Sunday, September 30, 2007

Photo Friday - comfort

Last week was very stormy and the wheel of the seasons has definitely turned to autumn. The leaves are turning yellow and brown and soon they will be whisked away by the winds.

There is a chilly dampness in the early morning or evening air, even though the middle of the day can still be warm and sunny.

I think that thick, dark, hot chocolate is the perfect comfort drink when the wind is howling and the rain crashing down.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007


Dragonflies have very ancient origins and fossils have been found of dragonflies which are up to 300million years old-long before the dinosaurs appeared on the earth.
The ancient dragonflies were huge, with wingspans of up to 30 inches [75cm]

The dragonflies in these photos are very small by comparison - the wingspan is only about 2inches [around 6cm]

They are darter dragonflies [meadowhawks in the US] -Sympetrum species but I'm not sure exactly what kind they are.

Close up , dragonflies look very mechanical with the intricate arrangements of wings and giant eyes.

The wings can look like leaded glass if the sun catches them at the right angle. The dragonfly motif was common in Art Nouveau especially in jewelery and stained glass work.

This is a close view of the legs, showing the bristles and hooked, grasping feet. When dragonflies are hunting, they use the hooks and bristled legs as a trap to snare flying insects.
They can catch insects as large as butterflies and they are beneficial to humans because they eat a lot of harmful insects.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

PhotoFriday - Fantasy

A few weeks ago we went to the Cagnes sur mer Mediaeval fair.
In this case, the street performers were definitely more Mordor than Mediaeval.

I'm not sure if they were definitely meant to be Orcs as I couldn't find the company name on the programme-but they looked authentic enough for the audience.

This orc was demonstrating his prowess with his strange curvy blades.

The costuming and choreography was really good-although it must have been very tiring to wear all the layers of prosthetic makeup, costumes and amour on such a hot day.

One of the Orcs put his hand on my shoulder when i was busy talking to my kids and looking in the wrong direction - I nearly leapt of of my skin when I turned to see his creepy Orc face close to my ear.

It happened too fast for my husband to photograph , though I think the look on my face would have been priceless.
They were good fun and stayed in character; wandering through the streets staging axe fights, fire eating and acrobatics.

The photo below was taken during the axe fighting. I liked the firey shields and the axes landed with impressive thumps.

One thing that always amazes me at event like this, is how often parents in the audience seem to have no appreciation of danger.
It seems to escape them that the fighters are using real axes and fire etc so allowing toddlers to wander towards the actors or lifting them up to see the action better and into the path of an axe could result in a trip to hospital or worse.

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