Sunday, 28 February 2010

Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector

Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector

Thornycroft's 1899 statue of Oliver Cromwell stands outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Cromwell served as a commander in the Parliamentarian army and was instrumental in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a republican commonwealth. He served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1653 until his death in 1658.

Eurasian Coot, Fulica Atra

Common Coot, Fulica atra

The common Eurasian Coot is a plump waterbird similar to a moorhen. I spotted this one foraging by the pond in Saint James's Park, London.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Richard I of England

Richard the Lionheart, Parliament Square, London

Marochetti's heroic 1860 statue of Richard the Lionheart stands in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament. Richard reigned as king of England from 1189 until his death in 1199.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

European Robin, Erithacus Rubecul

European Robin, Erithacus Rubecula, bird

Normally I'm too slow when trying to take close-ups of birds. By the time I'm ready they're long gone! Luckily this robin in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace didn't mind waiting for me.

Along the River Thames

the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, Millennium Wheel, Palace of Westminster

While walking around London at the weekend I took this picture of the Thames from the Golden Jubilee Bridge. The Ferris wheel is the London Eye, the largest in Europe. Westminster Bridge can be seen crossing the river towards the Houses of Parliament, Victoria Tower and Big Ben.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The Apennine Mountains

half moon, 6pm 21/02/2010

half moon, 10pm 21/02/2010

No matter how many times I photograph the moon, every photo seems to reveal surface features I hadn't previously noticed. Tonight the shadows fell just right for the Apennine Mountains to show to the west of the Sea of Serenity. The range includes Mons Huygens, the highest mountain on the moon at 5000m.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Red Telephone Box

red phone box

Red telephone boxes used to be a familiar sight in the U.K. but are slowly disappearing. I spotted this example of a K6C kiosk this morning while exploring central London.  The K6 was designed in 1935 by Sir Giles Scott to celebrate the silver jubilee of King George V.

Squirrels in Central London

squirrel in St James Park

grey squirrel in Green Park

This morning I wandered around central London and was amazed how tame the squirrels are. They seemed quite happy to pose patiently for photos and were confident enough to climb all over me!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Votive Offering to Mithras

The Temple of Mithras at Carrawburgh was discovered in 1949 and has it's origins in the 3rd century AD. The site was sacred to the Cult of Mithras. No evidence exists for the continuation of the cult after the 4th century, so who continues to leave a votive offering on the altar?

Sunday, 14 February 2010

The View Along the River Witham

river Witham at Boston

I went for a walk along the east bank of the river heading upstream from Boston. Here's the view back towards Boston and the Stump.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Cave Formations in Gough's Cave

There are some amazing formations in Gough's Cave, but I can never see what they're supposed to be. What do they look like to you?

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Further into Gough's Cave

cave aged Cheddar cheese

Further into Gough's Cave something strange is waiting. A slope leads away from the main passage towards a shelved area. This is where the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company stores their Cave Aged Cheddar for 12 months. Unfortunately I didn't have chance to sample any.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Cheddar Man in Gough's Cave

Cheddar Man in Gough's Cave

Cheddar Man is the name given to the oldest complete human skeleton discovered in the U.K., dated to 7150 BC. This replica is displayed in Gough's Cave where the remains were discovered in 1903. DNA testing has revealed descendants of Cheddar Man still live in Cheddar. A ceremonial staff made from reindeer antler, fox teeth and perforated shells were discovered with the remains.


Thomas, N. A Guide to Prehistoric England London: Batsford, 1960.
Sykes, B. The Seven Daughters of Eve London: Bantam Press, 2001.

Reflections of the Swiss Village

Reflection of the Swiss Village formation in Gough's Cave, Cheddar

The Swiss Village is a formation in Gough's Cave, Cheddar. The picture and clip both show the village's reflection in a shallow pool below the formation.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Boston Docks

Boston Docks on the River Witham

It rained on and off all day, but during the interval I went for a short walk along the river to the south of Boston. The crane is one of several belonging to Boston docks which I remember visiting on a school trip! Boston Stump is visible in the background and the revolving railway bridge can be see just before the bend in the river.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Frost Crystals

frost crystals, hoar frost

frost crystals, radiation frost

Yesterday's frost formed needle-like crystals up to 3mm. Hopefully it won't be the last hoarfrost of the winter because I'm hoping to get a better shot.

Have you got any tips on taking close ups of frost, ice or snow?

Sheep Don't Know the Green Cross Code

I've been sorting through photos as I move them to a new computer and I found this sign which is close to Enochdhu in Scotland. The Green Cross Code is a campaign to teach children how to safely cross the road. The sheep were wandering aimlessly in the road without a thought for the Green Cross Code!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Chasing the Moon

the moon

For the last couple of nights I've been hoping to get a decent picture of the full moon, but for some reason I couldn't get a clear shot of the surface features.

This one was taken 4 days ago and is the clearest I've managed. I used a tripod and the self-timer and set the exposure compensation to -2.
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