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First Frost

When the duck and I woke up to sunshine and this meteorological winter’s first frost a few weeks ago, we knew we’d regret not attempting to preserve it photographically. The combination of bright sunlight after weeks of dark grey skies and a thin layer of glittering frost over everything was thrilling to behold. Fueled by our morning cup of coffee, the duck and I grabbed our trusty camera friend and our coats, hats, scarves, and gloves, eager to capture the icy beauty before it disappeared. It was freezing out – obviously. But the pretty sights and Pluto, our new canine acquaintance who excitedly ran toward my hunched figure (in accidental outdoor yoga terms: “crouching crow observing perching crow”) to have an animated chat with the duck, were a great distraction. Still, for a brief moment, the duck and I shared a wistful daydream about last summer’s heat waves– until we discovered our next photo subject. Here’s a selection of our (partly overexposed) spoils from that marvelous – but biting – morning:

Despite the lingering fear that my hands would be too numb to turn the front door key (which has happened before) that day, the duck and I love reminiscing about our fresh frost photo stroll… with a cup of warm tea nearby.
Do you (already) have a favorite memory from this season?

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Leaves of Autumn Past

Three years ago, the duck and I wrote about how we like to take autumnal neighborhood walks with our camera from time to time. When we jog (these days, at an increasingly decreasing speed), we routinely take in the seasonal changes in our current neighborhood. But we’re also routinely too lazy to go out with a camera afterward to capture them. So, today, the duck and I want to share some pictures from when we visited our friend in Louisville, Kentucky, years ago. In Gourds of Halloween Past, I mentioned that we spent most of our time being collectively lazy indoors. I also noted that our trusty camera’s battery died halfway through the pumpkin path. To those of you (= positively no one) who wondered how that could have happened – how many photos could we possibly have taken indoors, and did we not learn from our Tachikawa fiasco? – this is the reason: I lied. While we did spend most of our time on a comfy sofa, watching TV, playing games, and catching up, we occasionally left the apartment – sometimes even twice a day! On one of those days, we experienced the Louisville Jack O’Lantern Spectacular. A few hours before we were to admire thousands of Halloween pumpkins, our friend suggested we go for a walk. So, the duck and I grabbed our camera (presumably with a fully charged battery) to take some foliage photos. We never shared any of them, probably because most of them weren’t remotely pretty. Well, the duck and my standards have lowered since then, and our laziness is here to stay. So, once again, we’re falling back on photos we’ve taken at a slightly more productive time. Here ya go:

I think we took these photos at Cherokee park, but (if I don’t forget) I’ll confirm with our faraway friend the next time we chat. Until then, have a pleasant autumn (or spring), and don’t forget to schedule some lazy hours.

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Seagulls!

(Stop it now!)
It’s summer. Unlike last year, when the duck and I mistook August for September, this year’s heat ensures we don’t. So far, we haven’t been on any fun beach adventures (except last month, in our imagination, when we wished we were on an island). So, we revisited our beach post from last year and remembered that our favorite vermin of the sky wasn’t nearly featured enough in our photographs. How highly untypical, considering I love constantly following them around with our camera friend! Today, we shall change that with this photographic selection featuring some of the duck and my favorite encounters with my favorite audacious spirit animal:

The duck still chuckles at the memory of me being personally welcomed (I’ll leave it at that) by a representative of the seagull clan. We had been observing the beach from the railing around a supermarket parking lot with a new acquaintance who promised me that my encounter signified luck. I reminded myself of that when I threw my jacket into the washing machine for a premature wash. Nonetheless, I remember last year’s beach memories, including those with our feathered rat friends, fondly 😆
P.S.: There is a song from the mid-2010s that has consolidated the duck and my seagull obsession. More on that some other time.

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Our not so photographic spring

Earlier this spring, I wrote about how I was going on slow recovery walks to catch up on all the fresh air I had missed out on in self-isolation. After a week of solo walks, the duck was excited to tag along and even insisted I bring our camera friend for our “obligatory spring photo post” of 2022. So, I did. And, since it’s technically still spring, I decided to finally share the three photos I consider the least terrible:

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Last winter sunset

Today I want to share a photo from the duck and my last walk this past astronomical winter. Even though the day had been sunny, the temperatures were still low enough to remind us of our icy wings and hands when we saw off autumn in Kyoto several years ago. We set off on our sunset walk pretty late, so we had less than half an hour of light bright enough for our camera friend to work with without the photos becoming too grainy.Last 2021/2022 winter sunset
After that walk, I spent a lot of time inside. But that’s a story for another day.
Until then, have a happy and healthy spring!

