Apr 30, 2009

Strange clouds

Some weekends ago we came back from a walk and these rather peculiar clouds had collected above our village. It didn't rain...the sky just looked weird for a bit and then the clouds dispersed....
I don't think this is a particularly good photo, but I've never seen clouds like that before.

More on skies at Skywatch Friday.


A little nightly street scene captured on the way home last week:

Did this car go over red or did it not :) ?

This way Thurs-way is the place to go for more street scenes.

Apr 28, 2009

A Kentish sunset

A mellow evening at the seaside in Kent -

Visit Watery Wednesdays, hosted by 2SweetnSaxy, for more water pics.

Apr 26, 2009


I often go dancing on the continent - or, to be more precise, in a small town near the German border in Holland. I drive - and the motorway takes me through Flanders. I still find it hard to comprehend how anything can be as flat. I find the flatness difficult, but driving back from a lovely weekend of tangoing I often also find it peaceful and somewhat charming:

Back to Aileni's Monochrome Maniacs for some spiffing monochromes.

Apr 25, 2009


I saw that on a walk some days ago. I wasn't aware that squirrels can read - but seeing that there are no squirrels anywhere near their nuts, squirrels probably can.

Protection is the theme of this Saturday's . Enjoy.

Apr 23, 2009

More Andean clouds

Gosh, it's Skywatch time again and I'm stuck in the Lab...the only Skywatch photo I can get to right now is another one from the Andes. If you had a look at last week's one you probably recognize the little peak that always sticks out of the clouds...

This was a lovely, calm evening amongst the clouds. I always liked it when - like above - there were clouds below me, on my level and above me.

Click back to Skywatch Friday for cloudy or cloud-free fun.

Apr 21, 2009

Watery gloom

Here's the ferry port of Calais on a foggy April evening:

I think ports are fabulously scenic...but then I come from a town with a big port, so I suspect I suffer the effects of early brainwashing.

Click your way back to Watery Wednesdays, hosted by 2SweetnSaxy, for more water.

Apr 19, 2009

Bluebell time!

These must be Spanish-English hybrids, I think...

For gorgeous flower photos from everywhere visit Today's Flowers hosted by Luiz, Denise, Denise and Laerte.

In the Lab

Our Lab is in the process of being decommissioned and so everything has to be packed - and even worse - tidied up and cleaned. Below is a collection of bottles which was tucked away in a long forgotten fridge. We had always wondered why the Lab was such a stinky place - now we think these bottles might have been the culprits, which contained all the worlds most evil pollutants dissolved in disgusting solvents:

If you came here to see a nice monochrome and are somewhat disappointed just click back to Aileni's Monochrome Monday for another chance.

Apr 16, 2009

Peruvian crazy clouds

Some early evening weather from the Amazon basin arriving in the cloud forest on the eastern Andes flank:

Visit Skywatch Friday to enjoy pictures of the sky from every possible perspective.

Apr 14, 2009


Here's a squirt from a fountain which I walked past yesterday. Each time I look at the picture I feel quite thirsty:

More watery fun can be had at Watery Wednesdays hosted by 2SweetnSaxy.

Apr 13, 2009

quick and dirty

Two of my favourite things today:

What did you enjoy about today?

Apr 12, 2009

Little monochrome house

Here's somebody's amusingly ramshackle scenic little house near San Francisco. The nice clean car next to it seems to indicate it is in use - but the grass in front of the door looks so healthy that I've decided there might be a secret entrance at the side:

Do visit Aileni's Monochrome Monday for lots of splendid monochromes.

Apr 11, 2009

In the Butterfly House

Today was a boringly grey day in Oxfordshire, so we went to the Butterfly House in the afternoon to cheer ourselves up. Thanks to a special offer we have a spanking new annual ticket for it (and the rest of Blenheim Park), even though we somehow feel we are encroaching on the rights of people with kids and/or time. Seeing that English butterflies are having a very bad year our annual ticket might be the best way to see some butterflies, though.

We had a great time looking at the hatchery first (click on photos to enlarge):

I find the pupae of Northern European butterflies don't look all that exciting and I've understood here for the first time where the term chrysalis comes from (and no, with all my crawling through the rainforest I didn't come across a single chrysalis there - just ants, mosquitos, biting spiders and stick insects).

Inside the house itself are some pretty good butterflies - the dull light today, though, didn't really help me to do them justice with the camera.

Here is a Common Blue Morpho:

And a female Great Mormon - yes, it IS alive, in case you wonder. It's just sitting on a white background:

I love the texture and luminosity of their wings:

And lastly here's a chap whose species I have yet to find out:

There are more critters on display at Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn.

Apr 10, 2009


An Oxfordshire sunset - nothing special, but I like the light:

Visit Skywatch Friday for sky pictures from everywhere.

P.S. seeing the comments that start coming in: thank you, you're kind. I guess what I meant was 'I had planned to put another picture up but Picasa played up, and so I was a tad disappointed and not entirely convinced by my back-up'.

