Friday, 24 June 2016

Grey and Green

Oh, why an I so busy!!

Here is a sort of landscape sky shot from Orkney - I feel that I am becoming interested in these kinds of 'empty' landscape shots, rather than the more busy - but maybe more familiar form.  Of course, that could all be nonsense.

I will have some time to spare in the next ten days, so lets see what happens photographically!

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 204 - Curlew

The Curlew (Numenius arquata) is the largest wader in Europe, and its call is one of the most distinctive.  Breeding on the upland moors and pastures of the UK, you know you are somewhere wild when you hear its call.  This was one of the birds I was most looking forward to seeing when I went to Orkney.

With a wingspan of about 90cm and females weighing in at about 1 kg they are an impressive bird.  I could have watched them for ages - and given the number of pictures I took, I may have done!

The wet flower rich pastures of South Ronaldsay (one of the many islands of Orkney) are a bit of a window back into the pre-chemical / pre-industrial era of farming.  Birds like the Curlew have suffered marked declines in recent years and it was great to be to watch some.  It was even better to see that some were breeding - even if the chick did stay a long way away.  As we were watching these birds the adults were doing some form of 'distraction display' - attempting to draw us away from the chick.  I have to say it was rather comical.

Now it's you turn - click the blue button and off you go.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Modern Art?

Outside the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow is a statue of the Duke of Wellington on a horse.  When I was there, the Duke was wearing a rather nice traffic cone as a hat!  I thought this was a rather good image - so I took some pictures.

I have since found out that the putting a cone on the Dukes head, and sometimes on the head of the horse as well is a bit of a Glasgow tradition, which seems to date back to the 1980s!  You can read about it here.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 20 June 2016

On the surface of things

These are some picture taken at the Ring of Brogan, which (surprise, surprise) is on Orkney.  The Ring comprises about 60 stones and is the third largest in the UK.  Rather disappointingly there was a lot of footpath work going on around the stones when I was there - Stone Age Circles and Modern Building Equipment may have made for some interesting 'contrast' pictures - but that idea did not occur to me at the time - I suppose I will have to go back!

I was fascinated by some of the shapes and patterns on the stones - some natural and some man-made.  The one I found most interesting was the 'bench mark'  (the first picture) which is used to mark a known height above sea level by the Ordnance Survey for map making.

I really like the idea that both the stone circle and the bench mark are constructs that help people understand their place in the world - even though they may be more the 4000 years apart in their making.

You can find more close-ups of our world at Macro-Monday2.