The Duckling Rescue Drama A Smartphone Movie Adventure

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I have been reviewing my movies and I discovered one I want to share because it shows how even as a beginner you can make a movie that tells a story.

In this post is the cats blogged in their own voices and I hope you will enjoy this review as proof that you can create your own movie when the situation suddenly turns dramatic!

The Duckling Adventure Story

Dad was working in his home office and he looked out of the window. Next door’s cat was peering down from the wall into the stream behind the garden. Uh-oh he thought, one of the Dash Kitten Crew might have fallen over the edge!  

He and Mum rushed outside, prepared to mount a dramatic cat rescue attempt but, instead, they found a lone duckling! Knowing that you do not touch wildlife without checking to see if their family is nearby, they assessed the situation.

  1. They checked carefully but could not see, or hear, family along our length of the stream.
  2. No sound or sight of ducks nearby.
  3. The little duckling was battling a fast stream and struggling.

A decision was made. Left to its own devices the tiny duckling risked being be swept quickly onwards to a weir, then to the Hutt River with no chance of landfall. A rescue was needed!

First Rescue Your Duckling 

The duckling was not easy to catch. For something so small, it was noisy, wriggly, and did its best to keep paddling like crazy. Dad caught it – and again, Mum and Dad listened carefully for the sound of ducks nearby – in the hope the family might locate the stray through its loud peeps. No duck appeared.

It was Sunday, so the chances of getting emergency advice from the NZSPCA was slim. So, Mum and Dad looked online and found the Duckman.  The site is comprehensive and helpful. It gave us a lot of help so we could take positive action for our orphan friend. We mounted a bird rescue. 

Duckling Rescue Adventure Cute Duckling sat in rescue crate
On our way to the Rescue. Note green binding so ducky can’t fly out the cat carrier.

Duckman aka Craig Shepherd, has a website full of important, life saving, information for ducks and seabirds. Mr Shepherd has worked in bird care, rehabilitation and rescue for over ten years and he was one of the bird rescuers thst made a huge difference to birdlife during the infamous Rena Oil Spill.

” I specialise in the rehabilitation of waterfowl but also take seabirds and some other breeds of birds as required.

The birds mostly come from the SPCA and vet clinics but I also get a few from the Wellington Zoo and Massey University for rehabilitation. The majority that come in are orphaned ducklings and I deal with 300 – 400 birds per year.”

With the duckling in a box, Mum and Dad checked on what to do next on the ‘Caring for Ducks’ page. Done right, the chances of a successful result were 98%. The duckling was moved to a carrier, and Dusty volunteered his microwaveable heat pad to provide extra warmth.

By the time this had been arranged, there had been a response from the Duckman rescue on Facebook. Mum and Dad were asked if they could bring the duckling to the rescue.  They had planned to head out to seeHidden Figuresat the cinema that evening (Mum has the book and found it a terrific read), but a hasty reschedule was arranged, then they set off for the rescue.

Our Duckling Smartphone Movie

After a winding, twisting, drive through a part of the Wellington area they had never seen before, Mum and Dad safely dropped off our little buddy and took a while to tour the rescue facility. 

Mum hastily grabbed her iPhone and shot some footage of the residents then made it into a movie for our post. NOTE For aspiring movie people – this was done on an iPhone, edited in iMovie, and it’s really cool!

P.S. We had a further message that our rescue duckling was eating and cuddling after we left too, so thank you Duckman for your skilled advice and care.

Cat Blogger Photographs The Grand Canyon

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This week I am reviewing one of the most magical moments from my BlogPaws® trip to America in 2016 which includes a fabulous video.

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I have not been at my best since we lost Harvey and Dot in June/July and, as anyone of you who has lost a pet will know, there are times when you just can’t focus well enough to do a post justice.

If you have seen the post already, there are some new photos, and if you have not seen it please enjoy. My video tries to capture one of the world’s natural wonders.

NOTE: The images were taken on a small compact and an iPod Touch which I hope encourages those of you who do not use a DSLR.

Grand Canyon thrills after BlogPaws
Me at the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

Visiting The Grand Canyon was top our list of places to visit after BlogPaws® and, thanks to the services of Steve Gerhart and Arizona Scenic Tours we had the perfect visit.

Steve did all the driving so Paul was able to relax and not stress about ‘driving on the wrong side of the road’. Any British readers will realise how super stressful this would be for us English folk. It not make for an enjoyable holiday break .

  • TIP If you think you will never see the Grand Canyon for real, don’t be so sure you never will. The Dash Kitten crew never dreamed I would get to the BlogPaws conference but I did. The lesson here? Never give up on your dreams.
Saguaro Cactus image
Saguaro Cacti from our Car

My 2016 Traveller’s Report

[Please note that I use we all the time because Dash Kitten dad Paul was with me for this trip of a lifetime.]

I will begin from our base in Phoenix, AZ after the BlogPaws conference.

The heat in Arizona in June and July can be intense, different from anything we have encountered before. As part of a two-day journey, we hoped to spend a whole afternoon and evening in the Grand Canyon area which is at a higher elevation, and not quite so hot.

The Lowell Observatory

We drove through different geographical areas as we gained height – starting with the desert, home to the astonishing Saguaro Cactus.  Although it is not an endangered species, there are strict regulations governing the treatment of the cactus. It’s bloom is the State Flower of Arizona.

Paul enjoying the Observatory

We stopped off at the Lowell Observatory, as Paul is an astronomer by training.

Here, if can you believe it, it rained. Having driven high up from the intense heat of the Sonoran Desert it was welcome though and did not spoil our visit.  

In a very short time, we had climbed high enough to reach an area where rain and snow are much more common than in Phoenix, Arizona!

