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Dolphins on Malta and KIRIBAN!

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 21, 2018, 3:44 AM

Hi pals,

oh my, I am close to 1 500 000 pageviews! :dance:
That's quite flattering number, I have to say :eager: by darkmoon3636 omfg w00t! 
Do you remember kiribans that were once popular here on DA? Let's get back to them - if you show me a printscreen with 1 500 000 pageviews, you will win a feature.
I owe a feature to more people, so there will be a dedicated journal ;)

My vacation on Malta was fabulous, it was my first holiday when you travel by plane so you get to some distant and more exotic location, where you sleep at Airbnb and enjoy restaurant meals. I was surprised to find out it was much more relaxing than my usual way of spending holiday.
The plane part was the worst, as I am very afraid of flying :XD:
But I survived and as I had no expectation for Malta, I was finally absolutely thrilled by those three wonderful islands!
It included also visit in local dolphin park.
As I am keen to know more about facilities that keep marine mammals, I share details of my visit ;)

Have a nice day, everybody!


Mediterraneo Marine Park Malta

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The park is suprisingly small and surprisingly empty - I was psychically ready to fight the crowd, but there were like 100 people in whole the complex, I guess!

Apart of dolphins, the park keeps several more animals: sea lions, parrots, coati, turtles, snakes and lizards.
The contact with animals is usually via various interactions and also paid programs where you get even closer to animals.
Although the park probably knows how to make money very well, I felt quite relaxed about those shows. Animals seemed to be in great shape and all the programs I saw were both educational and easy on animals. They were not forced to do anything unnatural.

The dolphins are kept in two separated tank systems.
The first tank is for the show. Althogether there are three connected pools - the show pool of kidney shape (30 meters long, 12 meters wide, 4,5 meters deep) and two round backpools (both have 10 meters diameter). This complex has also underwater viewing, but unfortunatelly there is only access for staff, no visitors are allowed.
The second complex is for dolphin swimming and it is just one big round pool (30 meters diameter + shallow part) divided into several sections.

When you visit the park, you are told that you are not allowed to see the dolphins between the shows.
Fortunately this is not true - there is a glass window near the show complex, which allows you to watch and take the photos of dolphins that use one of the round pools (the red arrow shows the viewing window, the yellow arrows show what you see).

However you have absolutely no chance to observe the "swim with dolphins" area, not even the tank. You will not see that at all unless you buy a special ticket for it.

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I have to say I am not a fan of swimming with dolphins. I don't mind high quality marine parks that keep dolphins for show or some interaction programs. They usually educate people and the participation on the show is voluntary.
But I feel very uneasy about paying for swimming with captive wild animals. I find it somehow... hm, twisted, it reminds me of those petting zoos I mentioned in my previous journal.
There is really a minimum of facilities in the world where I would consider taking a part, but these always have great conditions even for those "swim with" dolphins (e.g. Discovery cove Orlando or Zoomarine Portugal).

Therefore I did not buy a ticket for dolphin swimming and as this area was accesible only with this ticket, the rest of this journal focuses on the show area.
The show pool can be seen below. As I said it consists of the show tank and two back pools.

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Four dolphins are kept in the show area (two other dolphins live in swimming with dolphins complex, altogether the park keeps 6 animals).
There are three females and one male, all dolphins of Cuban origin, therefore dolphins that prefer shallow waters.
During the day, I saw the group of four separed - two and two dolphins.

There are only two shows a day during the peak season.
And only one presentation during rest of the years. I quite like it as the dolphins are obviously not money makers.
As you can see, the tribunes are very simple and empty.

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You are allowed to enter the area only before the show, but it still gives you circa 15 minutes of time when you can observe the dolphins quite closely and take some shots.
I was very happy to get dolphin images I only dreamed about previously - the peeking heads with the bright blue background :aww:

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After the first show, people who paid for it, took a part in interraction program - they could pet the dolphins and gave them some signals.
I was shooting photos so fanatically that it attracted trainers who had a chat with me :D it allowed me to have some extra minutes for photography also after the show before the complex closed again.

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The show itself was neat.
Animals were not forced to do anything unnatural :aww: often it consisted just of trainers petting the dolphins in the water. Dolphins were jumping, showing flips, showing how they breath.
No balls or any of the tools were used.

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During the first show, two groups of dolphins (2 + 2) took part. In the second show, only two dolphins participated.
I liked it, as animals had time to relax.
However I could see that even between the shows, trainers were playing with the dolphins, entertaining them and providing enrichment.

I have never seen such bound between the animals and trainers, there really seemed to be some devotion. This guy has already worked in legendary and respected Loro Parque and e.g. Duisburg, so the animals are in good hands.

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Of course, there was also educational part. People learned basic facts about dolphins (mammals, how they swim, etc.). Also the trainers showed what to do if you find a stranded dolphin, which is a relevant topic on Malta.

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And for photographers: if you want to see the dolphins between the shows, you can use the viewing window.
This is what you see through the glass, which is a bit dirty, so it is quite challenging for shooting.
If you are lucky, you can see peeking dolphins there :heart:

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The worst Tiger day you can imagine

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 29, 2018, 11:59 AM

Hi Pals,

I wanted to inform you earlier, but I have many things to deal with in my personal life and I decided to wait till the International tiger day.

Horrible thing happened in the Czech Republic.
In the past years, one could notice the grow of so called "petting zoos" and other tiny privat facilities, where people are allowed to take photos, hug and pet baby big cats. And of course also circuses with wild animals are unfortunatelly still legal here.
Respected and modern zoos (in my country, the best local facilities are not private, but funded by public money) warned that such treatment reminds of old menageries. That big cats deserve proper care, respect and full registration, that should not be an object of business.
Also, very carefully, it was mentioned that there is a suspicion of  trade of big cat body parts to China and Vietnam. Such parts (bones, claws, literally every single part of the tiger) are used for traditional medicine, which is one of the main reasons for critical conditions of tigers in the wild.
You can never sell body of a tiger for commercial purpose - not even if it dies naturally!

