Monday, June 25, 2007

National Catfish Day

Not a lot of people know this: Today is the 20th Anniversary of the first National Catfish Day, a star in the diary of all Americans. According to wiki,

The day was designated as June 25, 1987, by President Ronald Reagan, who issued the Presidential Proclamation after the U.S. Congress called for the day to be established in House Joint Resolution 178. President Reagan celebrated the newly founded holiday by tying up memebers of Congress and forcing them to watch Bedtime for Bonzo.


I'm not the only person to recognise it - last year Eric Rodenbeck took these photos as part of his celebration. But shock! horror! As this site reveals, they are not purely American after all.

Don't ya just love those yanks. True bottom-dwellers.

Oh, and today is also my birthday ;)

a catfish, not impressed

Saturday, June 23, 2007

New camera! Canon S5 IS

It's sexy, it's black and shiney and it's mine!

So it only came yesterday... I wanted a better macro and zoom - took me ages to work out how to do the macro properly and I really need a tripod to make better use of the zoom ... but here are some examples that I've taken already.

No, really, I'll say that again -

This is about 1cm across:

Vic likes it!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Summer Solstice!

I like stones, that's no great secret. I have been known to say hello and goodbye to stones as we visit them, in the same way that I say "goodbye house" when I go on holiday, or "hello car" when we've done a long walk.

But this picture, and others published on the Guardian's page about Stonehenge's Solstice Celebrations, made me smile. There's nothing that pleases me more than seeing a nice old-fashioned hippy, even if they're not really dressed the part.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Return of the Surfer's Curse

Apologies for not updating my blog recently - I have loads of ideas and things to talk about but the thought of spending ages editing images and manipulating the mouse just fills me with dread.

The reason for this is the reappearance of my RSI - a condition which some people have no sympathy for (me included, before I got it). It comes and goes (which is a good sign, really) and I try to reduce the sypmtoms by massaging and stretching and resting etc... this usually does the trick. I also try to actually rest it as much as possible, especially at the weekend.

So there you go! Crap but true - I am a victim of my own obsession.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Garden Visitor - A Goldfinch!

I've said before that where we live we struggle to see any interesting wildlife.

Well this year we have seen a significant increase in visitors, alongside the annual housemartins nesting two-doors-up, we've had blackbirds, sparrows, blue tits and starlings, the usual average British garden birds you might say.

Well last night I spotted a stranger - he was sitting on the apex of the house opposite singing his heart out - a lovely twittery song somewhere between blackbird and skylark. He flew off with spurty swoops onto another roof out of sight. I was convinced he was maybe a baby housemartin, mostly because it was about time they fledged and I had no idea whether they looked the same as the adults or what.

This morning he appeared again and I had time to get my camera - here he is

I've now identified him as a goldfinch - a bird that used to be kept in cages because it was pretty and had a lovely happy song (this RSPB site has a recording of the twittering).

How cool is that!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

RAM 2007 and Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park, Kirkcudbright

This year, one of the major social events in ours lives was brought to our doorstep, with the Rock Art Meeting 2007 being held in Galloway.

There were had 17 people, gathering at the Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park in Kirkcudbright. A small group of us met up the previous night in Brighouse Bay Park... it really is surprising how much there is to say about rock art! The meeting brought together artists, scientists, writers, historians, photographers and more, from places as far apart as Devon & Dundee, the Netherlands and Northumberland.

Rock Art hunting is becoming a popular pursuit; for those of us infected with the passion, we can't help looking at every boulder on a path, whether in a field or garden, instinctively searching for the next New Find.

Everyone at the meeting brought different perspectives. For some it was their first opportunity to see something they had only heard or read about. For others it was a chance to spend time with old friends, both human and megalithic!

After coffee at the Wildlife Park, we pooled cars and head off first to Highbanks. The weather was glorious and we quickly realised that perhaps wellies wouldn't be needed after all! The young bullocks who had recently been running amock in this field were watching us from a nearby wall as we paid minute attention to every cupmark and fissure in the wonderful carved panel.

Next was Grange house, where we had kind permission from the owners to show off their sheltered rockart panel hidden in the garden. This place has a very special atmosphere but of course would have originally been on high ground overlooking the Dee estuary and the sea beyond.

Afterwards we set off for Blackhill and Townhead. Most people chose this place to have lunch which enjoying the views from Blackhill or the long grass meadow at Townhead.

The meeting was one of the longest ever, with lots to see and say, and the glorious weather to enjoy. But as we parted company back at the Wildlife Park, with closing time been and gone, some of us accepted the owners' kind invitation to have a quick scoot about the park. We even got to meet some of the inhabitants!

Until the next time!

(or the time inbetween, for folk who couldn't be here today)

Photos below - sorry none of the rock art itself but there is plenty of that elsewhere if you follow the links in the text above.

With thanks to Mr & Mrs Henry and the lovely Denerley family,

and big hello to Gus ! We missed you !




These are from the Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park:

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