Visiting The Grand Canyon

We travelled on to see what is truly one of nature’s wonders.

Visiting The Grand Canyon Grand Canyon terrain as we approach the area
The Grand Canyon approach

As I say in my video at the bottom of this post, nothing anyone says can describe the impact, on a mere human, of seeing the sheer size and magnificence of the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Colorado River
  • The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) in width, and can be over a mile deep (6,093 feet/1,857 meters).

Thanks to Steve’s local knowledge we visited several of the best vantage points around the Canyon, and managed to avoid a lot of the crowds.

Grand Canyon image showing its size
Taken with my Samsung compact camera

We also managed the best seats in the house for a superb sunset which you can see in the video below.  

The key we found was not to rush from place to place but allow plenty of time to see the Canyon from several different vantage points. You need plenty of time, simply to take in the scale of this most amazing of places.

Looking Deep into the Grand Canyon
Looking into depths of the Grand Canyon

Surprising as it might sound; clouds added drama and interest to the beautiful blue skies, especially towards the sunset. They also added extra depth and shade over the Grand Canyon itself.

Grand Canyon deep sunset showing amazing clouds
Grand Canyon Sunset

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Video of The Grand Canyon

The video is longer than our usual presentations (just over 2 minutes) because we aim to give what we hope is an impression of the size and the magnificence of this amazing place.

Please stick with it to the end – it’s worth it!

Video Timing 2.13. Grab a coffee and enjoy.

Our trip to Blogpaws helped launch the blog in a more focused way which has been a real benefit.

The trip also allowed us both to enjoy some of Arizona’s most spectacular treasures including the Heard Museum, the Observatory and Sedona.

And you know what? I have never done a full post on our Sedona trip! I guess I need to share the pictures in a post – right?

Photograph of the Sedona landcape in America
Sedona Landscape

Driving Mr Dusty Video Showcase in Rivendell

Dusty's Rivendell Road Trip header

Our road trip cat driving Mr Dusty visits Rivendell.

The video only takes a brief two minutes of your time so, grab a mug of coffee, sit back and relax as we head to a magical corner of New Zealand; Lord of the Rings Country.

“Hello all, Dusty here with another trip to a corner of New Zealand many moviegoers may recognise from the silver screen.

Rivendell, in Lord of the Rings, is the home of Elven folk, and has a long and complex history. The ‘movie’ Rivendell, in particular, is noted for the scenes set during the Council of Elrond in The Fellowship of the Ring. 

The Council may sound like a dull meeting of exotic multi-species high ups; Elves, Humans, Dwarves and Hobbits, but it is here that, for the first time, the characters assemble to become the Fellowship of the Ring, which helps one small Hobbit destroy the evil ‘One Ring’.

Cute Dusty Cat visits Rivendell
Me at the Council of Elrond!

The movie location is now a gorgeous park and recreation area, Kaitoke Regional Park, which covers 2,860 hectares (11 sq. miles) of the foothills of the Tararua Ranges. It is popular with hikers, campers and those after a more gentle stroll.

The high, bush-clad hills, divide New Zealand’s Lower North Island roughly in two down a vertical. The western side is the Wairarapa wine and farming district, and the eastern side is the Kapiti coast area, a popular Summer holiday spot for beach holidays.

Rivendell Arch from LOTR
Check out the Departure Arch 1/2 scale from ‘Fellowship of the Ring’!

You can see me posing on top of my cosy purrito blanket on the front of the smaller scale model of the arch ‘through which the heroes depart’ to save the world! It was such awesome fun to visit and to feel the magic of this peaceful, and glorious, place.

I hope you enjoy our video, I am such a lucky cat to head out on these fabulous road trips and have you all along for the ride!”

How do I visit Rivendell?

Also known to Ring fans as Imladris, Rivendell means “deep valley of the cleft” there are places where you feel surrounded by high hills and deep river beds.

Kaitoke Regional Park covers 2860 hectares in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges, which are a range of spectacular hills that divide the Kapiti coast from the Wairarapa farming and winemaking areas.  Steep, bush-clad hills, and the Hutt River gorge make this a special place, and the centuries-old rata, rimu and beech forest are features in this gorgeous natural setting. You can camp here too!

Rivendell Arch from LOTR

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Driving Mr Dusty Video Showcase – Petone Foreshore 

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Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the world movie premiere of Dusty’s Big Day Out, by the Dash Kitten Crew! We had no idea what a cat traveller and adventurecat he was.

The world of adventure is expanding for cats. Dusty was ahead of the game and, like other adventurecats, ready for some fun.

big outdoors

Dusty’s Big Day Out – What Gives, I Hear You Say?

As Dusty is unwell Mum and Dad decided to take him on a ‘Big Day Out’ so he could enjoy a car ride and a visit to the beach. The weather was perfect for his road trip, and it is with pride that we present our movie to celebrate what turned out to be a perfect and wonderful day.

We learned, just after Christmas, that Dusty loves to ride in the car, his spirits lift and his eyes light up. The discovery was made by accident when Dusty had his epic drama day, the day we thought we were losing him, which you can check here.  

Dusty the Cat

If you can imagine it, we have a cat who loves cars! No singing the song of his people, our Dusty was alert and engaged with travelling and ready to have fun.

It was such an adventure for a Senior Cat 

We just knew we had to share Dusty’s newly discovered hobby with you all. So many cats hate cars, many of the Dash Kitten Crew do, but Dusty LOVES to travel!

Please enjoy Dusty’s Big Day Out video, it was made with great love and pride in our little senior man. The Kitties Blue are honouring our friend Nellie, the Cat From Hell, and we can think of no better tribute than her splendid pumpkin which she honoured us with this year. 

It got us thinking! Do you love to travel, are you a kitty car ride fan? Let us know adventurecats.

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