This suspicion proved right! :(

After months of investigating, the Czech Police, Customs Administration and experts of the ministry examined several zooparks owned by a member of famous and traditional circus family.
They found horrible, horrible things there.
The first finding was a dead tiger lying on the ground - shot to the neck and eye only hours ago.
A number of big cats lived in incredibly small enclosures, rather hutches, awaiting their possible death.
In incredible awful mess, there were found remainings of many endangered species - as well as special pots, where tiger bones are boiled for several days, until they become a very expensive broth.
It is clear now that Czech Republic is - ironically also due to growing wish of people who want to pet a tiger - important part of illegal trade, which brings big cats to the edge of exermination.

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(photos by Customs Administration of the Czech Republic)

Hopefully it will finally push the politicians to enforce the relevant laws :(

Please, please always consider which facility you support both with your visit and money!
Wild animals can be kept in very modern and respectable way - however as the big cats draw attention, there will be always some bastards who simply use the chance to rise money via them.
        Wild animals should be wild. If they are kept in the captivity, their wild nature should be respected.
        Tiger, lion or cougar don't belong on the leash.
        A kitten belongs to the mother! Those privat facilities often separate mother and cub, so they can tame it and offer the baby for petting. That's awful!
        When the kitten grows up and is too old and strong to be a petting toy, its future is uncertain!

I know the idea of being close to such wonderful animals is attractive - but please, keep in mind which horrible treatment, even death, might be behind all those circuses, petting zoos, strange privat facilities and even some photoshooting sessions with wild animals!

We can not have everything, people.

Thank you for respecting the animals.
I am so ashamed it happened in my country.



Some hopefully nicer photos of tigers :(

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Baby wolves, bonus and quite bad news

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 12:18 PM

Hi pals,

how are you? 
My apology for being rather inactive in the past weeks.

In short - I am afraid I've developed an Occupational burnout.
I always thought that it means just something that you don't care about your job that much, that you are tired, not that efficient and you doubt if your job has any sense.
What did not strike me is that it has also BIG affect also on your own personal life.

I am so exhausted, pals :cries:
Both physically and psychically :(

The brain just does not work, it is like having a fog in your scull. You feel like you should do so many things - clean your room, because it is full of rubbish, prepare some text for your part time job, update your LindedIn profile, delete bad photos to make your completely crowded laptop work again...
Finally you complete nothing and you just can't breath as the guilt is sitting on your lungs, stomach, brain...
For me, it is pretty difficult to do ANYTHING :sad: and when I say anything, I mean anything. I live in a total mess, sometime I almost cry on my inability to do the dishes or clean the table. It would take only 5 minutes and it would bring such relief. But I CAN. NOT. DO. IT.
The only thing I managed to complete was to water my orchids (:heart:) and herbs, as they fully depend on me and to make 5 meals a day.

The days will be better, I know.
But for now, it's about eating magnesium pills to kick myself to be able to exist.

I am saying it on purpose - it is difficult to admit it, but I am strong enough to oppose all those cool Instagram kids, who force people a feeling, that their sky is never crossed by any cloud.
My is and so is life of everyone else.

So wolves for you now!
Those puppies were born this year in zoo Brno :heart:



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And a promised bonus mostly for Mouselemur :) Arcadio, baby Margay born in zoo Brno. Bad quality, but I was shocked I managed to snap at least something in very dark enclosure.

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My first WILDLIFE shooting - Helgoland photos!

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 29, 2018, 12:01 PM

Hi guys! :D

I did not want to speak about it that much because when I allow myself to mention anything I long for, it usually has a really bad end.
But this time it all worked well and I can present some photos from my very first wildlife photography expedition! :la:

I visited Helgoland with my beloved cousin and his wife, who both entered world of photography just recently, but they take it very seriously and have amazing results. I am the person for the animals - and I highly admire their images of buildings or landscapes. We went together with two other adult men and four kids, so it was a bit crazy group of nine :XD:

It was so amazing - we saw many things, even visited TWO zoos during the trip (Bremerhaven and Hannover, stay tuned for reports), some city included on the UNESCO list and went through two heavy storms (I LOVE storms). And we could explore the original WWII German submarine :faint:

The main target was Helgoland - two islands in the North sea, Germany.
The bigger one, Helgoland, is inhabited by 1 600 people, it used to be a Nazi base - they even planned to place whole German fleet there. During the war and also soon after, the island was heavily bombed by the Allies, you can still find the remains. So this part was interesting for men, but also for me. And the high cliffs are home for breeding colonies for sea birds!
The smaller island is called Düne - it is a beloved location of many animal lovers, as you can get really close to WILD gray and harbor seals there :heart:

If you want to, go though this little photoreport :D


The first day we just travelled by car to Germany, but the second day, we visited Bremerhaven - a long time dream of my cousin came true there, as he has been always fascinated with German submarines. We all took this chance and explored this original WWII submarine, which was turned to the museum. I bought a ticket for Marek, as it was also his birthday :giggle: and guess which animal we spot when we arrived to the city? A WILD RED FOX! A wonderful healthy individual was running along the road. It took two seconds and it was gone, but it was enough for me to be very happy :aww:

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In Bremerhaven, we visited also local zoo which is really tiny but keeps many interesting animals, such as polar fox, polar bear and three species of sea mammals. Then we moved to Cuxhaven. Although looking as a classic Czech village, our accommodation was in fact pretty close to the sea! I have never been close to the North sea, so I was happily running there... only to find only mud :D :D it was low tide. The situation is so different here - I am used to Adriatic sea, where you can barely notice the difference between low and high tide. But here those are meters! :aww:

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The next day we left the car at the port, as no vehicles are allowed in Helgoland. We boarded a wonderful and modern looking ship. The weather was awfull, it was rather cold and slightly raining. But I still decided to stay on a deck, as I thought there was a tiny, tiny, tiny chance to see a harbor porpoise, a small dolphin like creature. And you know what? I SAW THEM!!!!!!!! :dance: those animals are not rare, but it is very difficult to spot them, as they don't jump like dolphins. They  are very inconspicuous when they surface to take a breath and you can easily mistake them for a wave. So three times I saw something, which was obviously an animal, probably a sea mammal taking a breath. I was a bit disappointed as I never consider the observation real, until I am 100% sure. But then then the animal appeared repeatedly and I saw a tiny dorsal fin. No question - a harbor porpoise, such incredible luck! Of course there was not a single second to take a photo and I was also a slightly hysterical, so find at least a photo I took in Harderwijk :XD: this is exactly what I saw in murky brown waters of North sea.

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And then we arrived to Helgoland. We just took few minutes to leave our bags in the hotel room and then we rushed to take a water taxi - every 30 minutes, a boat transport seal lovers from Helgoland to Düne, a tiny island where there are long sandy and pebble beaches, ideal place for the seals. I don't have to describe this, it took us several hours and we were in paradise. I was shooting wild mammals for the very first time and it was... incredible, although the weather was far from nice. Most people who arrived to Helgoland with us probably decided to take a break and visit the animals the other day, because we were almost alone with the seals. AMAZING!

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This poor little harbor seals had some kind of rope tightened around its neck. We reported it and they called the seal expert to the rescue! Keep your fingers crossed for the animal.

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To my surprise, we decided to not go to Düne the second day. I agreed with this decision as the weather got really bad - the strong wind was blowing blasts of cold rain to our faces. I loved it, as I dressed well and I think it was authentic to enjoy a typical local weather. The life on the island must be really tough. We climbed the cliffs to see both remains for Nazi base the island used to be and to photograph breeding colonies for the local sea birds. Sorry for low quality, the conditions were not that great :giggle:

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I soo enjoyed this, and I sooo needed this, pals!
Fantastic animals, new photo experience, nice company, some challenges, delicious food and a courage to feel happy and discover something brand new :aww:

Hopefully there might be a chance to have similar adventure in the future - no plans yet, but there is always hope ;)

Have a nice day,


Foxes, foxes, FOXEEEES! And feature

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 3, 2018, 12:20 PM

Hi guys!

wow, we had terribly low temperatures in the Czech Republic in the past days! On Sunday, it was -15 °C and meteorologists even recommended people to stay at home if they can. What does it mean? That at 7 AM that day I was already lying on snowy and completely frozen field, trying to snap a running polar fox! :giggle:

Thanks to one DA pal who was nice enough to address me with a special offer, I've attended my first shooting workshop :la: that means we had three different foxes (polar, red and silver) running in the field, snow, forest or high golden grass freely, while we were doing our best to snap the best pose :aww: it also meant I met a group of people who were friends, knowing each other from previous similar events, but they were complete strangers to me. If you know me, you are well-aware how deeply introvert I am and that I am really stressed about new people. But they were soooo friendly! Being really passionate about photography, they had fantastic and very expensive technique - was just gazing :D they even allowed me to use me Canon L lens with 2,8 aperture for WHOLE the afternoon, advising me how to get the best from my poor efforts. I am very grateful and still shivering with excitement.

It was sooo cool but also cold! I have to say that although I had several layers of clothes, I even had to stop shooting at one moment, rather running on the field to get warm at least a bit. It was so freezing that it was painful :( so I've nearly missed the chance to photograph freely flying eagle, but I could not stand the pain anymore. A short run helped ;)

I mean... I really feel I am moving with my photography a bit. At first a one day photo class that made my photos look much more colorful and I hope also interesting. I now really consider things like ISO or apperture and it is such a challenge! Now shooting in the nature - of course those were TAME wild animals, but still...

I am now hoping in my first truly wildlife photo trip - please keep your fingers crossed for me :aww:

GOD, I really want to buy Canon 70-200 L f 2.8 now!
Anybody has 2 900 bucks to spare? :rofl:

Have a nice day,


Thank you feature for :iconkonakira:
Thank you, really, I am so grateful for such a great time!

Please give her some love, pals :aww: :heart: :heart: :heart:

Run for your life by Konakira Over the Black Lake by Konakira Cross frog by Konakira
Curious by Konakira Have some nuts? by Konakira Flight by Konakira
Guard by Konakira Little fox by Konakira Taking Off by Konakira Sniff by Konakira

And some of my attempts - the best pieces will be published as regular deviations, of course :D

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  • Reading: Cujo by King
  • Watching: Superstar :D
  • Eating: Ice cream
  • Drinking: Coffee

Sad cut, devastating elections and feature!

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 28, 2018, 3:56 PM

Hi everybody!

This is the first journal published in 2018, so let me wish you all the best, good health, nice and strong relations with your beloved ones and some luck as well! :aww:

I decided to dedicate this year to „self-care“.
I will simply allow myself to spend some money, enjoy some nice new places, zoo trips, maybe even photo gear… :nod: I plan to enjoy some concert, some sport events and maybe even some big adventure – my first real wildlife photography expedition!

Now one personal thing – skip it if you want to.
It always helped me to share my feelings, but I understand some people might not be fine with that.


And as a part of this „caring about my own self“, I had to do one sad thing.
You know, I deeply despise people who are able to cut long-time relationships without looking back. I found disgusting and disconcerting how easy Facebook, Twitter and Instagram era makes this cynical „pals“ management.
Still yesterday I clicked on „remove contact” on Facebook to somehow close one 12 years lasting friendship in my mind.

