Friday 25 July 2014


Air conditioning.  Fuji F10
20th June 2014

To save power, the use of air conditioning in Korea is a bit frowned upon.   In this tower block, many had resorted to opening a window.

Given it is hot here, it may be cooler to keep the window closed!

I had better walk a bit quicker past this place just in case someone feels cold and decides they need a 'jumper'...

Tall Trees

Rooftop Gardens, Fuji F10
19th June 2014

There is not much land here in Korea which is not either mountain, forest, or both.  What flat land there is has been covered with buildings.  All the buildings are also tower blocks, often containing hundreds of flats each.   There is not much space to have gardens, but a few residents seem to sneak up to the roof occasionally...

The hidden gardens and architecture can be rather pretty, although when the absolute altitude of the top branches are measured, they must be some of the tallest trees in the world.

A Little Support

Trees.  Fuji F10
18th June 2014

I am not sure if the trees here in Seoul are made of chocolate rather than wood, but they all seem to need a little support or two.

In some cases, the trees are bound with wire and stakes being trained in a 'full size' Bonsai fashion.

I rather like the structural look and brings a new meaning to 'managed woodland'.

Shamrock? No, Ginkgo

Ginkgo.  Fuji F10
17th June 2014

There are many unusual trees here in Seoul.   The Ginkgo definitely is one of them.

The tree is quite an ancient variety but is quite common here in the city.  I have seen one in Kew gardens back in the UK, but it is not a local shrub.

Korean Cactus

Korean Fancy-dress Cactus.  Fuji F10
16th June 2014

Most countries have their own variation of a fancy-dress cactus; Korea is no exception.

I am sure the writing on it though does not refer to Cactii.....

Carping On

Fish.  Fuji F10
15th June 2014

There is a small river by the hotel here in Seoul.   We walked along it in the heat today and noticed there was some life in the water.

When we looked closer, we realised that most of the fish were huge, despite the river being more like a small stream really.

I wonder if we caught one we could get it cooked...

Sea Fog

Sea Fog.  Fuji F10
14th June 2014

As we approached Incheon airport today, the sea fog was rolling in towards the coast.

There were some wind turbines just poking above the mist as it rolled across like something out of a Hitchcock film.

London View

London from the Air.  Fuji F10
13th June 2014

Flying back into Heathrow today, the weather was quite clear.   I managed to catch one picture with a good chunk of central London in it.

The grey Thames snakes up the picture, with the London Eye about 2/3 up the image.

At Heathrow, I had to post off a Fathers day post-card.  I needed a stamp and found that the stamp machine had a very British sign on it!  
Sign on stamp vending machine at Heathrow.
Fuji F10

The Long, Long Wait

A real live Edinburgh tram!  Fuji F10
12th June 2014

For many years now when visiting Edinburgh, there has always been some issues with the Tram debacle.  Most of the roads have been dug up at least twice to sort the rails out and the trams are many years late.

Today I saw my first tram running in daylight with real passengers on it!

One day I may try one out myself.

Pigeon Alley

Pigeons.  Fuji F10
11th June 2014

The alleys in Edinburgh have amazing character; they are dark and narrow and have old wobbly walls.

This one also had two pigeons.


Edinburgh Castle.  Fuji F10
10th June 2014

Edinburgh Casle is always photogenic; especially when bathed in the evening sun.  The mound it sits on looks very craggy with the grazing sunlight across the rocks.


Floating lorry.  Fuji F10
9th June 2014

I am in Edinburgh for a few days again.   On our way out this evening, there was a man cleaning windows.   He had parked his lorry with the big arm on the back and decided that he would prefer a 'flying carpet' to a lorry.

With the aid of some brute force, he had succeeded in making the lorry levitate!

Like me, many passers by found the spectacle rather intriguing.

Yummy Yummy Now in my Tummy

First ripe strawberry.  Nikon D7000
8th June 2014

The first of the strawberries is now ripe and, well shortly after I took this picture, Eaten :)

I had covered it with some mesh to keep the birds off; I have a few more starting to blush nicely too...

High Noon

Sundial at local noon.  Nikon D7000
7th June 2014

As the days get longer, the sun gets higher in the sky.  I happened to be in the garden today with the camera just as the sun reached its peak at local noon.   We are about 20 minutes behind Greenwich here and so true local noon is at 1.20ish BST.

Dissolving Slowly

Xena paddling.  Fuji F10
6th June 2014

The stream was running well today at the bottom of the field.   With the weather warming up a bit, Xena has taken to having a morning dip again.

I hope it will dissolve some of the mud out of her fur!


Wood. Nikon D7000
5th June 2014

As summer approaches, the need to light the fire in the house has diminished dramatically.   With the nice weather, I really must saw up some of the wood I have collected ready to burn over the winter.

