Just a short post. Is there something which you’ve always wanted to learn, which you have never got around to?
My list is quite long, countless languages, limitless skills and I have always wanted to be able to make paper cranes. For years and years. Perhaps inspired by “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes”. So I looked it up online – and I made some paper cranes! One item off the list!
Christmas isn’t the coldest time of the year in the UK. In December, we can usually relax because the coldest months for us are January and February, So, after a relativly wet Christmas, the weather has turned increasingly colder and finally we having really hard frosts – as you can see in these photographs.
This year, I forget to buy a calendar and to make any New Year’s resolutions. Is it too late? What should they be? I like taking photographs – as you can see. Should it be to do with that? During lockdown I wrote a novel (I think there will be glut of novels when this is over) – struggling with editing at the moment. Should they be to do with that?
Right now, like many people in the UK, I’m living in lockdown again!
I think I’ve written it before, but one of the things I have appreciated this year, has been the opportunity to notice the passing seasons. I particularly remember the change from spring into early summer, and now, with the hard frost this morning, I’ve noticed we are in the hard part of winter. The picture is of ice which formed on my car overnight – I have taken pictures of this before, because I love the patterns the ice makes.
There is a weather forcast for snow tomorrow – have to see how that goes!
After what has felt like age, it has finally rained. In the UK we have had several weeks of hot weather, so this has felt very welcome.
I found this feather on some park land I like to walk on every morning – I’m trying to decide what sort of bird it came from – probably a seagull. It is amazing to see how oils on the feather repel the water, so that it forms little spheres (which act like mini-magnifiers). One of the beauties of the natural world, is how the closer you look, the more you can see.
A preCovid-19 picture, from January this year. This is a picture of the roof of my car. I think I was walking to the station, when I saw these frost patterns on the roof – so I took a picture. The patterns in the ice make me think of feathers, why they have formed like this, I have no clue.
Today, I have been trying to photograph bees, which I thought would be an easy subject – but isn’t.
Although they don’t require lengthy travel to locate, or require model releases, there are a number of challenges to be overcome.
Firstly, they are quite small, so you need a close-up lens to be able to see anything.
Secondly, you need to be able to follow when they are and point the camera to the correct place. For some reason I thought they just float about – but on closer observation I am reminded of the phrase “Busy as a bee”. They just zip about!
Thirdly, you need quick reflexes and a fast reacting camera to catch them at the right moment.
I started off using a proper camera, but then changed to my phone because I found it easier to follow movement on the screen and in burst mode, I can choose the “right” moment. There is a sacrifice in quality, but I think it looks – OK.
Like most people, my outdoor photography has been restricted by the lock-down. Which is why I have been posting pictures of things I’ve seen on my exercise walks. I could post things from the past – places I’ve been – but it feels irrelvant at the moment.
This is a picture of some leaves on a sycamore tree. Initially I thought it was a maple (because of the shape), but if you look closely, you can see some seeds – which is the giveaway.
As a picturesque city, popular with tourists, Bath has a number of small museums. The Holbourne Museum is probably the prettiest of all of them. A few years ago it had a major renovation and now boasts a very attractive cafe with views of Sydney Gardens and the canal. They regularly host medium sized exhibitions on mix of themes. Here as you can see – on gnomes – I should have gone in and had a look.
My favourite thing to do, if I go somewhere on holiday, is to spend time just wandering around. If you ever go to Osaka, chances are you will have a list of attractions you want to see (Osaka Castle, the Osaka Aquarium…), but I nearly always find that the journey there is more interesting than the attraction. The castle is quite fun though.
This picture of the lasts, is an example of something I saw on my way somewhere else.
I think I have written before about my ambivalence towards zoos. And yet, I always seem to seek them out (the same with aquariums).
The weather was grey and wet as I made my way across Regent’s Park and went to ZSL London Zoo. It is rather expensive to go in (£30 for adults), but since I hadn’t been there in 15 years or so (and that was with a school party) I paid up and went in. In their defence I can’t begin to imagine how expensive it must be to run.
I expect I will update this post when I have processed my films, because there were quite a few charismatic animals, but I found this Asiatic lion having a rest in the shelter. I must say compared to the lionesses, he really did seem to mastered the whole “taking it easy” rather well. No worry lines on his face. If you are wondering, his name is Bhanu.