One evening the lady decided to stay at home and read that little LCD/ink whatsit that manages to hold 5 billion books inside its tiny brain. It’s called a Kindle, but I’ve never seen fire lighters like it before. Anyway, there are sand dunes and the Atlantic 3oo metres from the campsite so it was time for one of those wonderful pre-dusk dog walks. Just man and dog. Like staring into a fire, there’s something primeval and comforting about walking with a dog as it gets dark.
I did a daring thing and bolted the telephoto lens onto the trusty SLR and promised a wildlife photo on my return.
This area of Portugal isn’t as warm as the far south, but it is incredibly mild compared to Blighty at this time of year. As you may have noticed we have reviewed our migration south because the length of the days and the bright skies well and truly compensate for a few degrees of warmth. The official sunset time in Blighty at the moment is 15.50! Here it’s 17.20 and that extra hour and a half makes a huge difference to the mood. Especially when you know it will be light right up to 17.20 – even on an overcast day. There are too many interesting things to discover to blast south and the other advantage is that there are no lobster-coloured, has-been “fellow” motorhomers moaning about how shite it is back home what with all them foreigners who can’t speak thu langwidge.
So, I have an extra hour and a half to roam with the dog and see if I can return home triumphant with the elusive wildlife (photo). As usual the wildlife was elusive, I have a short attention span and WOW shiny thing! Despite the mostly rainy day, the sun put on a show just before departing for the day. I did take a couple of token birdy pics, but the sunset was more interesting and so was Uller-the-dog looking all moody and alert.
Obviously in the wild, at nearly 14 years old, she would have long gone – far too slow to eat anything but leftovers. Still, it’s great to watch her, nose to the air or staring long and hard at something interesting (to her) in the distance. She also feigns disinterest at flocks of birds, then suddenly charges at them. This is very interesting behaviour to watch in a domesticated animal. Don’t worry bird lovers, I only allow this doggy-fun on the beach with fast moving flocks and always away from breeding areas.
On the way back through the dunes and pine forest it was back to reality when through the trees I saw two young teenage girls ahead of me turn and run. Obviously a hairy bloke with hound was a bit scary at this time of evening. I clipped the rabid hound to the lead and turned back. I shouted “OK going back” in English because who knows what that is in Portuguese. They disappeared and I continued my walk in the opposite direction. On one hand I was concerned that I had scared two girls, but on the other, thought how silly it was for them to be out in the woods at dusk if they weren’t able to cope with the possibility of meeting another person. Anyway, they were safe as neither of them had a limp and Uller only goes for weak and lame animals.
AUSSIE DAD AND JAN
Needn’t have bothered with the long lens then? Nice photos of doggy. Crap photos of birds. And, about the final shot; were you trying to get a pic of the teenagers when they turned and ran? Or was it an attempt to capture whatever it is, out of focus in the tree in the foreground? Best stick to buildings eh? Hello Uller – good dog! Oh, by the way, Liz, the Dad’s are on the internet AND smart – the two are not mutually exclusive.