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22 February 2013 @ 01:42 am

This is a Russian campaign against Article 6.13.1 (of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation), the federal bill which is to ban the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors”. You can enjoy the full insanity of the bill in English here. It was already approved by their Parliament in its first reading, and has two more readings to pass.

So the Love is Legal site is where people’s photos and accompanying messages opposing the bill and supporting the Russian LGBT community are posted. I asked one of the Russian activists if I could join the campaign, and he gladly gave me his permission. I sent my photo and my message to the campaign’s email address, and this is the end result:

My message is in Russian (thanks to ilupin for the editing), so I’m translating it into English for you.

I am a volunteer who works with gay teenagers. I know from experience what it’s like to talk an underage boy out of killing himself over the Internet.

For such teenagers, the information that they are perfectly normal and no worse than the others can be literally life-saving. They need information and educational resources, and not protection from the “propaganda” of what is absurd to propagandize. They need to know that they are not alone on this planet. I am against Article 6.13.1.

Darina Ivanova

ETA: I'm making this post "sticky" for some time because I think it's important.

29 July 2015 @ 03:44 am
I was lucky that the scaffolding for this cocoon (or any other cocoon) wasn't attached to the lid of the box, so these shots are the best I've ever managed of a caterpillar still visible through the silk mesh while spinning its cocoon.

The photos are from 17 July, and I finally got around to posting them. :P

Click if you can stand the sight of caterpillars :PCollapse )

The finished cocoon is one of these, but I don't know which one. These were spun the latest, and I expect the moths to appear any moment now (but some of them may "decide" to wait until Friday, especially the females).

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IntroductionCollapse )

Whatever the reasons, I love to see and hear them around, I feel very sad when they are gone, and I miss them all winter.

And then at some point this year, or maybe even last year I started to realize that some of the birds in my part of town were suspiciously different. It’s not easy to observe individual birds high in the sky, but I still started to notice an all-black underside now and then… and dismissed them as either a variation or some different kind of birds that were just passing by accidentally.

And them my mother commented on one such “unusual” bird maybe a couples of week ago, and I started thinking and watching the birds more closely… and then I suddenly thought of something I had heard or read, but it took me a long time to remember the name in Bulgarian, and then looked it up in English.


Ouch! At first I felt cheated and a little disappointed because most of my beloved birds weren’t really swallows. But then, as I kept observing both the swifts and swallows, listening to them, reading about them and struggling to photograph them, I discovered that I enjoyed the swifts almost as much as the swallows (or house martins to be precise).

I say almost, because the swifts’ vices are so loud and shrill that it’s sometimes too much even for bird-loving me, while the house martins’ voices are softer and chirpier, and the sounds their nestlings make are pure concentrated awesomeness.

To my surprise, it was relatively easy to photograph the swifts even with a slow camera like mine. The secret is to stand under a place where a group of them flies in circles, point the camera at the sky and press the button a little before they come near; that’s a little more efficient than randomly shooting at the sky.

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This is the same group as in the previous photo. Do you feel dizzy already? :)
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Swifts again, different place:
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I discovered that swallows and swifts peacefully share aerial territories, but never fly in mixed groups. Any attempts to photograph those mixed flight areas resulted just in tiny blurry spots on the screen, alas.

I had much less success with the swallows in general because they flew either too high (and zoom photos from my camera are disastrous) or too fast. This photo is a piece of sheer luck because I never managed to capture an adult bird again; it’s a little blurry, but you can still see the white underside of a house martin flying out of its nest after feeding its young (it's right in front of the window).

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Where everybody nests (with photos)Collapse )

I now wonder if the swallows and swifts migrate together or at least at the same time, or I’ve been too absent-minded for I don’t know how many years to notice that only some of the swallow-like birds were gone and then only part of them were back.

And if you have made it to the end of this entry, and are still wondering how to tell all those birds apart, there is a handy guide here, and some much better photos than mine here.
29 June 2015 @ 02:15 am
This is to let you know that I'm safely back home from Sofia, tired but happy.

Clicky here to see a photo of me at Sofia Pride. The full gallery is here. Interestingly, the photographer is Russian (I don't know him). The whole gallery is here.

And here is another photo galleryin a Bulgarian newspaper, but it doesn't feature me. :P

Yes, it was very tame. Eastern Europe, people.:)
23 June 2015 @ 10:12 pm
I always secure my joins with knots because I'm paranoid like that as is the custom here, but sometimes I need a better-looking wrong side.

…or maybe of the human brain in general?

That weird feeling when you suddenly discover that you can translate little bits of text of average difficulty from Russian into Bulgarian with such an ease that it frightens you, after all that time when any translation from Russian cost you an awful lot of effort…

Putting an article together is still much more difficult for me than translating the quotes in it, alas. I felt so tired in the end and it was so late already that I left the headline to the site administrator. :)

And I guess I’ll now have to write a summary and put up a couple of links to sources in English for those of you who don’t understand a word of Bulgarian. :)
27 May 2015 @ 02:57 am

Here are some photos from 16 May, a day when it should still be late spring, but it felt like early summer (after most of the earlier spring felt like late winter). This is the...I don't know what to call it, the uncultivated (or in the case of the maple, the less cultivated?) plant selection, the plants that aren't garden flowers. The wilder part of the plant life around me. :)

I wish I could give you the mood together with the photos, the moments of quiet contemplation amid the joy that the outdoor world wass again full of lush greenery, and the depressiveness of winter was finally gone..something like that. :)

By the way,I wonder what the plant in the second photo is. It looks like something of the legume family, Lathyrus something?

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08 May 2015 @ 02:13 am
This is how my village grandmother used to make "variegated" yarn from two different-coloured balls of yarn, and now I tried it with three; I just knitted all yarns together. She sometimes even spun the two yarns together with one of her spindles, but I don't think I would want to try that.

And yes, this is another one of my charity blanket squares. I'll knit something for myself someday, I swear!:)

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29 April 2015 @ 01:38 am
I finshed a second baby blanket for another friend's baby yesterday (ouch, I haven't shown you the first one yet!), and the baby'smother wrote to me this evening that they had already received it and liked it very much.

I finished another round of charity knitting today (for a second charity knitting group I joined), and I'm now taking a break from big and/or urgent projects, and even planning to knit something for myself at last this year. :)

I'm way too far behind on my Friends Page again, but I'll try to go as far back as I can in the next days. It's time to return back to normal... if therecan besucha thing as"normal" for me. ;)

And oh, this evening I caught one of those rare times when swallows and bats fly at the same time; maybe the bats got out a little earlier because it was cloudy? :)

Now prepare for the nevitable flood of plant photos from me later this week. :P
17 April 2015 @ 01:51 am
I found her in a public garden today. She looked lazily at me a couple of times as I slowly approached to photograph her, decided that I wasn't dangerous and returned to her afternoon nap each time. :)

She looked well-fed and pretty tame; a favourite neighbourhood cat, I suppose. I only hope she has a safe place to hide her kittens when the time comes for them to get born.

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