The Tall Ships Races

As a part of summer vacation in 2013, I have visited Szczecin during The Tall Ship's Races final. There was a big feast to celebrate the event.

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Some of the ships were available for touring. Here are some shots from Russian ship Shtandart (built in 1999).

The Tall Ships’ Races are races for sail training “tall ships” (sailing ships). The races are designed to encourage international friendship and training for young people in the art of sailing. The races are held annually in European waters and consists of two racing legs of several hundred nautical miles, and a “cruise in company” between the legs. Over one half (fifty-percent) of the crew of each ship participating in the races must consist of young people.

Between 1973 and 2003 the races were known as The Cutty Sark Tall Ships’ Races, having been sponsored by Cutty Sark whisky. From 2004 to 2010 the races were supported by The City, Province, and Port of Antwerp. The current sponsor of the Tall Ships’ Races 2010–2014 is the city of Szczecin.

Szczecin is the capital city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. In the vicinity of the Baltic Sea, it is the country’s seventh-largest city and a major seaport. As of June 2011 the population was 407,811. Szczecin's shipyard arena below.

Tadorna Ferruginea

I managed to process one more photo from my last visit to the ZOO. There are many birds that live freely on the ZOO area and this duck is one of them. Few words about it:

The Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) is a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. It is in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae. In India it is known as the Brahminy Duck.

There are very small resident populations of this species in north west Africa and Ethiopia, but the main breeding area of this species is from southeast Europe across central Asia to Southeast Asia. These birds are mostly migratory, wintering in the Indian Subcontinent. This is a bird of open country, and it will breed on cliffs, in burrows, tree holes or crevices distant from water, laying 6-16 creamy-white eggs, incubated for 30 days. The Ruddy Shelduck is usually found in pairs or small groups and rarely forms large flocks. However, moulting and wintering gatherings on chosen lakes or slow rivers can be very large.

Thank you card and 500px gallery

Well.. Finally I've added myself to 500px community. A bit too late, as I found out. I was going for another popular site with prints selling system like RedBubble. Bad luck for me - 500px decided to discontinue prints, leaving only buying licences for particular artwork, which is not something that I wanted to participate in.. Another annoying thing is that I can't change image that was once upload. I must delete it and then upload it as a new artwork. But I guess that's a must with licensing..

Anyway - I decided to stay there - here's the link. :) I'm still in the process of uploading all the photos that are available on RB and dA.

And talking about RedBubble - I received a letter from the Team. Like a real letter (not an email), a card to be exact. I was very surprised by that fact, I didn't expect it at all. It is a "thank you" card, for being a part of the community. Signed by somebody with a pen which is awesome because this somebody had to put this effort and actually do it. And I believe I'm not the only who received such card which is even more awesome. It's really nice!

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Lord Derby's Parakeet

Here's another photo from my last visit to the ZOO - Lord Deby's Parakeet.

The Lord Derby’s parakeet (Psittacula derbiana), also known as Derbyan parakeet, is a monotypic parrot species, which is confined to small pocket of moist evergreen forest in the hills of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the adjoining parts of Tibet. The species suffers from poaching for the illegal wildlife trade and fetches a high price in the black market. The adult male and female are easily distinguished because they have different beak colours and slightly different plumage.

Lord Derby’s parakeets are average 20 inches (50 centimeters) in length and are sexually dimorphic. They have a mostly green plumage over their dorsal surface (i.e. from behind), black lores and lower cheeks, a bluish-purple crown and pale yellow eyes. The throat, breast, abdomen and under-wing coverts are greyish blue to lavender. Male birds have a red upper mandible with a yellow tip, while the lower mandible is black. The females have an all-black beak.

Karkonosze (Karkonosze Mountains), Poland@2013

     Late in the 2013 I went with some work friends to the Karkonosze National Park (Polish: Karkonoski Park Narodowy). It is a National Park in the Karkonosze Mountains in south western Poland, along the border with the Czech Republic. On Friday evening, in the pouring rain, we took our first hike to the Strzecha Akademicka mountain hostel to spend the night there. In the morning the weather was much better.

On the Saturday, we went to Śnieżka (1,603.30 meters a.s.l. (5,260.2 ft)), after that we stopped for dinner at Luční bouda (Czech Rep. side). Quite nice place but overcrowded at that time. Then we continued our hike on Polish-Czech Friendship Trail. Weather got sunny and windy and the views were breathtaking. Mały and Duży Staw lakes looked amazing from the top of the trail. The Park is located in the highest part of the Sudetes.

Above - on the way to mountain Śnieżka. Below - Hostel Samotnia near Mały Staw lake.

Karkonosze National Park. Mountain Hostel Strzecha Akademicka on the right.

The Pilgrims (on the left) is a granite rock formation with height up to 25 meters. Named like that because of its resemblance to the group of people. The legend says, Pilgrims were once sinful travellers that were turn into stone by the Mountain Spirit, disappointed by their behaviour. If they ever reach the sea it will be the end of the world. Karkonosze National Park.

We spent the night at Odrodzenie mountain hostel. Sunday welcomed us with huge fog and visibility just over couple of meters. We walked in it for about half a day, following our trail leading to Szrenica mountain (1362 m a.s.l.) from were we went straight down to Szklarska Poręba city.

View on Szrenica mountain, Karkonosze National Park.

View from Szrenica mountain, Karkonosze National Park.

View from Hala Szrenicka, Karkonosze National Park.

View from Hala Szrenicka, Karkonosze National Park.

Owl Mountains

Like I said couple of days ago, here are some more pics from my short hiking trip to the Great Owl (polish "Wielka Sowa"). When you start from Przełęcz Walimska it's really easy to get to the top (which is 1014 metres in altitude). You can see the path in pink colour.

As you can see below, the weather was sunny and warm (well.. for the autumn), but also windy and partially foggy which gave the nice touch to some of the photos. Enjoy! :)

View from tower on the top of the Great Owl.

View from tower on the top of the Great Owl.

Hooded Crow

     The Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) (also called hoodiecrow) is a Eurasian bird species in the crow genus. Widely distributed, it is also known locally as Scotch crow, Danish crow, and corbie or grey crow in Ireland. Found across Northern, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, as well as parts of the Middle East, it is an ashy grey bird with black head, throat, wings, tail and thigh feathers, as well as a black bill, eyes and feet. Like other corvids it is an omnivorous and opportunistic forager and feeder.

Captured in Wrocław ZOO last Sunday. :)