Edinburgh Zoo

A couple of weeks ago we decided to visit Edinburgh Zoo. I hadn’t been for a few years but going back reminded me of how conflicted the Zoo makes me feel. On the one hand it is great to be able to see animals that I would never have an opportunity to see otherwise, but on the other hand I can’t help but wonder how being kept in enclosures affects them, especially the bigger animals like the tigers and rhinos. I can only hope that they are well cared for and for the most part they certainly seemed to be.

First up were the meerkats and they are just as adorable as I expected them to be. One was on sentry duty as they would be in the wild and the others were having a great time digging in the earth. A couple of younger ones even had a little play fight.

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Practicing my Photography

My name is Annette Nimmo and I am obsessed with photographs. Ask my friends and family. Everywhere I go I like to have my camera handy to snap pictures of every little thing. It drives my boyfriend mad at times, especially when I shout ‘Selfie!’ for the tenth time. But the way I see it, photographs are lasting, tangible memories. I love nothing more than looking back on holiday snaps and remembering how much fun I had.

While I love taking pictures, I wouldn’t say I was a natural photographer. I tend to just point and shoot and hope for the best. I’ve been trying to improve, but my camera is a standard digital camera and doesn’t take the best pictures anymore. Last Sunday I got the chance to play with a proper, professional-style camera when my other half entrusted his camera to me on a family trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.

Figuring out how to work the damn thing was my first challenge. With the man off at work there was no one to give me guidance. I’m used to pointing my camera at something and hitting the shutter. With this fancy piece of equipment I had to focus the lens and work out the zoom before I could even contemplate taking a picture. I soon discovered that simply aiming the camera in the general direction of a flower was not sufficient.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are brilliant for photo opportunities. With spring trying to make its mark, many of the flowers were in bloom, providing a perfect subject. There were a lot of rhododendrons and after some trial and error I managed to snap a few relatively okay pictures of them.

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Highland Safaris, Aberfeldy

This past week I was lucky enough to have a mini summer holiday in Aberfeldy. We spent four days in a lodge and it was an action-packed trip. Some of the activities we got up to included feeding the resident ducks (they have hard, plasticky beaks but it strangely doesn’t hurt when they eat from your hand), visiting an artisan chocolate shop, touring a whisky distillery, a very competitive game of Cards Against Humanity and kayaking, something I tried for the first time. While all of these were memorable in their own right, the highlight of my holiday was our visit to Highland Safaris.

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Located a few miles outside of Aberfeldy, Highland Safaris is a great day out for people of all ages. There are loads of activities ranging from gold panning, land rover safaris, 4×4 off-road driving and meeting red deer. It was the deer experience that most excited us and after paying for our tickets we eagerly waited for our guide to come and collect us. I’ve seen lots of roe deer in the countryside around East Lothian, but I’d never seen a red deer before and I couldn’t wait to get to see them up close.

Our guide, Andy, took us to a little barn where he told us all about the deer. There were lots of antlers on display and he explained how stags grow their antlers for the rutting season and then lose them in the spring. It takes roughly 110 days for antlers to grow, even the big ones! Continue reading “Highland Safaris, Aberfeldy”