Monday, 24 April 2017

More typical avocet

For anyone unfamiliar with the avocet the previous photograph must look decidedly odd, and possibly indecipherable. So by way of illumination for anyone who doesn't know the bird, and to compensate for my uncharacteristic shot, here is an avocet in a more typical pose as it steps out of the water to rest on the adjacent mud bank.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Nikon P900

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Inelegant avocet

The avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), a black and white wading bird with spindly legs and a curious, long, upturned bill, has for many years been the symbol of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). They brought it back from near extinction in the UK to the point where, in some locations, it is now relatively common. This photograph was taken at Frampton Marsh RSPB reserve in Lincolnshire, a place where they breed and where there were a few dozen birds on the day we visited. My photograph is taken from the "wrong end" and though characteristic of the species as it sweeps its bill from side to side feeding, the shot makes a quite elegant bird look decidedly awkward.

 photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Nikon P900

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Greater periwinkle

Now is the time of year when the greater periwinkle, Vinca major, flowers in profusion in the ground cover under the trees and shrubs in our garden. We have a couple of varieties but the one I prefer is the most common, the example in the photograph. At the moment its pale purple flowers are showing like little stars in the shade of its surroundings. Though it is currently at its best the greater periwinkle can flower at any time of year, even duringa mild spell in winter.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Bleeding heart

What was once Dicentra spectabilis is now, for botanical reasons, re-named as Lamprocapnos spectabilis. I'll continue to call it by its common English name that derives from its appearance - bleeding heart. Interestingly the former Latin name translates as double spur spectacular (or "showy"). When it was discovered not to belong in the Dicentra genus its name was changed. What the Greek (?) Lamprocapnos means I don't know and haven't discovered.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Diagrid structure, King's Cross, London

Being a relatively regular user of King's Cross railway station in London, I often pass under its new diagrid structure roof support above the new concourse. And, it being such an interesting piece of engineering (well, to me anyway!), I often try to get another (and better) photograph of its lattice work tubes and beams. Here is my most recent, and possibly best photograph, one that shows off the dramatic purple lighting as well as something of its symmetry.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Friday, 14 April 2017

Stigma, style, stamen and petals

It's remarkable how episodes from childhood can pop up in your memory as though they were yesterday. When I was looking at this photograph on my computer of an open tulip bloom I mentally checked off the botanical names for the parts of the flower. In so doing I was transported back to the time in school when I drew a labelled diagram during a lesson about about plant reproduction. As a botanical illustration this photograph lacks clarity. However, the contrast between the sharp centre and the soft surround gives it qualities that I like.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Purple tulips

I've said elsewhere that tulips re probably the flower that I have photographed more than any other. That's partly to do with the shape of the flower, its leaves and its stem - it's a beautiful plant. But it's also it appears in spring at a time when I'm ready for its deep, rich colours after the drabness and monotones of winter. This circular bed of purple tulips caught my eye because of the perfection of the plants and the overlapping bamboo arches that had been fashioned into a low fence to surround them.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100

Monday, 10 April 2017


There was a time when ropes made of natural materials were central to many businesses and practices. At that time Lincolnshire grew thousands of acres of hemp out of which mile upon mile of rope was made, usually in a very long building called a ropewalk. On a recent visit to the Cutty Sark sailing ship in Greenwich I came upon ropes of all sizes that were essential to the sails of this famous clipper, of which this is an example.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Roof tile wall

If you make roof tiles and you have damaged or otherwise superfluous examples that won't sell, and you need a wall, what is more reasonable than to make a roof tile wall. Or is it? The example seen in the photograph is at The Old Tileworks, the business premises of William Blyth, at Barton upon Humber in Lincolnshire. It isn't the strongest of walls, it lets the wind through, and it doesn't prevent prying eyes from seeing something of what is beyond. But, if none of these deficiencies matters then it is a perfectly serviceable barrier and certainly an eye-catching construction. I liked the contrasting and complementary colours of the sky, wall and broken tiles on the ground, with the weeds that are bravely establishing a foothold in this inhospitable location.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The tile drying shed, Barton upon Humber

On the Lincolnshire bank of the River Humber, near the south tower of the Humber Bridge, is the Barton upon Humber firm of William Blyth. This company makes hand-made tiles and garden pottery at this location and has been doing so since 1840. These are made from the abundant clay of this area, and over the long period of its work clay extraction has created several large pools and reed beds by the river that are now havens for wildlife and a centre for dinghy sailing. Above is a long drying shed with rows of slatted shelves where clay tiles are placed to harden. It is a simple building designed to harden the clay in a controlled way by the careful adjustment of the plywood shading.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100