Great Little Birds

Last Saturday afternoon, I was sitting quietly at home when I heard a distinctive two syllable bird song. I slowly stood up and staying well back from the window I watched as a pair of little birds flew back and forth to the feeder on the olive tree. I knew they’d be off if I made any sudden movements, but when they were out of sight I went to get my camera. They must have seen me spying on them because they stayed further away on John Downie’s budding branches, still coming and going.

I watched for half an hour desperately trying to get a decent photo, several feet inside of the window with unsettled light.

They are of course, Great Tits.
Now, Paula’s Thursday challenge this week is zoom in zoom out. So here’s a closer view of these cute, but also quite stroppy little birds.

Paula zoomed in on a beautiful waterfall in Croatia, ‘stopping’the flow to create a white curtain of water.

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Thursday Special, pick a word

Pick a word from five, or choose all of them if you like, says Paula at Lost in Translation for her Thursday Special. The choices are, innate, protuberant, fluorescent, rectangular and interspersed. She has five great shots, my favourite of which is fluorescent. I intended to use rectangular, but then scrolling through for ideas, I realised how interspersed these photos of Dawlish Warren are.

The brown, wintery sea at the Warren is interspersed with white foam,

The beach is interspersed with groins.

and people, and on the other coast at Exmouth the view is interspersed with houses, trees, seaside entertainment venues.

An obelisk scene

Paula is showing us two variations on a scene, a lovely little waterfall where she’s used a slow shutter speed to create smooth water. Both images are beautiful and I couldn’t chose between them.

I’m not quite sure if this is what Paula’s looking for in her Thursday Special, but here are three shot of the obelisk at Mamhead. It’s high above the Exe estuary, but the weather was dire when I was there recently, so no nice view that day.

Here it is from the path
I wonder what’s at the top
Ah okay, a shiny thing

you can join Paula, she’d love to see you!

I’m choosing angular

For Paula’s Pick a Word Thursday Special. This is partly because there are two words in Paula’s list that I’ve never heard before and had to look up.

Algid, Algid is a rather cold and lonely word, etymologically speaking-it’s the only word in any of the dictionaries we publish that comes from the Latin word algēre, meaning “to feel cold.” From Merriam-Webster.

The other one I looked up was even stranger and I struggled to find a clear definition.

Auricomous seems to mean having golden hair, or a fluid that will colour hair golden.

So, kudos to Paula for unearthing these gems, I’ll certainly be algid in the next few days, but I don’t think I’ll try the auricomous look any time soon.

Now you know why I picked the easy option of angular. There are angles within angles here.

And it’s always worth looking up for a few more, especially in the Uffizi.

If you’d like to join Paula she’ll be happy to see you!

Thursday Special, park musings

In 1987, when the ‘Great Storm’ ravaged many parts of the UK, lots of great trees were damaged or lost completely in Heavitree Park. This is the park where I grew up, part of my daily walk to school through infant and junior school years, and a place full of memories both good and bad.

My children also played there in the late 80’s, and we walked Jassy, the family dog, a golden get-it-yourself. Over time, new trees were planted, some of which are now fully grown. Grandchildren have played there, Dido and Daisy walked there for 13 years, and now it’s Flora and George’s turn.

Time passes, fall arrives every year bringing short days and damp weather. In the park several more trees have fallen over the years and have been given a new lease of life. Like this meeting bench standing near the skate park, it’s somewhere for the kids to hang out, make and break friendships and generally do what teens do, each one imagining they’re different from the generation before.

This is my post for Paula’s Thursday Special, ‘Fall’. You can join in, there’s always a warm welcome!

Traces of the past

Over to the west of Dartmoor a thatched cottage is growing out of the earth, or perhaps it’s sliding into the earth. Built in the 17th century this curved house has a passage through the middle, which might have been a division between house and livestock originally. It was the old post office for a period, and although it looks abandoned, there are also signs of work being done and the thatch seems to be in good condition. I hope it’s restored to it’s former glory, that would cost an awful lot of money.

Paula’s Thursday Special this week is traces of the past.

Thursdays Special

Paula over at Lost in Translation has asked us to post photos of the same scene in landscape and portrait format. I often forget that I have a choice, and landscape is jut there isn’t it? I hope this challenge will make me thing more often about how totally different an image can be, just with a turn of the camera.

Any thoughts or preferences?

 

Vigilant, a Thursday Special

Vigilant : Alertly watchful especially to void danger, Merriam Webster.

Paula’s Thursday Special for the first week of June is ‘pick a word’, I’m choosing vigilant, from her list of five.

The river Dart, strangely enough, runs into the sea at Dartmouth. At the estuary stands the 600 year old castle, one the loveliest settings anywhere for a fortress.

Gun tower

The gun tower was one of the first of it’s kind in the country and has been standing vigilant for nearly as long as the castle has existed.

You can walk out to the castle, along a path with beautiful views, or you can go by ferry. I’ve done both, most recently last week, when I walked out and returned by boat. When you arrive at the jetty, there’s a board that you turn around, the ferryman sees it from way across the river and makes his way across to take you back to town. A perfect way of spending £2.50 on a sunny day.