The better observants might have noticed that I no longer mention joint zoo trips with one of dA members, who was a close friend of mine in real offline life.
It was one of those friendships which are deep, mutually beneficial and pushing both persons to new horizons, if you let me use some cliché :D
She brought me to DA – I brought her to animal photography.
I remember how we shared ONE crappy camera during our first zoo visits, taking turns when snapping pictures of snow leopards and arctic wolves :giggle: so much fun!
She supported me when I was a nervous wreck during the last phase of my studies – and I kind of supervised her master thesis, saying that she is good enough to finish the studies, when she wanted to quit.
She kicked me to start losing weight, which surely made my life much better – I listened to her troubles with other friends, supporting her when she was down, fighting at her first job.
It was that kind of friendship when you met family members of your pal – you know what troubles her sister, who treats her father badly, you know how her other friend got fired etc. And she knows the same about your family.
We did not meet in person very often (usually only two times a year) but I remember how we both spent so much time to prepare the best gift for each of such rare meeting to make each other happy.
We both wrote fanfiction stories to please the other one with her own role :giggle:
I got her support when my beloved granny was dying, she got mine support when her own family member fought with serious illness – luckily with a happy end.

After the last meeting in March 2016, she accused me of being addicted on her, saying she is afraid I would threaten her other friends or even her kids. I was gazing at the EMAIL she sent me just hours after we saw each other with disbelief and even a tiny portion of bewildered amusement, understanding that her accusation could be disproved just by time.
We had no contact ever since.
Nearly 2 years.
Can a person who does not know ANYTHING about the other one be addicted? ;) it is up to you to judge.
But of course anyone can have its own view :shrug:

I was told that sometime the biggest battles can be won by doing… NOTHING.
And believe me, when you are an active person, who is used to FIGHT to achieve your goals, doing nothing is VERY difficult and VERY exhausting.
I did so, honoring so many years of nice friendship with energy invested into silence.
It did not work in this case :-)

I feel sadness – and I am GRATEFUL for such feeling.
It means I am normal. Because when a friendship that lasted years ends, it is a good and HEALTHY reason to be sad :nod:

I don’t want to say that I am quitting it completely and that I would not be willing to listen to her if she approached me somehow. There are still many ways – phone, e-mail, dA note.
But I guess it came time to do something symbolic to take care of myself.
I am not waiting anymore :)
Just keeping all those wonderful memories – and there are many :nod:


Unfortunately what I need to overcome to keep my psychical strength, is a result of the last presidential election :cries: I am still too… exhausted and sad to tell more, but expect some really devastated status post :D :D :XD:


Have a wonderful day, everybody!



Now there is time for a bird feature I promised before X-Mas! :D

I love birdies! I love them more and more and more :heart:


I also promised a feature for the contest winners:


the winners of FrancescaDelfino's contest are:

1° Place


our beauty by Thunderi

2° Place


Shire by MartinAmm

3° Place


Galician sunset VIII by MarcosRodriguez

The fourth winner chosen by me is:


Moment by WillTC

Girl in Fat + Colors in the zoo - PHOTOS

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 11, 2017, 9:36 AM

Hi Guys,

how are you, pals? :D
I am fine, looking forward to the tomorrow's trip, which will include a roasted goose - Czech Saint Martin's tradition, which is related also to the first young wine of the year :la:
I also hope to see some wild white-tailed eagles! :la:

What's bad?
I am fat.
awfully fat!
Definitely NOT as fat as I were few years ago, but as things did not go well since March, I got several kilos back due to stress and some lack of confidence.
Bad thing is that right now I can't kick myself to start losing weight now :/
But I plan a vacation of my dreams for 2018, and I can't enjoy it with status "hardly obese" XD so it's a good motivation to go!

And for you, I have some shots taken in zoo Ohrada :la:

Have a great time!


Zoo Ohrada

I have to say I really enjoy photography so much more when I try to play with camera settings! :aww: and I also believe those shots are really a bit better :D

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Wolves and ZOO in Autumn

Journal Entry: Sat Oct 21, 2017, 1:39 PM

Hi guys,

we had the most important elections in the Czech Republic today, the results are already known.
I have no words to describe my feelings now.
Just a though: I can understand that some people might find very difficult to live in democracy, which is challenging and forces you to make choices every day, making you responsible while you are mostly on your own both in good or bad. But why can't those people found their own country with some charismatic dictator they long for?

Your scared Woxys

While waiting for results, I visited zoo Brno today. So some shots.

Magical autumn

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Journal Entry: Sun Oct 8, 2017, 6:32 AM

Hi guys,

how are you?
I am fine and ready for the most amazing photographer's season - colorful autumn :aww:

Yesterday I attended a great event, the St. Hubert's ride.
It is basically a fox hunt - but without harming any animal of course. There are many St. Hubert's rides accross the country, so the one saw was one of many. Of course it is based on the hunting tradition, when both men and woman dressed elegantly to join the drama and enjoy the atmosphere. Great mood stays, but no animal is chased and torn apart.

In the first part, riders simply enjoy a long ride through the forests and meadows.
The chased "fox", in this case a person with a fox tail (fake or real) on its shoulder, prepares a number of tricks or natural obstacles for its hunters - for example a shallow river the horses must wade through or a fallen tree which must be overcomed by a jump. The hunters are led by a Hunt Master, who watches carefully for any little offence of any rider.

After they come back to the audience, where there is usually live music and food and drinks, the riders are punished for their sins - by eating and drinking of course :D
Then there come some little funny games, for example a jumping competition or a slalom, all natural, horses are not forced to do anything.
The weather dediced to be a bit crazy, combining rain, sun or dark clouds, but nobody complained.
It's just fun for both humans and animals.
The crowd is chearful, the horses are beautiful and the meals are just delicious.

