Reflections

Added value

Švihov-castle-premises

In the first January week I started my 52-week photography project which should help me to use my camera on a regular basis and become more practised and experienced photographer. Thanks to this project I visited the town Švihov a week ago where my husband wanted to show me a nice cottage on a river bank. We were strolling along the river for a while, went to the near cemetery and eventually arrived at the local castle. The castle is moated and before we left, I asked my husband to go to the water with me so that I could try and capture ducks swimming there. It was getting dark and so after a few futile attempts we were ready to go home.

Then to our great surprise a furry animal appeared in the water, swimming towards us. It sat down just a few metres in front of us and started to feed on the plants growing in the shallow part of the moat. Repeatedly it was jumping into the water, grabbing a plant, sitting down with it in the same place, holding it in its paws and chewing it with its bright orange teeth. I couldn’t take my eyes of it as it was so funny and interesting to watch it. The animal turned out to be a coypu.

Coypus are native to South America but nowadays they live in many countries around the world, especially thanks to farmers who have been breeding them for their fur. On many occasions coypus escaped into the wild and where conditions suited them, they found new home there. Unfortunately their feeding needs may seriously damage vegetation of river banks and their burrowing causes erosion of the banks so they were pronounced to be invasive species.

Well, that is the reality, but it could not diminish my excitement caused by observing a coypu in the wild. I have seen a coypu for the first time in my life. There was not enough light for taking better photos but the coypu made my day and I felt grateful for the project that brought me there.

I used to complain a lot about not taking photos often enough and not growing sufficiently in the field of photography, that was my reason for starting the project. I bet you yourself know that condition when you are tired of your own complaining about something. Sometimes there is high time to do something about that and stop bothering both yourself and the people around you with the complaints and frustration. When you do that ‘something’ and stretch higher and wider, many times you can find out that the effort you have made brings a bonus, an added value. New relationships, interesting meetings, fresh opportunities, different perspective, unexpected spheres of interest, unforgettable moments. Some of them just wait for us along the way while others are conditioned by our effort. Gifts we would never be given without straining to reach for the stars.

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