Readers’ wildlife photos

February 10, 2022 • 8:45 am

Please send in your photos, and if your handle is “Punky McPhee”, please resend me your recent batch of pictures, as I’ve somehow lost them. Oy!

Today we have a special batch of close-up photos from James Blilie, whose captions and info are indented. Click the photos to enlarge them.

Here are a group of my photos I will group under the theme “up-close”.

When I am out with my cameras, I try to keep my eyes down as well as up and notice the small details and textures of the landscape, not just the broad vistas and charismatic main characters of the scenes.  I have tried to eliminate from this set:  Anything that could be considered a portrait or conventional landscape and to concentrate on only the very small details and the shape or texture of the land.  These tell a story too.

It’s a challenge for me not to turn a detail into a (more conventional) landscape using a very wide angle lens, which I often favor.  In my 20s, my “walk-around” lens was a 20mm (on 35mm film).

Equipment:  Pentax SLR cameras, Pentax DLSR cameras, Olympus M4/3 cameras. Epson Perfection V500 scanner and its native SW; Lightroom 5 SW. Kodachrome 64 predominantly, some digital.

First up:  Rock strata, Glacier National Park, Montana.  And creek bed rocks. These image say Glacier to me:  The iconic blue and red rocks of the sheer mountains of this park. Kodachrome 64.  1990.

Frost on chain link fence, Shoreview Minnesota.  Pentax DLSR.  2013? I love the color banded bokeh in this, contrasting to the crisp frost.

Detail from a door in Stavkirke, Norway.  Pentax DLSR.  2012.

Detail, Post Alley, Seattle, Washington.  The famous gum wall.  Olympus M4/3.  2016.

800-year-old fingerprints, southern Utah.  Anasazi ruin.  I could see the fingerprints in these finger impressions in the mud of these walls.  (Take nothing but photographs; leave nothing but footprints, and as little of those as possible.)  Kodachrome 64.  2001.

With your love of cats in mind:  Cat footprints in concrete, Hemingway House, Key West, Florida.  Olympus M4/3.  2019:

Wall detail, Seguret, Vaucluse, France.  Pentax DLSR.  2010.

Rubber tree, Malaysia.  Kodachrome 64.  1991.

The next two are from Nepal.  Footprints on the trail, and barley drying on homespun. Kodachrome 64.  1991.

Stone wall detail, Loire Valley, France. Kodachrome 64.  1992.

The rocky surface of The Burren, County Claire, Ireland, near Galway.Kodachrome 64.  1992:

Finally, I can’t further resist a couple of food and drink shots.  Picnic in the Haute-Savoie below Mont Blanc:  Local bread, sausage and Tommes de Sallanches cheese on an olive wood cutting board from Provence.  The Haute-Savoie is one of the most scenic places in the world. Fantastic beer, by the way.

24 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Those stave churches in Norway are my favourites re architecture! Motoring from Oslo to Bergen way back in 1970, via Lillehammer, Otta, Lom,.. the one at Lom was the 1st I saw, and remains my favourite of the 8 or 10 I’ve inspected during trips back there every few years.

    There doesn’t seem to be a place in Norway actually called Stavkirkje, one that I could find anyway. James: if I’m right, do you remember where that one with the door in your pic was? Or where that (must be tiny) village is roughly?

    Enjoyed those pics!

    1. On your trip, you went within a stone’s throw of the hamlet named Blili where my family came from in 1880. 🙂 The village is close to Eina and Gjovik; but doesn’t show on many maps! (Also spelled Blilie sometimes.) I have visited my cousins there twice so far. The current owner of the farm and I share a great-great grandfather.

      1. I’ve been to Gjovik, but not Eina.

        My (Brit) wife lived in Norway for a year before we met in Manchester, so we have 4-generations of friends (almost like family–closer than some) in Asker near Oslo. I was given to understand, and had intended (braggart!), to ski from Gjovik down to the famous Holmenkollen ‘world headquarters for Nordic skiing’–just a few road crossings, plus places to stay overnight a few times. But old age happened so that never got done (he comes clean!). Sort of a feeble imitation of Nansen, who would ski all the way from his scientific job in Bergen to race at Holmenkollen, then all the way back, early (before his explorer fame, then diplomacy).

        Those days races were ‘true’ Nordic Combined (cf. Beijing) where they jumped, then just continued, truly aCROSS-the-COUNTRYside, though I suppose they had some sort of rough track. Watching Klaebo etc. in Beijing has got my nordic ski juices flowing again in high gear–me with a 2nd hip replacement scheduled for March! But I can still skateski on the 1st one, in a manner.