Then comes the very last part - "Halali" is announced and all the riders break into the gallop in attempt to catch the "fox" and steal the tail.
The one who succeeds is the king of the hunt :D

Hopefully I will have to join also the next year, it was great!

See a little report ;)

Have a nice day,


Fox hunt / Saint Hubert's ride 2017

The "fox" arrives after the long ride. You can see the Hunt Master in the background (in red).

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I used this opportunity to learn if I can catch a quickly moving animal with aperture priority shooting. I can - even with old kit lens!
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So you want me to jump over this high strange thing? How about no.
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The winner :D
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Horses were the stars of the day, being really admired.
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Other discipline, a slalom. That hot guy on a spotted horse later became a King of the hunt :D
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Don't you love horse's eyes?
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"Fox" won the slalom.
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Halali!!!! Catch the "fox"!
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Mantis hunting

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 27, 2017, 3:40 AM

Hi guys,

I promised some update with macro shot. I am a newbie and still learning how to befriend with my new camera and lens, so macro is other new field I have to study.
But I am working hard :D
Today I'd like to share some shots I took during my visit of tremendous Moravian locality - it's called Váté písky (Air-Blown Sands). It is a very special habitat, which is 6 km long and only 120 meters wide with a very frequented railway in the centre. It is extremely hot and almost completely tree-free with a thick layer of sand under your feet. This locality therefore attracts warm-climate prefering species such as rare types of plants, birds, spiders and insects. And every photographer knows that if you want to shoot a mantis, this is the right spot! :giggle:

When planning your visit, don't forget you are about to enter a desert-like place (walking under direct sun, very high temperatures), so a cap and 2 litres of water are a total minimum. Expect nothing but nature, you might not meet a single person during 3-4 hours. And definitely no shop ;)
The first time I went there, we ended up with begging some total stranger for anything to drink as soon as we made it to a train station with my sis :XD:

Even the aerial view shows the special character of the locality:

Thank you for wonderful company, Kajula! :heart:

Have a nice day,


Mantis hunting

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Find a mantis here! :giggle:

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A lot of photo practising and grateful feature!

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 3, 2017, 11:08 AM

Hi pals,

before you scroll down to see (if you want to) some photos of animals and flowers taken during my visit of my parent's weekend house, let me share a little feature.
When my camera broke down, some of you offered nice and valuable advices and I am grateful for that. Thank you, pals, your wonderful feedback cheared me up and was a true pleasure!
But DjjFoto offered me his own old SLR camera, Canon 20D, which was a shock! I already ordered Canon 700D, but I still appreciate such offer!

I think I owe him a feature - not just because of his kind offer, but also because he really inspired me, as now I REALLY want to visit zoo Wroclaw :giggle:
Thank you, DjjFoto


  Winter Wroclaw Zoo 2013 - 5 by DjjFoto {DjjFoto} marca 12, 2017 6666 by DjjFoto {DjjFoto} marca 12, 2017 6596 by DjjFoto
{DjjFoto} listopada 08, 2015 4702 by DjjFoto Red panda closeup by DjjFoto brr winter is comming by DjjFoto
scaaary shark ^^ by DjjFoto Love is in the air by DjjFoto Crocodile by DjjFoto

New camera, new lens and new attitude - to become a photohrapher, not just a shot snapper - it means a lot of practising!  :giggle:
And weekend house of my parents, which is full of wild animals and wonderful flowers, is excellent place for that.

137 Vazka by woxys

141 Ruze by woxys

128 Zaba by woxys

129 Motyl by woxys

136 Svlek by woxys

149 Levandule by woxys

147 Uzovka by woxys

145 Kytka by woxys

Have a nice day, everybody :hug:


Huuuuuuuurray! New photo gear is here :D Photos!

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 18, 2017, 12:46 PM

Hi guys,

finally something positive!
I read like millions of reviews on Canon 700D, my cousin also recommended this gear.
Checking the availibility of this body, I found out that Canon will probably stop offering this particular camera body very soon, as it already sells newer (and much more expensive) stuff.
The same day I got this information, I received unexpected financial bonus at work!
So I took it as a signal from space.
And I bought brand new camera body, whose quality should be very high, for incredible 430 USD :faint:

So please let me introduce Canon 700D and Canon EF 70-300mm f/4,0-5,6 IS II USM :la:
Completely new gear - both camera body and lens! And finally not kit lens! :giggle:

Canon by woxys

Of course on Sunday, I tried to test it - I was not in the zoo mood, so I just went to a local forest which is literally behind my house in Brno. You know, I loved my tiny lovely Canon 500D and old kit lens - but I surely could not even think about taking any wildlife photos. I had no expectations for this very short walk, but I believe the results are... well, good! Of course the quality is not high enough to post those shots on DA, but the potential of old and new camera can't be even compared! :faint:

Some examples!

This deer was looking at me from the opposite side of the ravine. The distance between us was 80 metres (266 feet - for my British and American pals)!

Srnka by woxys

Jay was 25 metres from me (83 feet).

Sojka by woxys

A baby song thrush - some 5-7 metres (20 feet).

Drozd by woxys

Some flowers....

Kytka by woxys

Some bug life!

Chrobak by woxys

Goat. Domestic one ;)

Koza by woxys

And a butterfly! :D

Motyl by woxys

Thank you for support, everybody! I can't wait to visit a zoo! :excited:

Super mega unlucky

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 8, 2017, 12:32 PM

Hi guys,

wanna hear a joke?

Somehow many things in my life are not going very well since February 2017.
I have a feeling that the more and harder I try, the bigger disappointment I get.
It's not anything super serious, and I know that it is only a phase which will come to an end.
It does not make me worried, just VERY very tired.
I simply have "bad months" instead of usual "bad day" everybody on this planet knows very well.

