Motorcycle dream road in Winter

Motorcycle dream road in Winter

This stretch of back road is only a couple of miles from my village house in Eastern Slovakia. It’s the perfect motorbike road but today it was thick with snow and heavily pitted. Stunning views. Lots of wildlife.

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Meopta Admira A8GO 8mm camera

Meopta Admira A8GO 8mm camera

A new toy, and almost mint condition! This is a Czechoslovakian Meopta Admira A8GO 8mm wind-up movie camera from 1965. It was found in a store cupboard and now has a new home. I just need to get some spools, 8mm movie roll and a projector. And then a complex video transfer device so I can convert to digital.

I’m really looking forward to making some movies with it. Filming the forest – or even a short horror film – will give the footage an excellent and authentic retro look.

Compared to modern handicams, this feels heavy and robust. I love older technology as it was built to last – plus it didn’t need recharging.

Raccoon Dog Slaughter Season

Ever since I first saw one stuffed and mounted in a small village bar in the Pieniny National Park in Slovakia, I have had an interest in the Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) – at first I didn’t even believe such a creature existed in Europe. Having been thus far unable to locate them alone, I have spoken to hunters in my village to ascertain their whereabouts. Their response is usually to show me ones they’ve shot, kept as photos on their mobile phones.

I’ve explored several areas of forest in my area, I’ve read up on their habits and usual haunts, and still have had no luck in seeing them in the flesh. I know roughly where to find them, in an area of woodland heavy with boar and wolf, and hunters with itchy trigger fingers.

Three nights ago, on Slovak TV news, it was announced that due to their apparently huge population, all hunting restrictions would be lifted on them. Where this statistic comes from, I’ve no idea. As deer season has ended, and boars are restricted to specific categories, hunters will be out in droves looking for a kill. The Raccoon Dog, an ancient canid from Japan, released by the former Soviet Union for its fur, will become Target No.1.

This news disturbed me so much that I woke up angrily thinking about it. I am now more determined than ever to see them before they get wiped out. I’m even considering starting a sanctuary for them.