Thursday 31 March 2016

Bird of the Week

I may not be able to maintain this theme as the A-Z Challenge starts tomorrow and will occupy most of my time next month.

This is my bird this week, although the photos are much older - 

Two swans - 'apreening' in Cornwall
Mute swan - Stokkavatnet, Stavanger, Norway
And from Scotland a photo taken by the husband of one of my wife's friends.

Swan convoy - cygnets escorted by their parents.

Sunday 27 March 2016

Easter/Spring - Sunday Stamps II

I struggle every year with this theme - I've shown flowers, rabbits and cathedrals before. This time I have chosen stamps containing chapels and churches from Scandinavia and Europe.

Finland - Lammi Church - 4 March 1956

The original church was built in 1490/1510. It was initially a Catholic church but converted to Lutheran in the mid 1500s. It's also known as the church of St Catherine of Alexandria.

Le Corbousier was the architect of the chapel on my next stamp from 1965.

France - Chapelle de Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp
The building was finished in 1954 and has appeared on a number of stamps of different denominations.

My third stamp shows the national shrine of Bavaria dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

West Germany - Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting, 9 February  1989
For more Easter offerings please visit the links at Sunday-Stamps-II-67

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Special - Bird of the Week

I have only ever seen this bird once in our garden, but I have now managed to get a couple of shots of one on a nearby cottage roof.

Its characteristic tail action and its black bib made it stand out.

Pied Wagtail
What's so special about this is not the bird - this is post number 1000 for me.

Monday 21 March 2016

A-Z Challenge 2016 - Theme Reveal

I've been taking some photos today that are connected with my theme this year.

This flower could appear under 'A' or 'W'
This under 'L' or 'C' if it appears at all
This one looks rather lonely, but you would hardly call it shrinking.

When it appears under 'D' or 'V'

If you haven't guessed by now, my theme is wild flowers. Most of us will be aware of the flowers that grow in our gardens but what surprises me is how few of the wild flowers that I know.

I pass them every day but rarely look at them. Well this year will be different - even if many of them may fall under the letter 'X' for unknown.

This is my sixth year entering the challenge. I look forward to meeting old friends and making new contacts - one of the joys of taking part.

Sunday 20 March 2016

The Colour Green - Sunday Stamps II

I have a sheet of stamps that were issued in celebration of Earth Day 2011 which is particularly appropriate for this week's theme.

USA - Go Green - 14 April 2011
As you can see each stamp contains an eco-tip on simple things we can do each day. I wonder how many of the 16 tips you practise.

Norway has been a member of the Eureka organisation for European Technological Research since it started in 1985. This stamp issued 6 June 1994 is definitely green. However it's very difficult to make out the wording at the bottom of the stamp

With it having been St Patrick's Day this week I was disappointed that that I could not find a green stamp from Ireland to show.

This is an entry for Sunday-Stamps-II-66. where other green issues are to be found by following the links.

Thursday 17 March 2016

Bird of the Week

I saw two birds apparently admiring themselves in a window one day this week.

Male chaffinch
I've since learnt that the old lady who lives there has a bird feeder that they visit. Perhaps they were trying to tell her it was empty.

The chaffinch is one of our prettier birds, especially the more colourful male.

Chaffinch on wall outside my home office window in 2013.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Health and Welfare - Sunday Stamps II

I have chosen to go for organisations associated with health and welfare this week.

The Physicians of America were commemorated by this stamp in 1947.

USA - The Doctor (issued 9 June 1947)
This is from a painting by Samuel Luke Fildes, an English painter and illustrator, which hangs in the Tate Gallery. Sir Henry Tate commissioned the work which was painted in 1890.

The 'blurb' for the stamp on the US Stamp Gallery website heads it 'The Doctor, Sir John Fildes' for some reason or another. Apparently it depicts that doctors were no better off then than they had been for centuries, They could only sit and watch as the child depicted died of diphtheria.

The Red Cross is an organisation know world  wide.  On 7 September 1948 the USA issued a commemorative stamp.