        I didn’t yet find your village on a map, but it looks less than 10 km between Eina and Gjovik, so precise enough. But did find Torpo–I’ll go in a few years once we’re shut of this damn Covid–thanks. (‘shut’=’rid’ in Mancunian, I think from 58 years ago)

        Nice to discover these kinds of ‘connections’.

        1. Thanks for the note. Blili is very close to the NE corner of the Einafjord, the big lake south of Eina.

          Google maps:

          If you look at the intersection of route 4 along the Einafjord and the smaller road number Fv111 (as marked on Google Maps), crossing between those two roads, just north of their intersection, you will see a road called Blilievegen. Where Blilievegen hits route Fv111, that crossroads is Blili. My family lives in the SW quadrant of the intersection of Blilievegen and route Fv111. One very large black-roofed barn, three small red steel-roofed buildings, and the main house (1700s) south of the red roofed buildings.

          Basically everyone who used to live near the crossroads (a few generations back) was named Blili or Blilie. I would translate the name to English as “Fairfield” (as a surname).

          Yes, small world moment! 🙂

          1. My Google map has a button labeled “Lars Arne Blilie” exactly where you said in your precise description, which I hadn’t done south enough earlier! Your ancestral farm is clearly famous.

            The topic of the most famous ancient farms in Norway being placenames on maps gets my stream of consciousness going again: There is another, labelled Fossesholm Mansion on the map about 15 km west of Drammen, which I mention not merely because Kjell took us over there as a little tourist jaunt a few years ago. Mainly it is because a 19-year old youngster named Helene Marie Fossesholm (from that farm I understand) anchored the women to ‘easy’ World Championship team relay victory in Oberstdorf a year ago. And we’ll see if she gets the same spot Saturday in Beijing. Therese Johaug did the other (the 3rd) skate leg a year ago and made the big gap for victory, not being considered so much a sprinter, despite at age 33 still being a superior racer to everyone else in the non-sprints. But Fossesholm added another 5 or 10 seconds on top of that, despite age 19 being a few years younger than normal for approaching top level.

  2. Beautiful photographs! I’ve seen the Seattle gum wall in person. It’s kind of disgusting actually, but beautiful in the photograph. Juxtaposing it against the 800 year-old photo of fingerprints in Utah makes a powerful statement about the diversity of human art forms. We humans have used our fingertips to create art for a very long time! Both are tangible and intimate portraits of real people adding their mark at a specific point in time—800 years apart.

  3. Great pictures!! I was hoping to discern some polydactyly among the Hemingway cat prints. A few of them are a bit garbled and might possibly be from one of his famous 6-toed cats, but I could not see any that I would term clearly polydactylous. There is one print in the center that appears possibly to have five toe bean prints with a thumb not printing. That is the only one I see. Maybe a sharper-eyed reader can find others.

  4. The rocky surface of The Burren, County Claire, Ireland, near Galway.Kodachrome 64. 1992:

    There’s a good chance that you were in the Burren at the same time as my father, on one of his botanising trips before we added caving to his repertoire. The microhabitats down in the grykes produce some really unusual fern sedge and grass populations.
    You’ll have heard the Burren description that there is “not enough water to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him“? But most karst geologists think that limestone pavements like this are generally formed under forested ground, and when you see them exposed to the air like this, you’re looking at a landscape that has lost it’s forest cover in the relatively recent past. You need fairly intimate contact between rainwater and soil gases (including CO2 from decomposition of soil organic matter) to get the water pH low enough to corrode the limestone at a meaningful rate ; you don’t get that contact with rainwater hitting the are rock and running away down the grykes.

    1. That middle west side of Ireland is full of interesting stuff. Perhaps that also includes the famous nearby island, and so reminded me of Flaherty’s “Man of Aran”–and then his earlier “Nanook of the North” (cf. nordic ski matters above). But the wiki phrase “farming potatoes where there is little soil” in wiki’s stuff on the silent film seems somewhat apropos to the pic.

      My own stream of consciousness is probably not that interesting to anyone else, but please indulge an old fart!

      In Iceland it is taking millennia to reforest. I think the original forest was mostly cut within a few generations of the ~870 settlement by Viking farmers, and the never-ending wind then takes away the volcanic soil pretty badly I’m told. The rental car companies say to always park facing the wind, or it might take your car door into the next car before you’ve blinked after opening it.

  5. The famous gum wall.

    For certain values of “famous”. Isn’t there a saying about “”Famous in Peoria”, or something like that?
    Wikipedia : “It was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, second to the Blarney Stone.”

  6. Absolutely lovely photos. I learned what bokeh is and I agree–it is beautiful in the frost pic. Mr. Billie-keep looking at scenery the way you do–looking at your choices of “canvas” was great enjoyment for me.

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