good result, I’m sure you will agree its subject makes it worth posting.

I was flying from Manama to Doha earlier this week, on a Gulf Air flight, and I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I’m sure it’s not as rare as I imagine, but I’ve been flying for many years now and it was a first for me.  

The lovely young bird was the best behaved passenger on this very short journey.  I didn’t hear a sound from it and it made very little mess on the newspaper covering the carrier’s lap…

After months of reading, learning and planning, today was the day!  This morning we walked just under a mile away from our house and released three homers.

The weather is much better these days and we all took part which made it feel like a special event.  Yousef opened the basket and Noor held it in place.  Um Yousef and I watched and I managed to take these three photographs.

The first bird out was a little reluctant (see photo on the right), but all three were soon high in the sky.  I am yet to see them back home.  I think they’ve been and gone again.

Overall I’m happy to announce a success.  We have lunch with the whole family at my father’s every Friday.  My intention is to build up the distance until we reach a release from there (10km away) some time in February. Watch this space.

The birds are happier with their new environment and are enjoying flying around Mangaf.  They are slowly building their courage to go further and further out.  This is one of them returning for the evening feed.

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Our pigeons were finally released yesterday.  I gave them a month or so to get used to their new home.  It seems they know where they are now and they’re happy here.  They all returned by sunset.  It’s a great feeling to be able to keep birds without confining them against their will. 

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I was tidying up my files when I came across this photo.  Flying back from Paris (over Germany) I saw this 747 from my window.  I managed to catch it before it disappeared into a line of condensation.  Photograph taken on 21 01 2008.