USA - Clara Barton, Founder of the American Red Cross

The Salvation Army is well know in the UK. A set of two stamps commemorating its centenary was issued  on 9 May 1965. (I have only one of the set)

Great Britain - Salvation Army centenary

I've written about Joseph Lister before (Lister) on Sunday Stamps but now have both stamps from the set commemorating the centenary of antiseptic surgery.

Great Britain - 1 September 1965
For more health and welfare posts please visit, no appointment needed, Sunday-Stamps-II-65.

Friday 11 March 2016

Bird of the week

There are a number of fields near where we live that are so waterlogged that they are a favourite place for ducks like these today.

Two drakes and a hen mallard duck

Although you can quite clearly see the female on the ground I didn't realise she was there until I saved the photos to my computer.

Just out of shot were two more drakes. Pictures taken from 30 yards away.

Tuesday 8 March 2016

Night - Thematic Photography

Over the years I have tried many moonshots - not always with success.

A lazy moon
A perigee moon
Moonlight night - a blue moon

Blue moon
Sometimes however if you catch night arriving and the sun about to set in the west -

Sunset over Skye from the isle of Raasay
However once night descends it may be too dark to cut the Michigan grass.

I hope you can find your way across to see more shots at Carmi's Thematic-photographic-368. before you say goodnight.

Sunday 6 March 2016

Women - Sunday Stamps II

I'm surprised how few women appear on stamps. Of course no-one can beat Queen Victoria's record of being first; our current Queen must hold the record for appearing most.

But do you know who was the first woman to appear on stamps from the USA?

Even there only four First Ladies have appeared on a stamp at all - Martha Washington (1902, 1923 & 1938), Eleanor Roosevelt (1963, 1984 & 1998), Dolley Madison (1980) and Lady Bird Johnson (2012).

The old album I mentioned last week had two blocks of four stamps depicting a woman who had been the leading actress in Norwegian theatre for half-a-century.

Norway - Johanne Dybwad, stage actress and producer
The other block is the 40 ore denomination, the same design in blue - issued 2 August 1967 on the 100th anniversary of her birth.

In 1963 Carole Joan Crawford had reason to pleased with herself and on 14 February 1964 she appeared on her country's stamps.

Jamaica - 1964
 I have two of the First Lady stamps I mentioned.

Martha Washinton - 1923
Eleanor Roosevelt -  1998 
That damaged stamp is from the 'Celebrate the Century' series.

But the USA stamp I'd really like to find is that of a Queen who was the first woman on their stamps. 

Queen Isabella of Spain appeared in 1893 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the New World.

 To celebrate other women today just visit the links at Sunday-Stamps-II-64.

Saturday 5 March 2016

A last meow

Regular visitors to my blog will know that I am fond of dogs, but rarely mention cats.

I have always had to stop and 'chat' with one in the village that was known to everyone, including their dogs.

From her we always got a friendly greeting; she would leave her sunbathing spot to sit on the low wall alongside the footpath. She would not let you ignore her.

This morning I was told she has passed away, aged 17.

Her conscious tail her joy declared
The fair round face, the showy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet and emerald eyes,
She saw and purred applause.
( Thomas Grey)

He last meow fades away.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Data - Thematic Photography

I've reached an age when studying lots of data is boring. So I rarely look at equity prices in the newspaper and never online. Not even - 

London Commodities Prices
That's London, England, Carmi not Ontario. And anyway there's probably an app for data such as this.

However even with leisure activities it's impossible it seems for some people not to record data of what they do.

Watching birds that frequent our garden - over 5 years data.
I've played a lot of golf over the years and can tell you how many courses I have played at;  I even at one time recorded my scores - hole by hole for every game. I won't bore you with data like that.

However I know of players who go to pieces every time they see the data on it every time they pick up a card.

There's another nine holes of data on the other side.
All before they've hit a ball.

I just wonder how Harry Potter kept the Quidditch score when he played behind these walls.

Alnwick Castle (where the film was made)
Perhaps he stored his data in the clouds.

Like us these days he has plenty to chose from.

If you haven't had enough, you may explore more data at Thematic-photographic-367.