Photography – Sunset in East Yorkshire!

I do love a good sunset.

These were taken yesterday from a moving car! There were a few beauties that got away.

I wanted to get a few trees against the sky!


Photography – Cambodia – The Ankor Wat Temple complex – Incredible architecture and roots! Photos!

Photography – Cambodia – The Ankor Wat Temple complex – Incredible architecture and roots! Photos!

IMG_6949 IMG_6975 IMG_6986 IMG_6999 IMG_7015 IMG_6941 IMG_6932 IMG_6928 IMG_7037 IMG_7051 IMG_7059 IMG_7075 IMG_7129

The temple complex is a wondrous epitaph to a glorious civilisation.

Anecdote – Danger in the old Manor House – a true story


Anecdote – Danger in the old Manor House – a true story


I don’t believe in ghosts. Yet there are some things that are hard to explain.

When I was nine years old I used to play with a friend of mine who was the same age. We were wild and free and up to all mischief. No tree was safe from our attentions, no stream or pond out of bounds. We’d play tennis and roller-skate in the streets, build dens, tree houses, rafts and go off on our bikes all over town. Our parents never knew what we were up to.

That was the fun of it. We were free. And at nine years of age so grown up that we could handle anything – or could we?

One of the places we’d visit often was a big old deserted manor house. It had a big brick wall around it and great iron gates. The grounds were massive and overgrown. We hide our bikes in the long grass and shin over that wall as if it wasn’t there.

That manor house was massive with hundreds of voluminous echoey rooms, long corridors, big fireplaces, cupboards and great wooden shutters on all the windows. The front door was always open and we’d just go in. We’d run about on the old wooden floors and skid around the long corridors. We’d play hide-and-seek. It was great because all the sound was amplified and bounced back at you. Our voices and laughter boomed around and we’d thunder around the place. It was great fun. Though hide and seek was difficult though. You could always tell where someone was hiding because all the floorboards creaked. It was impossible to go anywhere without being heard.

We knew that we weren’t allowed in the place and we’d get really told off if we were caught but that made it more exciting. And besides, nobody ever came here. It had been empty for years.

It must have been very grand in its day. I remember the downstairs had huge rooms with high decorated ceiling, embellished cornices and pelmets. When you went in through the front door there was a massive staircase that swept round like something out of ‘Gone with the Wind’. We’d charge up and down in like lunatics and try sliding down the curved bannister rail and always fell off.

We’d go upstairs where there was a long corridor with many rooms coming off it. All of the rooms had big cupboards to hide in and were dingy because of the wooden shutters on the dirty windows with their cobwebs and trapped butterflies. That was fun to explore and poke about.

One day we were upstairs in the farthest room when we heard the front door open. We looked at each other with a bolt of fear shooting through us. We knew we’d been making a racket. Somebody had probably heard us and we were for it. We were in trouble. We crept to the big cupboard and stood inside, pulling the door shut so there was just a crack of light and tried our hardest not to move because that made the floorboards creak. But we were good at that. We’d had practice.

We heard footsteps going around downstairs and imagined some man looking round for us, then those heavy footsteps came slowly up the stairs. We stood as still as we could and tried not to breathe. It was dark in the cupboard and we were straining our ears. Every sound was magnified.

We heard the footsteps coming clumping down the corridor. They sounded loud and heavy like some big adult. They weren’t checking all the other rooms but were coming straight for ours. They must have known where we were. They had heard us. All the boards creaked. Those footsteps boomed and sent minor earthquakes through the building before stopping at the doorway to our room.

We held our breath. We could imagine this big man standing there in the doorway listening intently for the slightest sound to find where we were. Our hearts were racing so fast and loud that we were both sure that he would hear it from where he was. The blood was pounding in our ears. Our breath was ragged and impossible to quiet. The tension was unbearable.

There was no sound from out there. Whoever it was standing there in the doorway they were as still as a statue. Not a board creaked. We both could imagine him frozen in the entrance to our room listening intently for the slightest sound that would betray our hiding place.

We hoped and hoped that those footsteps would retreat down that long corridor, that he’d give up and go away. But they didn’t. We stood in the dark for ages.

The fear was too much. At last we could stand it no longer and together we opened the cupboard to give ourselves up.

But there was no one there.

