ellarien: red waterlily (waterlily)

Waterlily Waterlily
Chatsworth, Derbyshire, England, August 2009

ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
It broke 100 degrees in Tucson today, for the first time this year. Classes are over, and the campus was eerily quiet. The landscapers whipped out the wilted pansies around the building where I work, and replaced them with zinnias, which are somewhat more summer-proof. On my way home, I was chatting with a security guard who had stopped to admire the new flowers, and mentioned that I grew up in England. So, as one does, she asked me if I'd ever seen the Queen.

As it happens, I have. Twice. After all, it's a fairly small country, and being seen is in a sense her job, so the odds against it aren't that high.

The first time was on purpose, and it happened on this wise. )

The second time, almost twenty years later, was more or less by accident, and this was the manner of it. )


Jan. 6th, 2009 03:04 pm
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
Monday )
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)

Originally uploaded by ellarien.

This is from Wyming Brook, the last excursion of my vacation. It's as different as possible from current conditions in Tucson, where we're having a break in the monsoon conditions, with high heat and not too much humidity. I've had a couple of early morning walks with interesting flora and fauna, but I wanted to finish uploading the vacation pictures before I did anything with that.

ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
I've been looking at and printing photos this evening -- my own, and my father's. Here are a couple of side-by-side comparisons of similar shots taken with different cameras.

Landscape )

Cactus Flower )
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)

Orchis Orchis
Wyming Brook, Sheffield, England, July 2008

It's been a good year for these -- we saw lots at Chatsworth, and even more around the bottom end of Wyming Brook -- including a whole stand of them growing in a no-access field belonging to the water company. (Atavistically, I want to call it the Water Board, but it isn't, these days.) They seem to like long, damp grass.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)

Originally uploaded by ellarien.

The rain on the day we went to Chatsworth was very gentle, like a thick mist that left the flowers bedewed but not battered. (There were some very sad looking peonies, though. They're gorgeous things, but this is not a good part of the world for them.)

This is a detail of one of the delphiniums in the kitchen garden.

ellarien: red waterlily (waterlily)
A waterlily from the Ring Pond at Chatsworth -- the same pond that yielded the icon. Sadly, I haven't seen the red one since I had the better camera.

Waterlily Waterlily
Chatsworth Gardens, August 2007

ellarien: Higger Tor (Home)

Originally uploaded by ellarien.

Beloved of rock-climbers, and recently seen on the screen (Pride and Prejudice and, I think, the new BBC Jane Eyre.) The last layer of the horizon is Kinder Scout, with Win Hill in front of that, away across the Hope Valley. It always seems to be windy up here, and cloudy more often than not, even when the valleys are sunny; the path is a succession of rough gritstone boulders interspersed with stretches of the grey moorland sand. On the other side, the moor stretches away in a sea of heather and yellow-green grass. From out of sight below the edge, the climbers' gear chimes like little bells.

ellarien: Higger Tor (Home)
I just watched the second half of the BBC/PBS Jane Eyre, and now I'm homesick. Those were my hills, my moors, my rocks and heather. Not that I'd be able to walk on them right now if I was there, with all the rain, but it still hurts to be stuck here in the relentless bone-dry heat.


Sep. 24th, 2006 11:01 am
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)

A wet August brought out a lot of these colourful bracket fungi in the woods around Sheffield.

More fungi in a gallery here.

ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)

Originally uploaded by ellarien.

The weather has been glorious this week, with sunshine and fluffy white clouds blown across a shining sky. The wind has a touch of autumn crispness, and carries the tang of dead leaves; the trees are starting to turn colour, and drop brown crinkly leaves that lie in drifts among the lush green grass.

I've been in love with this campus for nearly a quarter of a century, and on days like this I think that it is in autumn that I've always loved it best.

And the photo? Creepers on the wall in front of the library that dominates the grassy square at the heart of the campus; if you look closely, you can spot a tiny brown spider at the centre of a perfect web.

PS: The next post might be from Romania. If I don't manage to post from there, you may not hear from me until I'm back in the US late on the 19th. There is supposed to be wireless at the conference, so we'll see.
ellarien: Higger Tor (Home)

Originally uploaded by ellarien.

'The Boat' by Dale Chihuly on the Canal Pond at Chatsworth.

ellarien: Higger Tor (Home)
I'm on vacation at home for the next couple of weeks -- hence, limited bandwidth. Possibly less than that, if I didn't succeed in fixing the dialup by my maneuvers with MS patches the other night.

I'll be using the low-bandwidth style, and there will be no photos for the duration -- but probably lots shortly after I have broadband access again!
ellarien: a nice cup of tea (British)
My US colleagues have been commenting on the paucity of drinking fountains around here, which I hadn't even thought about.

It isn't that the water isn't safe. (Though I grew up with the notion that public drinking fountains, the few that existed, were unsanitary.) It isn't that buying bottled water is an entrenched part of the culture, though it's becoming more common.

It's just that casual public consumption of plain water isn't part of the culture -- and in the mild climate, it isn't a huge health issue. The British will consume hot tea and coffee at every opportunity, for sociability and warmth as well as thirst, but water? Newfangled American habit, almost as bad as excessively-iced soft drinks. My mother and I carry thermos flasks of hot coffee when we go hiking.


May. 29th, 2006 08:27 pm
ellarien: Higger Tor (Home)
The weather has been very capricious today, alternating sunshine and rain on a ten-minute cycle. We did go out, up through the woods to Whirlow for more rhododendrons. We saw some robins, and a thrush, and a bluetit zipping into a tiny chink in a stone wall, and lots of bluebells and hawthorn blossom, and the rhododendrons were amazing; the coral-pink ones glow from a hundred yards away.

Tomorrow I'm heading out to the Manchester airport, and thence to Denmark. It's been a nice break, in spite of the weather. Whether I can report in tomorrow evening will depend on whether the hotel has wireless. The local organizer says it does, but the hotel's own website only mentions an office with internet available to guests.
ellarien: Higger Tor (Home)
The weather has been iffy, but not too bad. Yesterday we went into town, to see the new stainless-steel-ball fountains outside the Winter Gardens, and other things in the rather pleasant vicinity of the Town Hall, and then to the Botanical Gardens. The rhododendrons were in bloom all over, pink and purple and red and white. There were also golden azaleas, and pink-tinged magnolias, and a dove tree with huge dangling white bracts that we never remember noticing before, though it had obviously been around for a while. Also squirrels, and pigeons, and a flower on the banana tree in the glasshouses.

Today we went to Graves Park, where there were more rhododendrons, and an adorable Highland calf, and baby coots swimming to their mothers to be fed, and four little ducklings. The bluebells in the woods were a bit past their best and would have looked better with a bit of sunlight, but they were there, as were masses of starry white wild garlic, all under fresh green leaves.

I have, of course, taken many photographs. The calf was downright flirting with the camera, and a lamb with panda patches on its nose and eyes thrust its head right through the fence.


May. 25th, 2006 11:09 am
ellarien: Higger Tor (Home)
I'm in Sheffield, safe and sound if rather sleep-deprived. The spring greens in the woods are amazing, and there's hawthorn blossom everywhere. I was greeted at my mother's house by a magnificent display of pink azalea blossom, and spent the next several minutes making photos while the sun shone.

The journey went smoothly, and I had a rather nice time in the Dallas airport; here's what I typed while waiting there.
Read more... )

Mission Statement

Reading, writing, plant photography, and the small details of my life, with digressions into science and computing.



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