Friday, June 19, 2009

A winter cloudscape

If you glance at this picture quickly you could be mistaken into thinking it's a scene from a snowy landscape or a picture of a large frozen lake.
Or it could be an Arctic seascape with a line of ice-covered mountains in the background.
Or that's the way I see it (with just a little imagination)!

But as the full picture below reveals, it's just cloud sitting in the valley.
And hidden beneath it is the winding Tamar River.

And finally - a few days later, an early morning without mist.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mushrooms of toadstools? A pretty pile

At a glance, when I walked past these fungi, I thought I was looking at a pile of pebbles.
They reminded me of tiny bells.
Or half closed umbrellas.
Intersting formation.
I've never seen anything like these before.
Anyone any ideas what they are?

A winter's morning in the Tamar Valley

It's mid June and winter is here.
I slipped on the frosty grass when I went to take this photo of the morning mist rolling up the valley.
It's mesmorising to watch it.
It's like the tide coming in.

I've just set up a Tasmania site with lots of pics.
If you want to look go to: My Tasmania

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Funicular railways, ascensors, cable cars - worth a visit

An invention of the late 1800s, some original funicular railways around the world are still operating.
The ascensor (funicular) Artilleria in Valaraiso, Chile was built in 1893 and still runs every few minutes from the busy Port area to the houses and Maritime Museum at the top of the hill.
I rode it last year.
In Wellington New Zealand people are building private funiculars to transport themselves to their houses built on the inaccessible steep sides of hills overlooking the bay.

The funicular railways still operating in Scarborough, Yorkshire, attract locals and tourist and for me they are a reminder of childhood holidays at the seaside town.

If you would like to read more go to my new site I'm building about funiculars.
Pic: Ascensor Artilleria in Chile
Pic: Scarborough, UK, funicular

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tasmania - Island of Inspiration - but it's a secret!

Island of Inspiration are the words which appear on the car number plates.
But it is true.
It has so much unspoiled beauty and is just far enough away from the Australian mainland to be ignosed by the major hords of tourists.
I have just set up a site dedicated to Tasmania and it is filled with pictures.
Link on My Tasmania and see if it doesn't make you want to come here.
Pic: Heading for a wilderness camp in the far south of the island.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Extract from The Condor's Feather

In this extract, Thia Beserford comments on Kattn - the Tehuelche Indian girl who travels with them on their expedition:

‘Her heart is as deep and silent as the pampas,’ Thia said. ‘It is as though she is in tune with the vast countryside around her. A kind of innate animism which native people posses, which we civilized people seem to have lost.’
William had no answer. There was certainly something about this native Indian woman which he could not explain. Without meaning or intention, she attracted him like a pin to a magnet, yet she hardly ever spoke, showed little expression, even conserved her gestures to essential movements. She was as tall as a longbow and moved like a willow in the breeze. Was as strong as any man he knew and slightly taller than he. She was not beautiful by English standards with her plucked eyebrows and painted skin, but she had the elongated face and forehead of the high priestesses he had seen engraved on the walls of the ancient temples in Cairo. Now he wished he had drawn her portrait as he could never replicate it accurately. Yet her face was engrained in his mind and he knew he would never forget it.
The Tehuelches Indians territory was mainland Patagonia.
This old picture depicts a group of young Selk'nam indians (Onas) of Tierra del Fuego.
The Indians were usually naked despite the freezing condition on the island.
The natives of this region are now extinct.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sunset - extract from The Condor's Feather

‘How stark and beautiful this place is,’ William said. ‘If I had a glass of wine, I would propose a toast. But I shall propose it anyway. To Patagonia – a place we will never forget.’
Thia and her brother clinked their imaginary glasses as the sun finally slid behind the mountain peaks and the night folded down like a concertina curtain - layer upon layer, pink on mauve, purple on blue, grey on navy; dropping slowly; pressing every ounce of pigment into the final few inches of sky in a fiery display of burnt orange. Polished mahogany. Burnished gold. The rich colour reflected in the skin of the Tehuelche Indians.

THE CONDOR'S FEATHER is for publication in July.
To order at a BIG discount price and with FREE WORLDWIDE DELIVERY go to: