Saturday, May 31, 2014

Nanking Cherry

A year ago, we bought a Nanking cherry sapling, the first year it produced two cherries.
This year it produced many more: 240g of fruit!

Since I had the lights set up, I took a shot of some ice cream in a wine glass too.
The mint if from the 'garden' the 1m periphery that borders our house. 
Next time I'll clean up the smeared ice cream on the glass as well.

Cherries before being harvested:

 The tree gets a good location at the corner of the house, plenty of light here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cretaceous wonders

Devil horned face seems pretty accurate.

While Triceratops is perhaps the second most famous dinosaur in the world, it doesn't seem to be very big in our imagination.  Almost always depicted interacting with T-rex, which is a huge predator, Triceratops seems small in comparison.  It was massive.  Triceratops was 9m long, it's skull alone was 2m, with huge legs to support its bulk; estimated between 6 to 12 tonnes twice that of a large male African Elephant.  
Seeing a herd of these animals would have been breath taking and rather intimidating, the adults were about 3 meters tall.

The reconstruction below was on a 1m high platform so as to not take up even more floor space.
Standing on the same level I would bump my head on its chin.

 No exhibition of triceratops and its relatives would be complete with the predator which likely ate many of them: Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Though to be honest it seemed rather spindly compared to the triceratops next to it.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Xitang (night), Zhejiang, China

After dusk Xitang transforms from a bustling tourism centre to a bustling entertainment district.
It does still retain the old market town atmosphere, augmented with electric lights.

Many of the restaurants become night clubs, complete with video screens, live music and light effects.  

 The water taxis transport guests from point to point along the canals late into the night.

Free photography tip: if you're taking photos at night and want longer exposure times but forgot your tripod; put the camera on something (bridge post, bench, some random motorcycle) and use the timer to take the picture.  Putting the camera down will eliminate motion blur from holding the camera in your hands. Using the timer will isolate the camera from the shock of pressing the shutter button, this becomes an issue when taking shots at night that include light sources.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Xitang (daytime) and Nanxun, Zhejiang, China.

Photographs from Xitang in Zhejiang province, China.
Xitang was a trading/market town serviced by canals.  
Most of the town has been restored but still manages to have a bustling atmosphere. 


The streets are narrow and crowded as befits such a place.

You can rent costumes to take a commemorative picture; as well as become a tourist exhibit yourself.

It is nice to stop for a break and something to eat away from the crowds.

 I also visited another old river trading town called Nanxun, famous for producing silk.  While it was more economically important than Xitang, the wider streets and higher walls contributed to an atmosphere of an open air museum.

Chinese Ramen, different from that served in Japan, but still quite tasty.

A Taoist temple.

Cormorants: once used for fishing, I think these were mostly for show.