Zanzibar: Intensely blue skies and rainbow sunsets- Part 2…

Zanzibar, June 2017:  After a couple of days at the north of the island, I felt that the final day and night we had booked up there was wasted time, we had seen everything at the North tip and because I think you know by now if you read this blog, I’m not a beach bunny… I want to go somewhere and see it all.

I wanted time in Stonetown, I’d been reading up on the history and whilst you can say “Oh, we’ll come back another time”, well, practically, you probably won’t return and I so wanted to see Stonetown… so much history and the historical connection to Oman, another of my travel places, (a link about the connection history ) Slavery was a big part of the connection, sadly…

So, after breakfast, I found a room in an old traditional hotel in Stonetown at a good price (wifi and online booking is such a godsend in this day and age, instant confirmation…let’s go!) we cut our losses at Kendwa and headed off to town.

Stonetown is utterly fascinating and I was in my element, poking around the ancient streets, checking out the doors… see links to my earlier posts about the doors and old town , my Stonetown desire was all about the historical doors initially…

We went on a walkabout, we had about 36 hours in town and sleep could be minimal.

What a place… such history, such vibrancy, I just loved Stonetown.

At sunset, we headed down to the main beach, with everyone else in town, it appeared.

Sunset was a big moment that night, the streets were humming with life, street food everywhere, it was totally unexpected and so vibrant.

It was just after Eid, so I think that after Ramadan, there were a lot of people out, enjoying the beautiful moment after a month of piety …The beach was packed, loads of people in the water as the sun went down, swimming, playing, and enjoying life…

it was lovely to be part of the exuberant crowd and catch the glorious Stonetown sunset…

Cyprus Dragonfly Diaries-1-Calopteryx splendens

2019 saw me joining into Dragonfly recording in my area of Cyprus.

I know…it seems like a random thing to do, but, you know I like to take photographs and, why not ? Fresh air and enjoying nature is something that I have discovered is beneficial to my mind, so this is a double benefit.

There is a Dragonfly study group in Cyprus and a chance photograph of mine of a dragonfly into a local biodiversity Facebook group, led to a very old friend of mine contacting me to ask if I would be interested in accompanying her for her monthly recording for said study group.

As she lives in the next village and completes records for our local river valleys, I jumped at it.

In the company of a knowledgeable person, nature is that much more interesting.

So 4 times a month, we head off out to 2 river valley sites which are diverse in nature, searching for damselflies and dragonflies. At this stage, as there is diversity in nature and searching for one thing leads to another, I discovered how beautiful butterflies are too, especially for photography…( the butterfly posts are yet to come…)

To be quite honest, I didn’t have a clue what a Damselfly was, what it looked like and how you need to to have acute awareness to spot the tiny ones.

Once I blundered around for a while, marvelling at my friend’s ability to spot the tiniest of creatures, I was thrilled to start spotting them myself.

Damselflies are insects of the suborder Zygoptera in the order Odonata. They are similar to dragonflies, which constitute the other odonatan suborder, Anisoptera, but are smaller, have slimmer bodies, and most species fold the wings along the body when at rest, unlike dragonflies which hold the wings flat and away from the body. An ancient group, damselflies have existed since at least the Lower Permian, and are found on every continent except Antarctica.

One of the most obvious and to me, quite beautiful and easily spotted, owing to its shining body, is Calopteryx splendens ssp. amasina ( Bartenef, 1911). The Common name is Banded Demoiselle.

Below is a typical site for finding Calopteryx in the river areas. Wading is required. I have just bought wellingtons for the winter wading, beautiful wellingtons, black with red roses and a smart little tie thingy at the top…how wellingtons have changed! I want to wear them everyday! However, I digress, the wading environment is always beautiful…

A selection of photographs of the exquisite Calopteryx from locations in the Esouza and Diarizos areas in the Paphos district of Cyprus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo challenge : Evanescent…

This week, WordPress weekly photo challenge asks us to show us a moment in time that holds meaning for you.

My photo was taken under the bridge that connects the mainland of Oman to Shannah port for the ferry to the island of Masirah.

I was using my new camera, a Fujifilm X-T20 and I had little idea of the settings when I took this, having been taught manual photography in the Nikon world. Each time you move, you have to understand the product-speak to relate to what you know..

( I am impatient, black mark) but a lesson to self, this is a camera that needs to be loved and cared for, the results are incredible

My past is in art and I see this shot in this way, even though the exposure is all wrong, the colours are intensified, it just gives a clue to what you can do to play with a picture…This shot is my played out and edited result…

 

Evanescent

 

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 16 – Behind

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This is one of my favourite pictures from a visit to Phu Quoc, Vietnam in 2015.

Sadly I lost the original in an Apple storage incident and this copy is all I have left now. It was shot quickly on iPhone 6, it’s not a great photo, but I just loved the beautiful, smiling girl behind the tank of seahorses.The scene is not one you come across often and there is a white seahorse in there too, too good to miss.

Seahorses are sold for snacks in areas of Vietnam. The street was full of shops selling dried fish, fungi and unknown wonders and all of them had a small tank of seahorses outside.

I finally found an English speaker who told me why they were there…. I wish I hadn’t asked!

Joining into

hughs-weekly

Want to join the fun? Here’s what you need to do.

1. Take or choose a photo that you’ve taken that shows an object, person or something that is behind something else. 
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 16 – “Behind”
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback to Hugh’s post or leave a link to your post in the comments section on Hugh’s page so that other participants can view your post.

Not sure how to create a pingback? Click here for a step by step guide on how to create one.