Just Blossom & Magnolia.

Not much else to say really ….

other than it it believed that the first flower, which existed 140 million years ago, resembled a Magnolia https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/revealed-the-first-flower-140-million-years-old-looked-like-a-magnolia/ and that they were therefore in existence before bees!

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The Fibonacci sequence in nature

When I saw this plant, ‘Fibonacci sequence’ popped into my head. I have heard of the term ‘Fibonacci sequence in nature,’ but know little about it. So I did some investigating. The Fibonacci sequence starts like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and so on forever. Each number is the sum of the two numbers that precede it. 

It appears throughout nature from the design of shells, to the way tree branches grow out of trees, to the development of leaf veins, the pattern of seedheads, the positioning of flower petals (think roses), even the shape of tropical storms. It has been described as “the code of nature’ and runs through the cosmos – even appearing in spiral galaxies. Isn’t nature clever?

 

Memories of Iceland

Sometimes you re-discover photos you forgot you had. Here are some from Iceland.

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The ever-changing Icelandic weather.

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The statue of Leifur Eiríksson outside Hallgrímskirkja, the first European to arrive in America.

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View from Reykjavik harbour.

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Alaskan lupine. An invasive plant species taking over Iceland. https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/why-iceland-is-turning-purple/

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View from the top of Hallgrímskirkja, looking towards Reykjavik harbour.

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Geysir geothermal area – iron rich soils contrast with the azure hot springs.

The Golden Hour

Light. That crucial factor in photography. The golden hour is the period of time just after sunrise or before sunset, which gives a beautiful, golden hue to landscape and portrait pictures. The low angle of the sun makes the shadows softer and longer. The diffused light can emphasize textures and produce specific effects.

The actual duration depends on where you live in the world (and time of year), so if you live near the equator it can be very short as sunset is quickly followed by darkness. Whereas, further north (near the Arctic circle) or south during Spring and Autumn, it can last in excess of an hour.

There is even an app which tells you the time and duration of the Golden Hour, the Blue Hour (just before sunrise and just after sunset), sunrise, sky index, light index as well as celestial events for anywhere you live in the world. All of course, subject to local weather conditions…

But there’s something magical about capturing pictures with that golden glow.

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This blossom was in a small, wooded dell which was quite dark. The sun came out just before sunset and it appears as if it has been taken with a camera flash.

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The long shadows from the light give an additional focus to the crocuses.

DSC_0381bThe light appears gentler and diffused over the heather.

Re-visiting the Beast from the East

Just over a year ago, we had a ‘polar vortex,’ which resulted in some severe weather conditions for the U.K. (- we love talking about the weather don’t we?). We experienced temperatures of -11 celsius, not including wind chill factors. We had heavy snowfalls, blizzards and snowdrifts. A total contrast to the balmy conditions of 21 celsius we experienced a couple of weeks ago. What IS happening to our weather???

Recently, I came across a picture of an icicle that someone had posted on WP. I remembered the one I had taken during last year’s extreme cold spell with my macro lens; if you click on the picture below on a large screen and enlarge it, you can actually see melted snowflakes within it. 

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Trapped air bubbles within the icicle.

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My best attempt at trying to capture a snowflake, I was really hoping it would snow again this year, so I could practice it again! I love the star bit in the middle! 

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It was so cold for a few days, that all kinds of birds suddenly appeared in our garden and came very close to the house that you wouldn’t usually see, in search of food. This was a migratory Fieldfare.

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This blackbird came so close, it was almost feeding out of my hand.

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On a walk in a nearby country lane, several birds took shelter on the lee side of the hedge. They had scraped away the top soil (I suppose looking for food) and had made little holes. They made little attempt to fly off, like they normally would.

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The Yorkshire Dales

A bit of landscape photography from the Yorkshire Dales. A tranquil scene of snowdrops growing beside a small stream, protected by moss-covered dry stone walls.

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There are many sheep farms. Worth a look … Yorkshire shepherdess

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Traditional farming landscapes of field barns and dry stone walls in the valley of Wensleydale. In Winter, cattle were kept in these barns and fed with hay. The landscape has been farmed for thousands of years, without it, woodland would cover the moorland.

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The Yorkshire Dales is famous for its limestone scenery. The grey rock was formed from the shells and skeletons of billions of sea creatures, laid down millions of years ago in tropical oceans. Ancient glaciers moving over the landscape and then rainwater over thousands of years, produced the cracks (or grykes) of the landscape that exists today. 

In the distance is the Ribblehead Viaduct, build by 1000 navvies in Victorian times. It has 24 arches and is part of the Settle to Carlisle railway line.

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A dilapidated building in the middle of the moors.

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Dry stone walls are the largest man-made feature of the dales. There are approximately 5000 miles of them. They are ‘dry’ because there is no mortar holding them together.

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