But you know what?
I bought that lens I mentioned in my previous journal (Any advice, guys? + BIG photo news!)
I simply said "for 7 years, you use just old and very cheap kit gear. Things might not be the best for you now, but make youself happy with this investment. You are worth it!"

I got the lens on Monday.
On Wednesday, my old little Canon 500D, the camera body, colapsed.
The repair might cost up to 320 USD, while the price of my original body was 500 USD seven years ago. So I surely won't invest such money into such old camera.

I am trying to find a solution, I will keep you posted.

So now I have great lens, but no camera.

I am not an idiot, I know that I don't deal with any serious health issue, job loss, death or ruined partnership.
But in Czech, we have a quote: "100x nothing killed a donkey".

Or a fox in this case :XD:

Just sharing, because this is so stupid that it forces a bitter smile.

Have a nice day!


Any advice, guys? + BIG photo news!

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 2, 2017, 3:08 PM

Hi pals :D

as you probably know, all my photos have been taken with cheap kit lens Canon 55-250 IS.
It's so old that don't think you can buy this gear anymore! :faint:

Few days ago I fell in love with Canon EF 70-300mm f/4,0-5,6 IS II USM and since that moment, I've read like millions of reviews, all of them highly positive.
It seems to answer all my demands and dreams.
I believe that after 7 years of shooting with very cheap stuff, it might be time to move on.

The only problem is… well, price.
It’s not THAT expensive, in fact it seems to be reasonable for such quality, but I surely need to grab my savings.
I will keep some financial reserve but it still makes me a bit nervous, so I think about ways how to get some money back.

I got an idea – to sell some special mug (for 15 USD or something like this), which would be a wonderful contribution.
Do you think you would be interested?
If so, would you prefer some special motive? (wolves? Or combination of wolf / fox and big cat?)
Please don’t hesitate to drop me a note!

Just for inspiration, those are mugs I already sell ;)
I have all of them and they look nice + the quality is great!

For years, I allow people to use my shots for references. I will still do that! :D
If anybody feels a motivation to please me in return, I am always grateful (thank you) for ANY Paypal donation :heart:

If you have any other idea what I can provide/offer to get some money (maybe not just here on DA), every such tip would be appreciated :D

I have much more animal species in my stock. If you are interested in some special animal, again, drop me a note, please. I will do my best to provide a good material.
That does not mean you are obliged to pay. NOT AT ALL.
But if you WANT to, it makes me happy.
And helps me to shoot more photos of animals.
Easy! :D

Paypal Stamp by artist4com

And the big photo news?

The first photography "time to move on" step was my b-day present. My cousin, who recently got into photography and takes it VERY seriously, initiated a great gift. They paid a „Zoo shooting“ workshop for me :giggle: although they were a bit afraid such present might insult me, when I visit zoos with a camera for many years, I liked it a lot.
A famous Czech wildlife photographer Petr Bambousek was our lector.

The advices he gave us definitely had nothing to do with discovering America.
In fact I knew most of them:
-    To avoid making fence visible, get as close as possible.
-    To have nice photos, try to have natural background behind the animal – no concrete, no metal bars.
-    Don’t be shy to kneel or even lie down to get better perspective.

Quite obvious, right?
But since this moment, I somehow… try to apply it. It was a big kick and nice impulse.

And the most important change?
Petr helped me with camera settings. I never got to understand even those basic photography terms: ISO, aperture… blah blah. So all the photos you can find in my gallery have been taken by auto-sport mode! *Woxys is very ashamed*
He advised me to rely on aperture priority.
And… all the colors immediately changed! :faint:
The background got to be nicely blurred!
Photos looked like… well, photos :XD:

You know what?
Although you might find it strange, I’ve never liked photography that much.
All those discussions about the best gear and stuff… I was completely ignoring it.
But now, when getting some basic knowledge about camera setting and considering new lens, I finally feel like a photographer… a bit :giggle:

If you want to, have a look.
All those photos were taken after (or during) the workshop – except for the first one, which is the example of the old style.
The last two photos even feature wild animals! :la:

Look at those vivid colors, so much more interesting style!
I really hope I can bring you nicer shots in the future :aww:

Rather Koukalova than Zatopek + animal photos!

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 17, 2017, 11:32 AM

Hi guys,

I can’t believe that the last journal was published 6 months ago!
But let’s be honest, I wasn’t very active even when it comes to posting new photos :oops:

Ok, I’m still alive, kicking and ready to show you some animals, at least time to time!
This time I prepared a journal with shots taken in random German zoos, scroll down to check them ;)

And some personal news?
Year 2016 was pretty awesome for me.
I’ve learned so many new things, my job offered so many challenges I went through with success and I was also finally promoted :aww:
I also managed to improve my relation with a family, so once again, nice.
There might be some serious loss too, but well, that’s life, I guess :nod:  

There is one thing I am trying to learn.
Kind of new life approach.
In past years, I had in mind a motto/life style which was essential to Czech Olympic legend, marathon runner Emil Zátopek: “Getting tough? Try harder!“
I tried to follow it or at least felt guilty and as a loser every time I did not.

But I become to be aware that life is not about kicking yourself to TRY HARDER AND HARDER AND TO BE PERFECT EVERY TIME.
That it is not about denying your body needs or feelings.
That sometime you have all the right to feel tired, annoyed, lazy. That if you feel exhausted, you have all the right to spend a weekend in the bed, although there is a wonderful weather outside, which invites you to have a trip.
It is not about pushing yourself to edit and post photos on DA, when you are simply not in the mood and the only aspect which drives you is guilt or feeling of duty, not joy.

In the Czech Republic, biathlon is increasingly popular.
Also thanks to a very successful representative Gábina Koukalová, young lady who is so… sybaritic!
She obviously listens to her feelings, to her body needs. She is able to give cameras a naïve smile and said “yeah, after that race, I woke up at night, went to a fridge and ate a BIG cake and a big portion of rabbit fat. I am such a pig!”
She DOES want to win (and she wins!), but obviously she is well-aware that there are so many things which are way more important than winning races. And I believe this is exactly the reason why she is so successful and also popular.

