Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Photo friday- textured

The word 'textured' made me think of tree bark. I take a lot of photos of trees and i've developed a habit of photographing the branches against the sky and the texture of the bark.
I think its interesting to see how the trees change throughout the year , from the stark bare branches of winter and spring to the masses of summer leaves in all their different shades of green. Not forgetting the oranges, browns and yellows as summer turns to autumn.

This is the bark of the London Plane tree, Platanus x acerifolia . Its peeling bark is really attractive , and very reminiscent of camouflage clothing. .

The bark is shed in irregular pieces and exposes different bark layers. the inner bark is a pale yellowish grey, the mid bark is a greenish grey and the outer bark is mid brown.

The trees can be variable in the bark colours, some are more dramatically coloured and 'patchwork looking' than others.

This is a close up of the bark showing how the different layers are exposed. Close-up it looks like map contour lines.
The upper branches of the plane tree. The branches are cut back at the beginning of winter by the local council which tends to produce a lot of small spindly branches taht get covered in leaves by teh summer.
When the trees are initially cut back it looks incredibly severe, as if the trees will never recover; but they bounce back stronger than ever the following year.
Old Olive trees [Olea europaea] have very characteristic gnarly bark., As they age, they start to look like twisted old people . Some of the really old trees look as if they come to life and start moving slowly around, like Ents, when humans aren't watching. Or maybe they could be trolls or the elderly wise folk who talk in riddles in fairy tales.

Their bark gives plenty of crevices for creepy crawlies ,small animals and other plants to grow. Some of the fallen black olives are just about visible here -its easier to see in the original photo Some small succulents and a couple of other plants have taken root in some of the holes in the olive trunk. The black olives are in various stages of decomposition - they are eaten by birds etc

The sky through the olive trees branches. Olives are evergreen, so they have plenty of leaves in winter.

This is a photo of the texture of the trunk of a tall palm tree.

And this is a photo of branches of the same tree . It reminds me of a peacock's tail feathers from this angle.Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

La Grippe, Graffiti and weird stuff

I have been ill for the past week with flu- real flu [la grippe in French] . I have recovered to the point that it feels like i have a heavy cold but at least the headaches, fevers and chilly bones have ended. I think it explains why I was having the strange headaches and feeling weird for week or so beforehand too.

This stencilled cat is close to my house - it has been carefully renewed when the wall was repainted - probably not by the original artist/stenciller.

I'm not sure why this pile of dog dirt was stencilled on a stone pillar -it wasn't in a very obvious place in day time as it was obscured by a cafe's awning and terrace tables and chairs.

I'd seen it at night and hadn't had the opportunity to photograph it and when i went back a day or so later, I couldn't find the graffiti so I thought it had been removed.

I was challenged by Sue to write about 6 things people probably don't know about me:

1] I can't drive - I was given driving lessons as a 17th birthday present but had absolutely zero interest in driving so it was a complete waste of time and money. Added to this I am not even a good passenger in cars as I cringe because I have difficulties judging distance when things are moving. I also have problems telling my right from left and can't work out how to go round roundabouts properly - so all in all I am absolutely safer as a non driver-and so are other road users!

I did actually sit my driving test twice - on one occasion the driving tester was wrapped in bandages like a mummy - he had just got out of hospital after being injured in a crash. He spent the whole time shaking and graoning -it didn't help my confidence much.

2] I am ambidextrous - for most things I use the closest hand [or foot ]. I can write and paint with my left hand but I generally use my right -everything else is variable.

3] I can't eat cooked vegetables or they come right back up again. My mum used to try and get me to eat them but quickly realised that it was easier just to let me eat them raw. I think its something to do with their chnaged texture when they are cooked.

4] I hate heights and have problems even looking at other people leaning over railings or waving from windows - even complete strangers. Even reading about the proposed walkway over the Grand Canyon makes me feel queasy.
I am ok with hills and mountains but don't like cliffs. When we decided to take an appartment on the 4th floor, i really had to ponder whether I would be able to cope with being up so high.

5] I have a 4 inch scar on my thigh from a jelly fish sting. I'm not sure what kind of jelly fish stung me- but it was excruciatingly painful and felt like an electric shock to my heart. In fact, I thought I had somehow managed to be electricuted in the sea before I saw the large purply-brown streaked jellyfish body. My leg had a 10 inch long wound wrapping round my thigh -which looked like it had been flayed open - but this eventually contracted and faded.

Earlier that day I had snorkelled through an immense swarm of hundreds of small lilac jellyfish without a single sting but this kind only sting like a nettle . It had been indescribably beautiful watching the lilac jellyfish swimming in the underwater sunbeams and I tend to remember this rather than the horrible sting.

6] I am a big sci-fi fan. I have loved Dr Who since I was really small and am currently addicted to watching the new incarnations of the Doctor as well as Captain Jack in the Torchwood spin-off series.
When I was about 15 I went to a Dr Who exhibition . I screamed when a Dalek came towards me shouting "Exterminate, Exterminate!" -much to the amusement of my 3 younger sisters.
I also love the re-imagined Battlestar Gallactica , oh and Firefly among many others sci-fi shows and films.
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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Assorted skies

I've taken quite a lot of sky photos recently- I never tire of the sky since the cloud formations and colours can be so different and dramatic.

The clouds in the next two photos look painted, I think.

Clouds building up before a storm and a few birds flying home.

Some thick black clouds contrasting with fluffy shell pink ones.

An orange striped sky

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