I am always fascinated by the sight of a flock of birds flying at high altitude, especially if they adopt a V-shaped formation and display a sense of determination and knowledge of where they are going.
The pictures below do not quite fulfil all of these criteria but they do record a captivating experience. I was sitting by the shore at Agadir, Morocco, and for about two hours flight after flight of birds, often in fairly loose formation, flew from west to east along the coast. I have no idea what they were, where they had come from nor where they were going. I just know that I was witnessing a sizable if somewhat untidy migration
It’s all about textures and the variations within even a small area of tree bark:
Click on each image to enlarge
This morning’s visitors included a pied wagtail, who bobbed along happily at the edge of the sheep field;
a green woodpecker who came in search of ants;
and a female blackbird who popped in for a quick shower!!
A quiet corner in Mojacar, Spain.
I often feel that black and white offers the best way for me to express what I feel about reeds and grasses. It is a medium that conveys a crispness of shape, a hint of rhythmic movement and, through the careful use of tones, the opportunity to highlight or subdue elements within the composition. Often, as in this picture, there seems to be an overlap between photography, etching and wood engraving.
Abstract 158 was taken from a group of still life photos using garlic cloves as the subject. The pictures below are from the same session.
Yesterday was a day of heavy showers, punctuated by occasional brief spells of sunshine. It was mischievous weather – the sort that lulled you into a false sense of security and then soaked you to the skin!
But by early evening the showers had ceased and the rays of the sinking sun produced a range of soft pinks and blues in the passing clouds. The only sounds were bird songs, the occasional bleating of lambs in the sheep field and the apologetic hourly chime from the clock in the church tower. It was a magical time.
There is something incredibly tactile about a picture of peeling paint – if it is possible to have a tactile picture. Certainly I have a powerful urge to get at the screen and remove those curling flakes. I can feel the satisfaction even as I type the words!
Down at the reservoir, while the coots were cooting and the swans were swanning, across the causeway four anglers were ….. well, what were they doing? Two boats, each with two anglers, were nestled together, but only one angler had a fishing rod and, even more strangely, he had two rods in one hand!! It was all very odd and I’ve no idea what was going on!
It is interesting to compare the black and white images below with the colour image, Pond Abstract, posted recently. All of the shots were taken within seconds of each other. It seems to me that the monochrome pictures convey a sense of energy and movement, which is the essence of these photos. The colour image, I find more static but with a strong ‘pattern’ interrelationship between shapes and colours.
Tree bark can play tricks with the imagination!
by X.J. Kennedy
The diet of the owl is not
For delicate digestions.
He goes out on a limb to hoot
And just because he winks like men
Who utter sage advice,
We think him full of wisdom when
He’s only full of mice.
The appearance of my wine rack comprises simply a column of square openings. But when viewed at an angle the strong diagonals and shadows create bold images.
Click each image separately
There is a struggle of mythological proportions taking place in this picture.
Or, alternatively, it is just a photo of garlic cloves!
We think of the swan as probably the most elegant of birds, and there is a grace about the swan that suggests it is is aware of its aristocratic status. But beauty and elegance require constant attention to detail, and this proud bird can regularly be found in some quiet corner of the reservoir preening and cleaning.
It’s Springtime down at the reservoir and the coots are responding, as guided by nature. They are not normally particularly ‘showy’ birds but their courting and mating ritual is quite a lively affair (no pun intended!)
The first encounter: ‘Hello. Do you swim here often?’
Getting acquainted: ‘You’re a fine looking bird.’
An intruder arrives: ‘Go away! I saw her first. Scoot, Coot!’
Whoops! Hey, what’s going on?
‘OK! OK! Enough! I submit.’