Running for ten minutes

The observant reader might have noticed that the title of today’s blog post looks familiar. That’s because last year, I declared that, in a joint effort with the duck, I would attempt to extend my running stamina beyond the approximate ten seconds it was at. Given our unsuccessful history with running, the duck and I are surprised to admit that, about a year later, we’re still pretend-running on a somewhat regular basis. Although our fatalistic 2021 prediction didn’t come true, we are still not 100% convinced that we will not have to outrun zombies sometime in the future (though, running from zombies is not what today’s post is about). For now, we can say that we’ve caught a few buses after 30-second sprints without feeling nauseous, which the duck and I consider a great success.10 minute run duckBut, since we are inherently lazy, getting to those rewarding bus sprints wasn’t always smooth sailing: Continue reading

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Visually winter

The duck and I are glad that winter is almost over. Whenever the days become sunnier and longer and the temperatures a bit warmer, there’s nearly nothing that can keep the stupid smiles off our faces for too long. Until we are visited by the first sneezes and eight-legged bedroom visitors, that is. For now, our happiness about the advent of spring still beats any of the not-so-pleasant side effects, and the duck and I sure hope that this won’t change anytime soon.
Aaaaanyway, we actually just wanted to share this photo – hopefully the last wintry one in a while – with you today:generic winter photoWe wish you a happy Sunday (or whatever weekday it is for you at this very moment) and an enjoyable week!

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A duck in January

When 2021 was still relatively fresh, the duck and I wrote about our winter walks that, ideally with a podcast on our ears, were a welcome change to spending too much time indoors where it is warm and cozy. While we have spent more voluntary time outside this year than we had in years, the duck and I have also become more creatively sluggish in the past few months. This is why we decided to end this year with a photo from the beginning:January duckIt didn’t make the cut last January, but now that 2021 is coming to an end, the duck and I have come to appreciate this picture as it reminds us of how we were wondering what this new year would bring. It didn’t turn out the way we had hoped (does it ever?), but it still managed to pleasantly surprise us sometimes. I wonder what the next year will be like…
Hopefully, the terrible*, sporadic** New Year’s neighborhood fireworks will magically inspire us? Wish us luck!

In return, we wish you, dear reader, a happy, healthy, and not-too-cold (or hot, depending on where you are) new year!


*We’re firework snobs (more on that next year, maybe?).
**Due to the pandemic, stores are banned from selling fireworks. So, it’s very likely that only a few leftover ones will be set off this New Year’s Eve.

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Halloween night: A haiku

It’s Halloween! And, because the duck and I don’t really have any proper Halloween traditions and we’re way too lazy to come up with any new ones this year, we decided to make use of another tradition we have on here: fauxetry in the shape of mediocre haiku that look like inspirational quotes. Here’s one to mark the occasion:
Halloween haikuSince the duck and my Halloween will be virtual this year, same as our Walpurgis Night, the duck decided to don the Walpurgis duck costume and hide in the photo I used as the backdrop for our latest fauxetic endeavor. I can’t believe it’s already been three years since we saw the Louisville Jack O’Lantern Spectacular. Let’s hope it won’t be another three until our next Halloween-related outing!

Walpurgis duck and I want to wish you a spooky Halloween and a great week!

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Memory brownies

Do you have a food you remember fondly, not because it’s the best thing you’ve eaten but because you connect lots of vivid memories with it? For me, the first food that comes to mind is brownie bites! Whenever I find myself in a place where they are sold, I have to get a box and share it with friends because that’s how they became memory brownies. The last time the duck and I encountered brownie bites, however, we were surprised at how regular they tasted. I guess that particular situation was not suitable for new brownie bites memories. Or the duck and my tastes have changed throughout the years, or somehow the recipe changed? Either way, we decided to not let the fact that we had lots of brownie bites left over in the end (after several attempts at sharing them) sabotage their place in our hearts. This is why the duck and I created a new memory in the shape of this picture. I’m still not sure if it’s morbid or cute.
What do you think?Brownie encounters
What are your (favorite) memory foods?