This soundscape is part of a long term project called “12 Monaten” I´m making about an ex military training ground near Landshut, Bavaria, Germany. First you can hear general sounds from around the pond, then, using a hydrophone, I´ve recorded the sounds in the water. What you can hear are various insects stridulating. I think the louder stridulations are made by Notenecta glauca – in English water boatman or backswimmer and in German, Gemeiner Rückenschwimmer. It´ll be interesting to record sound here as the year progresses, the water becomes warmer and more animals both invertebrate and vertebrate become active, for example toads and frogs.
It was a windy turbulent day when I walked up to the Old Man of Storr on Skye. The clouds came rushing in from the sea, blown along by gusting gale force winds. I took this shot down below it, I liked how imposing the whole cliff face looked from below. The place had a sort of Dolomites feel to it.
I´ve just returned from a three week trip to the UK, for two weeks of which we made a fantastic tour of the north of Scotland. The weather was amazing and the scenery was breathtaking. I took this at Neist Point on Skye where we had a wonderful night wild camping.
A few months ago I received an email from the editor in chief of the UK magazine “Woodworking Plans and Projects” asking if he could use one of my images. He wanted it to illustrate a story written by one of his readers. It told the story of how some of the wood saved from the demolition of the Tate and Lyle Sugar Refinery in Liverpool. UK, had been used in various woodworking projects. The editor had googled Tate and Lyle and the search result threw up a Blog article that I´d posted in February 2013. I was pleased that I could add to the readers enjoyment of the article – hopefully.
This enquiry and licensing of the use of one of my photographs highlighted a number of points for me. The first being that a photograph that I´d taken more than 40 years ago still had a use today. The second being, as well as fun, how useful blogging can be. The third, how important search engine optimization (SEO) is. And last but not least, the importance of picture captions and that they should say something useful about the photograph.
Going back to the first point, a photograph never looses it´s power to say something, to illustrate something and to bring back memories. I can still remember walking through the remains of the Liverpool dockland as they went under the wreckers ball and disappeared for ever or was spruced up into a sort of Disney World of the British nautical and industrial past. It also brings back harder memories of strife, poverty and division that was so much part of the British story of the 1980s.
By the way, the now long gone Tate and Lyle Sugar Refinery and it´s demise still has an important place in Liverpool folklore. No-one can know how something – even an ugly building – or a photograph of it´s innards being ripped out, can retain meaning.
I really should get on with scanning more of my old negatives and positives and getting them archived and online – who knows what stories are buried there, and for who!
I took this yesterday morning. I was staying up at the Kemater Alm in the Tuxer region of the Stubai Alps in Austria. The day before had been one of snow storms, cloud and this mountain range was almost completely hidden by cloud – then yestarday it dawned fine with blue skies. The sun was rising behind the range and projecting their shadows up into the sky above them.
Yesterday I wrote about a border crossing walk, this photograph was taken in the same area. We´d returned to the car in the gathering gloom at the end of the day. As the sun set, a mist rose through the trees creating the most mysterious lighting – the trees, the road, the mist all combining into this strange scene. After our walk into the past of the Cold War, I guess it was a fitting end to the day.
We´ve just had a few days in the Bavarian Forest which is in the south east of Germany and buts onto the Czech border. One day we drove up towards the border for a walk and,
accidentally had a walk back into the Cold War, refugees, Empire, nationalism and man´s inhumanity to man. The road to the Czech Border is straight out of a spy film. It´s a single track ribbon which ends abruptly at the border.
And naturally we kept on following our noses, crossed a wooden footbridge and entered the Czech Republic. It´s important to know that this area was once the Sudeten Land, here lived an estimated 3 million German speaking Bohemians. The Czech Republic has had a pretty stormy history, it together, with Slovakia, was once a part of the Austro Hungarian Empire. After the Empire´s collapse in 1918, the Republic of Czechosovakia was formed. It´s life was short lived, though. In 1938 parts of the Republic, including the Sudeten Land, were annexed by HItler´s Germany. Thousands of Sudeten Czechs were expelled or murdered. But all such things have a terrible habit of swinging the other way. After the end of WW2, the Germans and German speaking Sudetens were, in their turn, murdered or expelled. Many in the Czech Republic felt that they´d been betrayed by the West and moved towards the Communists. And this is where our border walk moved to the Cold War!
We came around a corner in the narrow path through the forest to be confronted by the old Cold War border! This had been rebuilt here complete with double electrified fence, “death strip” and watch tower!
It was quite a surprise to be suddenly transported back in time to pre 1989!
This place was originally a village called, depending on which language you spoke, either Buzina or Buchwald. At the beginning of the 20th Century, 392 German and 4 Czech speakers lived in the village. Because the village virtually straddled the border, as the Cold War developed, the surviving residents were “moved” to other areas and in 1956 the remaining buildings were leveled. At that time the border was still relatively open – although I´ve heard stories of children who strayed into Czechoslovakia to retrieve footballs being arrested. But with the advent of the Berlin Wall this part of the Cold War border received it´s dose of barbed wire, land mines, watch towers and machine-guns.
All things come to pass and now this border is once again open, no longer is one confronted by armed unsmiling border guards, in fact because of the open border policy of the EU, no border guards at all. A heart warming aspect of this now open border are the two national parks which occupy this border area – on the German side is Bavarian Forest National Park and on the Czech, the Sumava National Park. We tramped through the hardly visible remains of the village, through the forest and finally hit the road again which brought us back to our car.
This area of the Bavarian Pre-alps has a lot of forest. The deciduous trees´leaves are all turning now, giving splashes and points of colour in an otherwise sombre scene.
If you´d like to see the picture gallery, then please go here.
The weather forecast for last weekend was perfect! After a lot of snow early in the week, a high was forecast to appear on Friday, bringing with it good weather and a mixture of sun and cloud for the weekend. So I was up at the Lenggries hut in the Bavarian Prealps on Saturday to photograph the sunset and Sunday´s dawn. But the best laid plans etc. – the weather kicked in rain which basically washed out the photography on Saturday. Non the less on Sunday I was up early, left the hut in the dark and tramped up through soft, wet snow to the summit of Seekarkreuz (1600m) to see what would happen. As it turned out I did get some interesting and moody lighting, which this shot of the Zugspitze (2962m), Germany´s highest mountain, shows. A hole in the clouds allowed the sun to strike the snow fields on the mountain to the right of the Zugspitze for a few minutes.
Then it was down to the hut for breakfast and a welcome coffee. Needles to say, as I came out of the forest on the way down to the car, I was met by warm sunshine. Typical really, but “no pain, no gain” and I was pleased with the results from the Seekarkreuz!
This tiny early 12th century church was a chapel at ease for the widespread community of Penrhos Lligwy. The Bellcot and upper parts of the church show signs of rebuilding in the 14th century and small extension with a burial vault beneath was added in the 16th. This hidden corner of Anglesey is well worth a visit, as well as this pretty chapel, it has the remains of a small village dating back to, at least, Roman times and a Neolithic Burial Chamber.