Unfortunately, life is too busy at the moment so it will be a mad panic sawing session in the cold yet again I predict!

Monday 21 July 2014

Colours: Violent Purple

Purple Leaf.  Fuji F10
4th June 2014

There is much green around at the moment, and the odd touch of colour from flowers.

Today however I could not resist a decent attempt at purple, but from a leaf not a flower.

It is not often that leaves are violent purple; a good sign not to eat it, especially as it it could be Hemlock ....

Stripes and Ovoids

Gooseberries.  Nikon D7000
3rd June 2014

Some fruit are bumpy like the strawberries and Tayberries, some fruit are smooth.

The gooseberries are smooth, yet slightly hairy.

They are not quite round, but close enough.

They are stripy though with their distinctive veins.

Soon they will have a tiny hint of pink and be going a little soft; just in time for a crumble :)


Ripening Strawberries.  Nikon D7000
2nd June 2014

There is a subtle blush descending on the strawberries....

The sun is out and we have had plenty of rain recently so the fruit are swelling well.

I need to make sure the chicken pen is secure now so that I stand a chance of getting to them first!

Sunday 20 July 2014

Under Fluff

White pigeon under-feather.  Nikon D7000
1st June 2014

The pigeons seem to be trying to turn the pond into a Jacuzzi - there were three in there today and were all having a good flap and a bath.

They left a film of oil on the water which was a bit grim, and one also left some of its under fluff floating on the surface.


Very dead hard-drive.  Nikon D7000
31st May 2014

There are some days which start well, but quickly deteriorate into a very depressing day indeed.

Sadly today was one of those days

The hard drive in my laptop failed and has proved to be very terminal and totally unrecoverable :(

My last backup has almost all of the files saved, but sadly not all; there are some super critical ones which ironically are burned on a CD, but are currently in the post off to foreign climbs!

It could be a few weeks before normal service is restored, that is of course if I can find a new drive and that the 'USB recovery key' I burned when I first bought the laptop actually works as advertised.....

The smell of White

Elderflower.  Nikon D7000
30th May 2014

The Elder trees at the bottom of the garden are currently white with flower.   The big flower head clusters are dancing in the breeze; disseminating their pollen and scent over everything nearby.

The chickens are gazing up at he flowers; I do not think that they are imagining the good crop of Elderberries that is to follow in a few months, rather they are eyeing up the bees that are on the flowers for a more immediate snack!

Sinking of Time

Sundial time marker in the grass.  Nikon D7000
29th May 2014

The sun is out today, but the lawn has been swallowing the sundial slowly over the last few years.  On occasion I have dug the numbers out and raised them up again, but I think as this is one of the few digits that are visible, the job needs doing again.

The hours of the day that are not visible in the grass also seem to disappear without a trace from the day; maybe there are some other forces at work here that are making sure I can not find time to dig the numbers out again!

Bud or Flower

Rose about to open.  Nikon D7000
28th May 2014

Most flowers are depicted in their open state, but for roses, it is common to see them both as fully open blooms, or as buds.

The shape of a rose bud is nice, but not any more spectacular than the buds of many other flowers; why it is depicted often in bud form is more for symbology than image.

Being allergic to roses, I quite like them in bud form as I can get closer too them for longer.

Colours: Grey

Pigeon Feather.  Nikon D7000
27th May 2015

It is sometimes difficult to consider the neutral tones as being true colours as really they are a mix of all colours, but I think all shades of whatever deserve their place.

Feathers are really quite fascinating structures in their own right too, so it is nice to sometimes see a simple colouring on an object; the focus is much more then on the form and structure than any pattern.

Cluck load of eggs

Eggs.  Nikon D7000
26th May 2015

The chickens are laying at a rate a fair bit faster than we can consume at the moment.

An evening where we all have omelettes can remove a dozen or so, but it only takes a few days for the hens to restock!

I may have to hunt out a recipe for egg pie with added egg custard sauce and some form of additional egg topping....

Swelling Slowly

Swelling Figs.  Nikon D7000
25th May 2014

The fig trees are covered in trainee figs this year; it could be quite a crop.

They are swelling little by little each day now ....

Saturday 19 July 2014

Slow Climber

Clematis.  Nikon D7000
24th May 2014

The clematis on the patio is in bloom again.  It has been growing up the trellis now for a good few years and has finally made it to the top.  Many clematis varieties grow rapidly, but not this one apparently.

Hopefully we will get a good long display of flowers throughout the summer from it.

Slimy Undercarriage

Snail on the patio door.  Nikon D7000
23rd May 2014

Normally it is the blackbirds that peer through the patio doors at us, but today it was a snail instead.

