City of London

cityscape

View from City Point, Moorgate.

Despite the portability of the Sony NEX-7 I rented over the holidays, it was good to get back to my trusty Canon.  Everything is so much more intuitive, at least to this long term Canon shooter.  This is a blend of eleven 30 sec exposures taken at dusk on Saturday.  Back to NEX images tomorrow.

The tenth day of Christmas; oh, to heck with it!

hawthorns

Dartmoor on New Year’s Day

Well, I suppose I could come up with some tenuous link between today’s post and Christmas, if I tried really hard.  But, instead, I thought I’d share this shot taken in Dartmoor National Park on New Year’s Day.  This is for you, Gunta. 😉

While we were away, I rented a new camera, the Sony NEX-7 from the good folk at hireacamera.com.  I need a lightweight alternative to my big brick for hiking but I want to try before I buy.  Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the images I took and my impressions of this high-end compact system camera.

The fifth day of Christmas: yummy money

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In Britain, chocolate coins are a traditional Christmas gift, most often in the stockings of children. The origin of this tradition may lie in old stories about Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra in Lycia (Turkey). According to one story, he wanted to give money to the poor children of Myra without them knowing so he climbed on a roof and threw money down a chimney, which landed in a child’s stockings hung up to dry. The giving of chocolate coins, or gelt, is also a tradition of Hanukah.

The First Day of Christmas

Merry Christmas

Christmas Day is the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas celebrated in the well-known song.  This song probably originates in France but the first English version dates from about AD 1250.  The song was a festive memory game with players taking turns to sing a verse and forfeits if words were forgotten.  

Wishing all my blogging friends a very merry Christmas.

Winter walk

snow

I HAD for my winter evening walk
No one at all with whom to talk,
But I had the cottages in a row
Up to their shining eyes in snow.
And I thought I had the folk within:
I had the sound of a violin;
I had a glimpse through curtain laces
Of youthful forms and youthful faces.
I had such company outward bound.
I went till there were no cottages found.
I turned and repented, but coming back
I saw no window but that was black.
Over the snow my creaking feet
Disturbed the slumbering village street
Like profanation, by your leave,
At ten o’clock of a winter eve.

Robert Frost

Harlequins

ladybird

Some shots from September found languishing on my hard drive.  I chose to use a high key look for these images, to capture a sense of the delicacy of the ladybird’s acrobatics on dry grass stems in my garden.

ladybird

This beetle is a harlequin ladybird, or harmonia axyridis.  The harlequin was brought from Asia into America and Europe as a form of biological control and it spread quickly, arriving in the UK in 2004.  It has since caused a rapid decline in indigenous species of ladybird.

ladybird

My own observations, for what they’re worth, bear this out; I rarely see anything but harlequins in my garden now.  Pesky things.  That doesn’t stop me photographing them though…