Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Photo Friday- sentimental

I'm not a particularly sentimental person-at least i don't think i am. However, I have hung on to a couple of old primary school projects that I completed between age 8 and 12.

I wouldn't have them in my possession at all if my mum hadn't kept them safe for many years, although I remembered making each one.

This one was a project on the local plants that i worked on when i was 9/10 - everything in the book was collected in the Clyde valley [Scotland] .

I didn't press the flowers and leaves which was a mistake as the moisture soaked into the paper and wrinkled it.

After 30-odd years the leaves have begone to skeletonise and crumble to dust in places. I also used sellotape to stick the items in place and this has gone a yellow-y brown colour. I really need to photograph the whole thing [Scanning isn't an option as it would proabbly accelerate the leaf disintigration] . It is not going to last much longer - every time the book is opened, masses of leaf dust falls out and smells faintly of past summers.

I spent a lot of time researching the plants and quizzing my grandparents about each one [and checking things in the library and I drew the flowers, seeds or berries that I wasn't able to collect.

I think I'm most sentimental about the botanical illustrations that I drew with felt-tip pens. I remember being frustrated by the colour limitations - but they actually look pretty good.
I particularly like the hawthorn flowers and berries.

As a reward for all my hard work, my grampa gave me this book - the AA Book of the British Countryside -the original 1973 edition.

After all these years, its a bit scuffed at the edges but I still use it regularly as a reference book- the information is still a good starting place , even if I end up searching things on the web or in other books too.

I remember how impressed i was by the photo of daisies on the cover - I suspect this has been a hidden inspriation to my photography.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Photo Friday - heat

I came across this dead honey bee last year during a heatwave. There had been lots of warnings on tv and in the newspapers at the time reminding people to drink plenty of water and stay cool.

The hardworking bee had obviously keeled over and died while collecting pollen and the hairs on its underside were still sprinkled with the yellow pollen dust. The bee may have been a victim of the heatwave since its not normal to see dead bees inside flowers [it didn't appear to have been injured by a predator.]

It is relatively common to see exhausted bumble bees in the summer time , who seem to be at great risk of being stood on or eaten by birds . If I am able to, I give them a drop of honey and water which quickly revives them.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Photo Friday- Alone

There are actually two lonely things in this photo, though one isn't so easy to see.

The lonely sea gull is easily visible, but there is also a swimmer who looks like a black dot roughly in the centre of the image.

He swam around for a while despite the gathering storm and he wasn't wearing a wetsuit, so he must have been quite hardy.

The sea temperature was probably higher than the air temperature that day though.

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