I think Gábina’s life approach is worth to be followed.
So for this year, I decided to be less strict about my self-control. To relax when I feel tired. To have a chocolate bar when I feel exhausted. To not smile when I don’t feel happy.
To not save money, but rather buy stuff I like or to allow myself to travel a bit!

I’m not sure I wonderful 2016 can be repeated and I am rather nervous about 2017, as after “ups”, there are usually “downs”.
But let’s wait for the things the life would bring…!

Have great time!


Photos taken in Germany

Seriously? Thank you! :)

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 31, 2016, 3:25 PM

Hi Pals,

just one big wow - I've been honoured to welcome the 30 000th watcher! :la:
When I joined DA, I never dreamed about such number of "followers" :happycry:
Thank you so much for your support, I really hope that some of my shots could brighten your day a bit. On the other hand, it was always pleasure to see dA works inspired by my photos. And I met some great and gifted people here, some even personally. Which is a shock even for myself, if I consider my shy nature :aww:

Have a great day everybody and please accept some of wolf shots I took for you ;)

Thank you again, I dA-love you! :heart:




Stay cool!

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 6, 2016, 1:28 PM

Hi Guys,

I wanted to share (after pretty long time) some update about my life, but I am way too tired :XD:
So: I am still alive, I still like my job and I am looking forward to going to the cinema with the pals I like :D
At least I am kicked to post a new journal soon - this time more detailed :XD:

Have a great time everybody and enjoy some shots of creatures with cold blood! ;)
Those guys always stay pretty cool, so be inspired!

Reptile show

What is new, DD and photos of wolf puppies

Journal Entry: Sat Jun 25, 2016, 1:39 PM

Hi Guys,

At first, allow me to be a bit vain – I got my the third DD :giggle: thank you mysterious person for proposing and thank you, JenFruzz, for such a honorable feature, it made me smile :aww:

Ice is my enemy by woxys


Previous DDs:

So much hate in that tiny face by woxys & Playing wolf puppies by woxys

Apart of DA, my life is quite decent.

A year ago, my parents got crazy and bought a weekend house. At first it made me pretty nervous as they seemed to be so fascinated with the idea that I was afraid they would not be able to consider everything and act reasonably. But it seems that I was fortunately wrong, so they now enjoy complete renovation of this building. It is a very hard work which takes all their time and money, but they are so excited about it that I need to smile. My sister and her boyfriend love it as well, so they spend weekend with demolitions and other crazy stuff. I’ve told my parents that I would not help them – I am completely on my own, living in different city and I need weekends to have some rest. Although sometime they try to claim that I work with my head and physical labor is therefore a good way to relax, they seem to respect I refuse. Which is a fantastic and BIG step ahead in our relationship. Time to time I just accompany them as I have to admit they chose incredibly wonderful natural place – the cottage is large and in a good shape (statics), but what matters to me is the land itself.

It is large and located in the area with many ponds (I’ve always had a soft spot for water critters) and there is a big forest just across the empty public road, literally only 5 meters from the fence. I was told by locals that there are many foxes :la: my parents’s property is also on a shore of the lake. And what is the most incredible thing? There is even a tiny pond located RIGHT on the property! :la: it is shallow (up to 80 cm, but I will make it deeper, originally the depth was more than 150 cm), but of reasonable size (13x10 meter) to consider releasing a fish population there! As having a fish pond is one of my life dreams, I think I can maybe pardon my parents for buying whole this stuff and take care of the lake :laughing: it would be amazing. Even now the pond is full of life: I have seen various species of frogs, newts (both breed there), there seem to be at least three grass snakes. I once saw them successfully hunting newts and well – it was like Discovery Channel LIVE! My responsibility would be installing a good balance of system, so fish can be there together with amphibians: they usually compete, as tadpoles are often eaten by fish. So I need to create some hiding places (with proper choice of water plants) for frogs, where they can breed. A fish population would be probably regulated by snaked, kingfishers, dragonfly larvae and maybe otters (they have been observed only some 100 meters away).

As the property includes various types of biotopes (high grass, low-cut grass, trees, thick bushes, abandoned shelters), it is a paradise for birds. Just for example, some species which have been already observed on the property or just within meters away: kingfishers, kinglets, crested, great or blue tits, blackbirds (I love those beauties!) + also some squirrels or deer. My parents also immediately installed some nesting boxes in order to attract more :aww:

At work, everything seems to be fine: I feel well there and maybe my colleagues like me a bit. There is at least one guy (omg, for the very first time in my life, I’ve found somebody who has the same weird humor as me! :la: :la:) I would like to befriend, but so far I am too shy :D but it would be so cool if we become pals!

This year seems to be the “year of solving problems out” for me – not in a bad way! I’ve decided to be simply active and to deal with troubles, to face them, challenge them and solve them out.
So far it pays off so much!

I’ve had some bad feelings about something at my job – so I simply went to my boss, told her about it and it was solved out!
I had some little problem which bothered me as well – so I made a step and my life is so much easier now when I got rid of sad thoughts! :aww:
Moreover I am not afraid to call myself stronger and maybe also a bit brave and courageous :giggle: the life is simply so much better when you deal with problems instead of allowing them to grow in your head and torture you :aww:
The other thing I am learning is allowing myself to take some time when I need to make up my mind + that I am absolutely allowed to say “no”.

And there is one thing which is especially hard to learn.
It is…
Understanding, that you are not responsible for all bad things.