Apr 9, 2009

Love Thursday - Dancing

I've been dancing Argentine Tango for roughly a decade now, and when I go out dancing the camera normally has to stay at home. That's because I want to spend time with friends rather than experience through the lens, because I don't want to intrude on people and because there are plenty others who are chasing what I find hard to express both in image and word. Some weeks ago, however, I got a new lens on my way to tango and I was too excited not to try it out - so here goes.
Most people who don't dance Argentine tango first think of a comedy moment in which someone has a rose in their mouth. The second thought is that it is a raunchy, furiously passionate, sexual dance of hot, latin folks. For most dancers it is an entirely different matter. To make this improvised dance work you have to be willing to tune in to your partner to a degree we are normally reserving for a loved one. To meet the person without preconception, without hiding, with attention, respect, with tenderness and forgiveness. If it works and both dance partners do just that the dance is bliss and love (and quite beyond any sexual feelings), even if you've just met and have never exchanged a word. It has taught me a lot about being with others in a peaceful and happy way, but it has also turned me into a dreadful person who is far too quick on meting out big bear hugs.
Happy Love Thursday everyone!

Apr 7, 2009

Water - Bird

This is a Turkey Vulture. Together with the Pacific it looks quite grand, no?

For more water from all over the world visit Watery Wednesdays and enjoy.

A few things about me...

I was tagged by Elizabeth who has a great blog over here. I’m supposed to answer the Q & A below and tag eight people to do the same. Since it was lovely to see her photos I'll add photos too. I haven't blogged for all that long so this is the first time I get to play - I'm tagging Valkyrie, Abbie and Angela. I know that's only three people but I have to go somewhere and wanted to put the post up beforehand. The question I've added is the last one.

Who was your childhood hero or person you most admired and why?
I don't think there was any one person in my direct environment whom I admired more than anybody else. I did like the heroine of Kurt Held's 'The red Zora and her gang'. Based on real-life orphan Zora La Rouquine, the streetwise leader of a gang of homeless children in the little town of Senj in 1920's Jugoslavia, this girl was one of the few fictional females I felt at home with. In the book she is a confident girl with a social conscience - somebody who was good a climbing, running and generally doing boy-things. A tomboy myself I was relieved to find somebody to relate to.

Who was the last person you hugged?

My husband.

Do you nap a lot?
Something drastic has to happen to make me nap. I napped in the car yesterday when jetlag and a weekend of tango on the continent made me feel a little drowsy.

If you were a tree, what tree would you be?

I'd love to be a beech in one of the little woods which are common around here.

What is your current obsession?

Hmmm - is it taking photos? Is it Argentine tango? I guess both in equal measures. Both have been popular for more than a decade now.

What’s for dinner?

Red lentil soup with home-baked rye bread. We didn't manage to go shopping.

What was the last thing you bought?

A round of drinks.

What are you listening to right now?

The humming of our pellet boiler. I would like to write "trusty pellet boiler" - but sadly it isn't, it's in fact quite fickle.

What is your favorite weather?

That must be hot and sunny. I suspect that's because I had so little of that in the last few years.

Say something to the person who tagged you:

Hello Elizabeth, I love visiting your blog to see what's going on in the West Country. Thanks for tagging me.

What would you like to have in your hands right now?

Some lunch.

If you could have a house, fully furnished and paid for, anywhere in the world, where would it be?

What a difficult question - at the moment I'd quite like one in Buenos Aires, with a roof terrace. But that can change quickly.

What are you wearing?

I'm wearing a black pullover, a black pair of harem trousers (the non-drop-crotch variety) and a pair of pink stripy socks.

Favorite vacation spot?
Oh no, another difficult question. The two most current favourites are these:

I adore the Andes and didn't have much time to explore them because I had to do research. Now I'd like to go back for fun. And I love California - I first went because I wanted to see friends, but then it had even more to offer. I won't mention France which is such a staple, I hardly call it holiday spot....

What would you like to get rid of?

The flying freehold which overhangs part of our bedroom. It means I get woken up by my neighbours' shower. Most of the time they're very good, but occasionally they shower far too early.

What is your favorite tea flavor?

Roiboos. And Peppermint. And Echinacea plus. But all that will change next week.

What is your favorite snack?

Russets, figs or white peaches from the garden. When those can't be had, I make do with chocolate (but only if it is 'Divine').

Dog or cat?
They're both great. My dog was a tad easier to live with than my cats, though - she never had a disagreement with her chum on my bed early in the morning, nor would she poo into the kitchen just because I didn't like her to sit on my paper while I was trying to write on it. I also think there's nothing more enjoyable than a dog in a good mood.

What do you always fail to do, even though you think you should be doing it?

I desperately want to do our garden up which is currently unusable, but having restored and ecovated our little cottage I just can't muster the strength yet...I'd also quite like to do my yoga but I never find the time for it. Instead I dawdle on the computer far too much and bewail once a month that I can't lift my foot over my head as easily as I used to.

Apr 3, 2009

Clear lake

This is Clear Lake - the largest natural lake in California. So they say. It looks pretty but is far from clear and quite polluted by mercury deposits from the old mercury mines close by.

Under less favourable light conditions and from above it looks like this:

Visit Aileni and the Monochrome Maniacs for more monochromes.

Apr 2, 2009

Back to the UK

I was a bit sad to get back on the plane. And later on a bit tired too. The sunrise as seen from the plane was also quite mellow:

Visit Skywatch Friday if you want more clouds.

Apr 1, 2009

Not Jellyfish

I thought these are jellyfish, but apparently they are just very big plankton.
This is the last time I'll post from a transient internet connection which doesn't allow me to visit all the other Watery Wednesday photos.