Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Isle of Mull Inner Hebrides

Oban bound from Mull. The Isle of Mull — or simply Mull — is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. A wonderful place as are all of the Scottish Islands. All are surrounded by clear crystal waters...full of abundant life.

Jelly fish, Holy Isle of Aran. Between are several fish farms producing Salmon.
On land heather flourishes.
And all amongst the blooming heather. Will ye ....
Drystone wall Mull, or more correctly a wet stone wall given the normal weather.
If you're lucky you just might be serenaded by Yvonne Macleod an inspirational accordion player, much loved.

Himalayan Balsam North Fife

Himalayan Balsam North Fife. This stand has now been cleared as the riverside to the West of Newburgh has been cleared being part of Fife Coastal Path. Regarded as an invasive weed, it still has attractive qualities.

Tayview 17th & 18th August.

Tayview 17th & 18th August.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Oilseed Rape Harvesting North Fife

Oilseed Rape Harvesting North Fife. I was alerted this morning by the grumble of a combine harvester, from my garden the combine drifted along, beyond The River Tay at low water exposing various sand banks.

I'm impressed by the sophistication of modern combine harvesters, here displaying the tilting table and undercarriage, keeps the operator level headed. lol.
This machine looks brand new... a massive investment.
Notice the reel on an opposite tack to suit the terrain and shredded debris issuing from the rear. Clever stuff.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Potato Harvest treatment North Fife

Pre Harvest Potato treatment. burning off the foliage with sulphuric acid. Once the potatoes have flowered they can be harvested. Spraying kills off any blight and further growth, after a week or so the leaves and stems are shrivelled up and are no obstacle to efficient harvesting of the tubers by machine. Gone are the days when potatoes were picked by hand...a multitude of sore backs saved but income from employment now channelled to a few....contractors and land owners. This is acid rain big style, it can be balanced by an input of lime later. Imagine though the soil organisms having to flourish in such hostile conditions, truth is, they don't. Much farmland is now a dead growing medium requiring constant adjustment with chemical inputs. Next time you see a molehill, say, be happy because they live on worms which consume organic waste converting it into a balanced fertiliser. No chemicals needed, respect for all that lives ultimately will save us all.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Field Pea Harvest North Fife

Field Pea Harvester North Fife. What an incredible machine, a harvester with attitude, hydraulic struts to maintain a horizontal status to the processing unit behind the spacious 180 degree all glazed cab. Radio contact with all the other gathering vehicles, fabulous views too.

Pea harvester on its slow way downhill, notice the opposite tilt of the processor  relative to the wheels, clever. Going by the shape, it involves a rotating drum where the peas are miraculously separated from the stem leaf and pod. Trundling along at about 3 miles an hour. Peas in the hopper, debris spilling out the rear looking like boiled spinach. 
Pea plants produce nitrogen in the soil, so no need for artificial on the next crop. A win win for sensible and wise managers. Earlier, the field.  Although harvest was still motion a yield of 80 tons was recorded at that time

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Gangtok from Rumtek Sikkim

Gangtok from Rumtek Sikkim, a few thousand feet below across the valley. Beyond are the snow capped peaks bordering Tibet. An overcast day in 1980, I imagine much has changed since, huge development in housing, a massive reduction of the rain forest, even 34 years ago the forest was being consumed much quicker than regeneration. At night, sitting outside, the thwack of an axe could be heard, miraculously by morning some ones wood pile would have grown. Wood is / was the main fuel for cooking, charcoal for heating. Ostensibly, the forest was protected against removal of timber though the stripping of orchids from the trees to feed cattle seemed ok. Imagine, milk obtained from orchids, Ambrosia.

Gangtok is a municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It also is the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range, at an altitude of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town's 100 thousand population belongs to different ethnicities such as Nepali, Lepchas and Bhutia. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya and enjoying a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim's tourism industry.

Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital to Gangtok. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata (then Calcutta) in British India. After India won its independence from Britain in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. In 1975, after the integration with the union of India, Gangtok was made India's twenty-second state capital.

The precise meaning of the name Gangtok is unclear, though the most popular meaning is "hill top". Today, Gangtok is a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning, with the presence of several monasteries, religious educational institutions, and centres for Tibetology.

Rumtek Monastery, originally built under the directions of the 12th Karmapa Changchub Dorjee in mid 1700 AD, after [Ralang Monastery,first] and [Phodong Monastery,second], Rumtek served as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Sikkim for some time. But when the 16th Karmapa arrived in Sikkim in 1959, after fleeing Tibet, the monastery was in ruins. Despite being offered other sites, the Karmapa decided to rebuild Rumtek. To him, the site possessed many auspicious qualities and was surrounded by the most favourable attributes. For example, flowing streams, mountains behind, a snow range in front, and a river below. With the generosity and help of the Sikkim royal family and the local folks of Sikkim, it was built by the 16th Karmapa as his main seat in exile.

Karmapa leads the way in circumambulation of the Gompa through the incense and into the Shrine room.

Rumtek Monastery at the arrival of a new printing of  the  Kanjur and Tanjur in 1980, an auspicious time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Potatoes North Fife

Potatoes North Fife, a field near my home, one of many growing potatoes this year, some obviously for seed where several varieties are growing in the same plot. Generally this year is turning out to be a wonderfully productive one, good sunshine, enough night time rainfall, who could ask for anything more.

Potato flowers indicate that they're a member of the the deadly nightshade family which as you might know is poisonous, other members are tomatoes and aubergine. Strange that different parts of a plant can nurture or kill.There is a movement to introduce sprouted seeds into salad foods, good but not if parsnip is chosen.
Five a day is good, be wary of the sixth.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mike & Sam McCaw Artists

Mike and Sam McCaw, antipodean visiting artists from Australia. Each revelling in the rich diversity of subject matter available in Scotland. Mike, an enthusiastic exponent of the pinhole camera seen here with his carbon fibre example. Mike gave a very interesting and informative talk on the ancient history and use of the device. Used by artists throughout time.

Each image is a one off, shot onto auto reversal paper and is unique. Exposure time varies, an average being around 20 to 30 mins.

Sam McCaw, multi media artist in the Steeple Studio, busy, behind, a drawing and surrounded by collected impressions for future use back home in Australia.
Other works can be viewed on http://sammccaw.com

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sunset North Fife 25th July 2014

North Fife sunset over the river Tay last night on my way home at 10-22pm, after a delightful exhibition opening at The Steeple Arts complex. More of that in the next post. Right now the whole of  the UK is basking in wonderful weather conditions...almost too hot for comfort.

I never cease to enjoy these sights.That colour, the graphic elements....mmmmm. Stillness, warmth, you might know...that good feeling....... just happy to be alive.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Barley harvest Parkhill North Fife

Barley harvest Parkhill North Fife. Two days ago I noticed that this field was looking ready and sure enough today in perfect weather conditions the combine was busy, might even finish tonight.

From earlier observation it has looked to be an exceptional product, even the the straw remains. Very early too.In my time, Beginning of August is early.