I used to be that person who thought she is guilty for everything which is going wrong.
Now I am slowly trying to understand that not only the responsibility can be often divided into various parts, but sometime you might be even completely without a guilt, although things got screwed.
You maybe think “what the hell is so difficult about it? Such attitude is just hypocrisy.
I respectfully disagree – in fact, I think it is much more difficult to understand that you are not fully responsible. Because when something goes wrong, you could say “I am the only one to blame, if I work hard, I can fix it!” Once you understand there are more people responsible, you need to accept very difficult fact – that some of them might NOT want to fix it. I have the example right within my family :(

While the first thing – “solving problems” – might lead to wonderful relief, this understanding that you are not the only responsible person is not positive at all. It is in fact sometime incredibly sad :( for example my grandfather seems to terrorize whole the family and you would not trust how a one 86 old man can affect a group of 10 adult people. We still though we might be able to find something which would work for whole family, a solution which would make everybody happy. And still we were sure we as much younger people should be those who are more patient, stronger and willing to help with everything, hoping he would finally understand we really DO like him and we DO care about him. But I am beginning to realize that although we are doing our best, he simply DOES NOT want to accept anything we offer. He wants to be in charge of all particular 10 adult lives, affecting them as much as he wants. Which is indeed something which must be stopped immediately. So sometime you just – with pain in your heart – need to accept that your own dad/grandfather is full of hate, because his own children and grandchildren do very well in their lives and they don’t need his everyday control.

But there are things you need to accept in your life.
Right? :(

And to have a nice happy end – see wonderful wolf pups I shot in zoo Brno.
Wow, after years and years and years, wolves breed again :la:
Just one puppy did not seem very healthy to me, looking weak :(  I hope it will make it.


Attila will never die! Wolf puppies

Journal Entry: Thu May 26, 2016, 12:03 PM

Hi guys,

although amazing Atila, alpha wolf from ZOO Brno, died years ago, he'll never disappear as his genes prevail.
His daughter gave birth to nine (!) adorable puppies, so Atila would be their grandfather.
You can see photos of the puppies here, they were taken by local daily:…

Enjoy the cuteness :heart:

Still alive + foxes in winter - PHOTOS

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 17, 2016, 7:03 AM

Hi guys,

hard to believe this is the first journal I publish this year! :)
I hope your entry to 2016 was all lovely and successful, and I wish you all the best, lot of love, true friendship and only those problems you can overcome (making yourself stronger) for the remaining 8 months!

As for me, I balancing.
You would not believe how hard it is to teach yourself to be more selfish and to push your own feelings, your own needs and attitude instead of always trying to be respectful and nice and understanding to the others. I would never guess it is so difficult to make yourself understand that YOU might not be that 100% guilty person when something does not go well.
But I keep learning and it has both great benefits but also some sad aspects - some people (my aunt for example) seem to have problems to accept this "new Woxys" who is more self-confident, able to express her opinions and feelings more openly and who is also able to say she does not like something.
It is hard, but I like it.

So as usually, there are ups and downs: I really love my job, it is still thrilling, full of adrenaline.
I like my colleagues, I afford myself to believe they might not be laughing at me behind my back, which is something I tend to be nervous about with almost everybody else.
For me it is shocking that they seem to care.
It is not like you are sitting with somebody 8 hours a day and they pay no attention - when I am sad, worried or quiet, they tend to knock on my shoulder and ask "can I help you? You seem to have some personal issue, do you want to discuss it?"
And that is nice :D
Definitely something I am not used to.
I even had some session with my boss who wanted me to sit with him and he was all like "you are so strange and you hate yourself - omg, why do you do that, there is no reason to be so nervous. How can we as your colleagues help you to make you more self-confident and relaxed?" :XD:
Quite cute, heh? :)

A month ago, I visited Allerlei in Most city, playing with her dog Triss. Although I love animals, I am a bit nervous when dogs are around and I never pet them unless I get permission from their owners, but Triss is all sweet, spoiled and always hungry, so I happy I could feed her with dog snacks, she ate whole bag in few minutes :XD: I am also happy to have my good friend Kajusia as my company very often, we go out a lot and we discuss great scale of things and it is so amazing to get some feedback and thoughts from the other side :nod: we both afford the luxury to be honest with each other (at least I hope so) and it is incredibly relaxing and somehow healthy. That's exactly the kind of relationship I appreciate :aww: :nod:

I am still too fragile to try to make friends in Prague - too afraid of bad choice, which would hurt me :)
Again, most people don't understand this :giggle:

Sometime I just feel very lonely in Prague :) two weeks ago, my family (I mean the broader family - aunt, uncle, cousins, grandfather, my family) had a BIG argument and my birthday celebration I was very looking forward to was canceled, so it makes me sad. And while in Brno, rest of my family can discuss it and have at least some contact, I am completely separated in Prague, so it is quite harder for me. I have too much time to think about stuff which is painful or simply stressful for me and that's never good! Also whole this "argument" problem seems to be related to "Woxys now expressing her needs and opinions", so well yeah :XD: as there are some other problems with people which are dear to me, I am simply a bit tired, spent and my birthday on Wednesday probably would not be the best day ever.

+ not only this weekend celebration was canceled, I also lost (or it was stolen) my Kindle, which is very devastating for me. I hate it... even if it was my fault, not a theft - how can anybody keep such expensive item when they find it? I would NEVER keep it, I would immediately report it as lost :(

But well, probably more birthdays will come. Hopefully :)
So despite some losses and sad moments, I feel much better than in the past.
Which is good.

Maybe those are the problems you need to overcome to become stronger I mentioned in the first paragraph? ;)

And as I know what you guys like (:yum:), here come some winter fox photos I took in wonderful Zoo Ohrada Hluboka nad Vltavou. Rain was announced, but finally I decided to go to enjoy fantastic snow burts in completely empty zoo where I was alone with animals :heart: I spent only two hours there (and 7 hours with travelling - getting there and back :XD:), as I was FREEZING, but I loved every single minut :D

Winter foxes