We’ve had such a long and dreary winter this year. And spring was just an interlude – a momentary interruption of winter for just a few days. But, with fingers crossed and touching wood, I do believe summer has arrived. The mercury is doing its best to force its way out the top of thermometers, and much of the British population are doing their best to apply ridiculous red sunburns to their faces and arms. Which they will later view in the mirror at home, contrasting the difference against their Artic white torsos, causing either a little bit of self loathing or a bit of a giggle. Depending upon their outlook on life. I am a giggler.

Continue reading


HTC One Macro

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, the HTC One does have it’s shortcomings with regards resolution and detail. But they are shortcomings that I can happily live with. It has its plus points too. One of the biggies turns out to be macro shooting. This shouldn’t be surprising really, given how close the lens and sensor are to each other. Add in the fast f2.0 lens and you get some excellent depth of field thrown into the bargain. A selection of a few macro shots can be seen by clicking here.


The Colour Conspiracy

The photo below is amongst the latest additions to my collection of English Spring flowers. Are those petals blue, or yellow? Colour is, it seems, important. I’ve noticed that some commentators – individuals, bloggers, forum participants and journalists – have taken issue with some people describing the killer of Trayvon Martin as a ‘white Hispanic’.

Why mention white? Surely Hispanic would suffice? I don’t know, nor much care. But I have noticed that a fair number of people who are upset at Zimmerman being described as a ‘white Hispanic’, get equally upset at Obama being referred to as black. He’s biracial, dontcha know. The importance of being precise in colour description? It seems to depend on convenience. It’s another good reason to ensure ‘racial profiling’ remains an historical abhorrence.  Consistency has never been a strong point with those on the extreme edge of the political world. Nor has the ability to learn from history. Or, in the case of the golden oldies, to learn from events from their own lifetimes.

But then, these are often the sort of people who describe Obama as a socialist. At that point, it’s clear they haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. Not the slightest idea. Life isn’t so black and white.But, back to the flower. Is it blue, or yellow? Well. I’ve had a good long hard look at that flower, and given it some thought. I’ve come to a conclusion. It’s a flower.



English Spring

I’m not much of a horticulturalist. Pretty much the opposite. I like nature, but I’m a city boy at heart. And whilst I appreciate the backdrop of a bloom, I’m rarely so taken that I feel the need to find out what sort of a bloom it is. Except in Mexico. Everyone there seems to measure the seasons by rainfall. Dry season and rainy season. But during my time there, the country experience more rainfail than rainfall. I measured the seasons more simply – Jacaranda season and Not Jacaranda season. I needed to know the name of the bloom to know the name of the season.

The seasons in England are far more dramatic than in Mexico. We have proper summers, autumns, winters and springs. And we definitely can’t measure them by rainfall, else the country would have but a single season. But plants can help to determine the time of year. Even more precisely than Mexico’s Jacarandas.

The snowdrops appear in January. February and March brings daffodils and crocuses. Primroses and violets in April and May sees the Rhododendrons and Bluebells add a splash of colour to rural England. The it’s summer and the country turns a lush, overwhelming green. Did you know that there are more species of plants in England than in any other country of the world? They’re not all native species of course, and I can’t find the link that I originally read to prove it. But I can believe it. The several of centuries of incessant collecting and cultivating that the country embarked on in the 1600’s  is pretty evident whenever you visit a stately home.

I’ve decided to see if I can’t document as many of these blooms as possible this spring. I’ve started sets on Flickr and Google which I’ll add to. To get things off to a start, there’s a few shots of snowdrops. They aren’t native to England, but have made themselves quite at home here. They’re common enough for me to be able to name. I can’t promise I’ll be able to name every flower I snap. I’ll need some help.