Thursday, April 18, 2013

Swanning about

This week's Sepia Saturday features a rather ferocious swan encountered while puttering up the canal at Skipton, Yorkshire (2005).

Out for a swim
We were fine until we got within hailing distance of her squad of cygnets, at which point she literally ran us down, snapping at our outboard motor and attempting to devour us, starting at the gunwales.
Out for blood

Sampling the oarlock
We hastily retreated to the more peaceful town centre where the wildlife is somewhat mellower. Although, note as the two mums pose carelessly on shore, the two swans eye the escaped toddler.
Swans were not the only creatures keeping an eye on us.
Canal life

Time standing still

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Another triple meme entry this week!

The splendor of parades for me is just as much, if not more, about the spectators as the participants. I'm always thinking about, say, the crowd scenes and character studies of Leonardo or Breughel... Here are some shots I took during Carnevale (Mardi Gras) in Tuscany, scenes that have not changed much over the last five hundred years...

People and arches, Anghiari
Blaring, Sansepolcro
Costumes, Sansepolcro
Please also visit our sponsors, Sepia Saturday, plus Black and White Weekend, plus The Human Condition.

By request, here's a color version of the first photo. The yellow figures toward the back are 10-foot-tall bees in various archetypal outfits (butcher bee, floozy bee, farmer bee, etc.). (Why? Spring is coming, I guess!)

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Dabbling in the Past

A triple meme entry this week! Please also visit our sponsors, Sepia Saturday, plus Black and White Weekend, plus The Human Condition.

Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire 2005

The Ruin
An fragment of an Old English poem from the Exeter Book - this transcription taken from the Labyrinth. For a stab at a translation, see the page of Siân Echard, University of British Columbia.

Wrætlic is þes wealstan, wyrde gebræcon;
burgstede burston, brosnað enta geweorc.
Hrofas sind gehrorene, hreorge torras,
hrungeat berofen, hrim on lime,
scearde scurbeorge scorene, gedrorene,
ældo undereotone. Eorðgrap hafað
waldend wyrhtan forweorone, geleorene,
heardgripe hrusan, oþ hund cnea
werþeoda gewitan. Oft þæs wag gebad
ræghar ond readfah rice æfter oþrum,
ofstonden under stormum; steap geap gedreas.
Wonað giet se ...num geheapen,
fel on
grimme gegrunden
scan heo...
...g orþonc ærsceaft
...g lamrindum beag
mod mo... ...yne swiftne gebrægd
hwætred in hringas, hygerof gebond
weallwalan wirum wundrum togædre.
Beorht wæron burgræced, burnsele monige,
heah horngestreon, heresweg micel,
meodoheall monig dreama full,
oþþæt þæt onwende wyrd seo swiþe.
Crungon walo wide, cwoman woldagas,
swylt eall fornom secgrofra wera;
wurdon hyra wigsteal westen staþolas,
brosnade burgsteall. Betend crungon
hergas to hrusan. Forþon þas hofu dreorgiað,
ond þæs teaforgeapa tigelum sceadeð
hrostbeages hrof. Hryre wong gecrong
gebrocen to beorgum, þær iu beorn monig
glædmod ond goldbeorht gleoma gefrætwed,
wlonc ond wingal wighyrstum scan;
seah on sinc, on sylfor, on searogimmas,
on ead, on æht, on eorcanstan,
on þas beorhtan burg bradan rices.
Stanhofu stodan, stream hate wearp
widan wylme; weal eall befeng
beorhtan bosme, þær þa baþu wæron,
hat on hreþre. þæt wæs hyðelic.
Leton þonne geotan
ofer harne stan hate streamas
...þþæt hringmere hate
þær þa baþu wæron.
þonne is; þæt is cynelic þing,
huse ...... burg....