It made slow progress down the glass of the door, an alternative for us however!

Green Balls

Currants,  Nikon D7000
22nd May 2014

There is a good crop of black currents forming this year.   I am not sure why, but I have yet to get any red currents to ripen as the birds strip the bush clean every year before I can pick them.  The blackcurrants however do not seem to attract the birds in any way whatsoever until they are over ripe and falling to the floor.

It looks like there may be at least one crumbles worth on there :)


Emerging lilly pad.  Nikon D7000
21st May 2014

The plants in the pond are growing well now.   As the days warm up, the leaves of the lilly are emerging from the water to form a decent floating cover.

The fish seem to like the extra shade to hide under too.

Red, Red Peony

Tree Peony.  Nikon D7000
20th May 2014

The tree Peony is in bloom again and I managed to capture an image where for once, I have not completely blown out the red channel.   Normally the ends of the petals start looking almost white as the image is too over exposed.

The rain is back again however :(


Poppy.  Nikon D80
19th May 2014

There are lots of flowers out in the garden now, but this is one of the few poppies.   This year does not seem to be a very good poppy year and there are only a few in the fields and hedgerows too.

I could not resist using a wide aperture of the 50mm lens to capture the flower so that the background just blurred to a nice contrasting green.

Mud in your eye

Fly.  Nikon D7000
18th May 2014

I went out in the sun and managed to persuade a fly to sit still long enough to have its picture taken.

The eyes of the fly must give it a very interesting perspective on life, but evolution seems to think they work ok.

Today Alex wanted some extra pocket money too.   He kindly offered to wash the cars; in exchange for cash of course.  After a lesson in how to start at the top of the car and work down, and also to wash the sponge and change the water often so that mud does not collect and scratch the paintwork, he set too.

While the car was wet it looked good; but then it dried to leave a canvas for writing in....
Car after Alex had washed it.  Fuji F10

Dots and Drums

Macro image of printed text.  Nikon D80
17th May 2014

The human eye is a wonderful thing as it presents us with images that look great, yet are often only based on an approximation of the reality we are perceiving.

The text on this piece of paper is a good example as the letters look smooth and well formed from a distance, with smooth shades of grey on parts of the paper.

The wonders of printing however and a macro lens reveal that it is really mostly an illusion; the text and images are truly black-or white with no shades of grey in reality.

Today was also carnival day here in town.   The procession was fun, however some of the sights were a little perturbing and I wished my eyes had provided me with just a pleasant illusion of the true reality!
Carnival.  Nikon D7000
Carnival.  Nikon D7000

Tick Tock

Dandelion Clock.  Nikon D7000
16th May 2014

I have not done any serious macro photography for a while so I thought I may try to capture a few close-ups of some interesting structures.

It has been a few days since we have had any serious wind or rain and so the Dandelion seed heads have had a chance to form without getting dispersed straight away.

I carefully picked this one and dumped it in a bucket however after I photographed it as I do not want a garden full of the weeds later in the year!

Colours: In the Pink

Pink in the Garden.  Nikon D7000
15th May 2014

The Spring flowers in the garden are looking really quite spectacular at the moment.  These flowers are providing a good show of pink on the patio at the moment.

The bees are going mad over them and the bush seemed to be alive and in motion; until I tried to get one of the bees to stay long enough to pose for a decent picture that is!

Colours: Not Purple

White Lilac Flowers.  Fuji F10
14th May 2014

The lilac trees are well in bloom now.   I thought for a change I would capture some of the white lilac flowers instead of the usual purple ones.

No matter what the colour though, the scent they are giving out is really strong!

Fresh Greens

Hawthorne in Flower.  Fuji F10
13th May 2014

The Hawthorne is well in flower now and a nice sight for Spring.

The flowers have been showing a brilliant white when the sun catches them, and a wonderful pale green for the leaves.

There are bees around too and they seem to be appreciating the abundance of flowers as well.

Not So Shy

Deer hiding in the grass.  Nikon D7000
12th May 2014

Last week we saw a deer in the field on the walk back from school most mornings.  Today I thought I would take a better camera with a 300mm lens on it, just in case a deer pitches up again.

Previously, the deer has been very shy and runs as soon as it sees us.  Today it seemed much more relaxed and almost as if it wanted its photo taken.

I approached slowly and it kept looking across at me, and then continued to graze on the fresh shoots on the Hawthorne trees.

I got much closer than I expected before it turned and walked casually through the hedge into the next field to chomp on the new shoots on the other side of the bushes.


Bluebell woods.  Nikon D7000
11th May 2014

The bluebells in West Woods are putting on a good show again this year.   Jo and I had a nice walk today through the wood; the sun was shining and the haze of blue seemed to run on forever into the distance through the trees.