We rushed out, through the empty corridor, down the stairs, out the door, across the grounds, over the wall to grab our bikes and raced away as fast as we could.

We never went back.

Photography – Cambodia – the land of awesome beauty and kind people – recovered from the depravity of Pol Pot.

Photography – Cambodia – the land of awesome beauty and kind people – recovered from the depravity of Pol Pot.

IMG_6921 IMG_6850 IMG_6808 IMG_6804 IMG_6759 IMG_6644 IMG_6523 IMG_6472 IMG_6458 IMG_6440 IMG_6370 IMG_6337 IMG_6312

Awe and Wonder – Photography – Vietnamese flowers – nature is wonderful.

Awe and Wonder – Vietnamese flowers – nature is wonderful.

Flowers evolved along with insects. They go hand and glove. The insect pollinates. The flowers provides nectar for the insect. It is nature in harmony. To attract the insects the scent and colour just add to the wonder of the living world.

70% of the Vietnamese jungle has been cleared since 1975. We need to protect it.

IMG_7926 IMG_7934 IMG_7935 IMG_7936 IMG_7938 IMG_7939 IMG_7941 IMG_7942 IMG_7946 IMG_7984 IMG_7985 IMG_8062 IMG_8118

Wonder and awe – birds in Vietnam – Incredible herons

Wonder and awe – birds in Vietnam – Incredible herons

The tropical waters of the Mekong were fecund. The fish was being caught and mashed for paste. The birds also feasted.

How long can it last until it’s fished out?

IMG_8571 IMG_8576 The ripples added a dimension

IMG_8582  Nice fish, no chips.IMG_8586 IMG_8592 IMG_8634 IMG_8639 IMG_8653 IMG_8640

I loved the reflections in the water.

Photography – Vietnam – the market – an interesting experience.

Photography – Vietnam – the market – an interesting experience.

We went round the market in a small town outside of Saigon. The smells, livestock, vegetables and fruit made an interesting sight.

IMG_7910 IMG_7913 IMG_7914 IMG_7919

I then headed back up the Mekong. Every one of the boats is equipped with eyes at the front so that they can see. All the eyes are different. They reflect the mood of the boat.

IMG_7989 IMG_8018

Anthropocene Apocalypse – Conservation starts at home! It is not just elephants, rhinos and chimps who are being butchered!

Anthropocene Apocalypse – Conservation starts at home! It is not just elephants, rhinos and chimps who are being butchered!

Barn%20Owl%20chicks%202007_jpg_opt516x386o0,0s516x386 Barn_Owl_in_flight beehare1 bee Vole_adult Bee-apis bee6914880-hedgehog butterfly-18a

There is a world-wide massive decline in all types of animals and plants. As man’s numbers explode the natural environment is being decimated. The loss of habitat, bush-meat, deforestation, road-kill, pollution and pesticides has taken its toll globally.

There is also a decline in our own wild-life. Birds that used to be common are becoming scarce. Animals that used to be a regular sight are not becoming extinct. The hedge-hog, barn owl, hare, slow-worm and dormouse are just a small number of those at risk.

Insects and other invertebrates have declined by a staggering 56%. These are the food for many of our birds and mammals.

They too are subject to the same problems as the larger animals abroad.

  • All too often the first instinct of anyone finding an insect, snake or rodent is to kill it.
  • Hedges, trees and areas of natural vegetation are being scrubbed up for industrial farming or just to make places look tidier.
  • Pesticides are deployed in huge amounts. They indiscriminately kill all insects and deprive the larger animals of food.

There are things we can do:

  1. We can protect the trees and hedges around us so that birds and animals have somewhere to nest and insects have something to eat.
  2. We can educate our children so that they see that all life, even the spiders and insects, is to be wondered at, respected and treated with love and care.
  3. We can stop using pesticides on our gardens.
  4. We can leave wild areas with various plants and rotting wood, slates and rocks for insects to have a home.
  5. We can set up nesting boxes for bats, birds and mammals.
  6. We can set up feeding stations.
  7. We can plant flowers that provide nectar for insects.

Then we can sit back and watch the butterflies, bees, birds and other wild-life proliferating in the oasis you have provided.

Conservation starts at home. It’s the small things that count! We can make a difference! Help build a new positive zeitgeist!