Miscellaneous

A walk around the local countryside and a garden.

Several fields are growing this crop of beautiful blue and purple flowers.
Hoverflies feeding on the pollen of blackberry flowers. Blackberries are already beginning to form, a sign that Autumn is not far away.
Pink flower with cow parsley.
The curious Peacock.
The last of the pink peonies.
A small meadow with cow parsley.
Barley.

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Sissinghurst Gardens & Castle – Part I

A visit to the world-famous gardens of Vita Sackville-West and a chance to experiment with manual settings and light and shade.
Vita often wrote of Sissinghurst: ‘The heavy golden sunshine enriched the old brick with a kind of patina, and made the tower cast a long shadow across the grass, like the finger of a gigantic sundial veering slowly with the sun. Everything was hushed and drowsy and silent but for the coo of the white pigeons.’
Sunshine lighting up flowers.
Irises. If only Monet had been alive to see this garden …
Chamomile flowers growing in the vegetable garden area.
Beautiful, delicate flowers.
Sunlight highlighting a flower in the shade.
Meadow flowers and grasses swaying in the wind, in the wilderness of the Orchard area.
Interesting capture of light and shadows.
Light.

Just blossom & magnolia.

Not much else to say really, blossom is so beautiful. But it it believed that the first flower, which existed 140 million years ago, resembled a Magnolia and that these flowers existed before bees.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/revealed-the-first-flower-140-million-years-old-looked-like-a-magnolia/ 

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The Fibonacci sequence in nature

I saw this plant and for some reason, the term ‘Fibonacci sequence’ popped into my head. I had heard of it and knew it was linked to patterns in nature, but really knew 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 continue to infinity. Each number is the sum of the two numbers that precede it. 

It appears throughout nature – for example, in the design of shells, the way tree branches grow out of trees, the development of leaf veins, the pattern of seed heads, the positioning of flower petals (such as roses) and is even in the shape of tropical storms. It has been described as “the code of nature” and runs through the cosmos – 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.

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. This was in 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 using a macro lens; if you can enlarge the image, 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. Prior to this, it was covered in woodland.

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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, built 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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