....working with the binoculars to try and tease out what it was that I could hear rustling about in the reeds. By using the binoculars properly I can achieve not only magnification but also the increased depth perception so that I can gently work the focal point in and out to see clearly into particular distances into the reeds. Often that is the only way to make out the various species that live in the reeds.....
A cool woodpecker shot Owen.
I admire your phlegmatic approach to the vagaries of bureaucracy - drives me nuts when I butt heads with it!
I hadn't gotten around to processing the photos of this until just now, but an interesting random find during my trip to Yingkou. Shining brightly in the sunlight was this prosperity frog. It was located well offshore and where it would be underwater at high tide, so took some purposeful effort to place it there. I didn't see the incidental piece off to one side at the time and I don't know what it is, though to me it just gives off a vibe of being old.
If you frequent any China Town area anywhere in the world, this is one of the folklore themes you will see in many businesses and homes. Technically, it is a three legged toad and often associated with Feng Shui, particularly in the Western world. Up here in the Northeast of China, Dong Bei, it is more often just a cultural icon. Water and toads (or frogs) are generally folklore items associated with wealth. https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-place-your-feng-shui-money-frog-1275008 It either will have images or coins embossed on it and/or coins, preferably in the style of the old coins with square holes in the middle (more folklore) and/or one or more coins in its mouth.