Thursday, January 31, 2013

2012 bestist pickturs

Country sports #2 - little owl2012 New Year sunrise, Kamakura beachHappy New Yearpink and concreteSaHa Tortaylooking up
magnolia in Kamakura, JapanKomyojiTulipsTokyo skylineGinzaHachimangu
Wisteria - caterpillarsunset at the beach, Kamakura fireworksKita Dake HutShiomidake and treeFuji-sanbutterfly - Chestnut Tiger (Parantica sita)
The routeMountain streamwhite lotusStarbucks Greencicada carapaceJames and flag

2012, a set on Flickr.

I thought the last day of January was too late for reviews of last year, but I found another such a post by someone in my Google Reader only today. So here goes... With so much gadding about to different places last year, I only managed to whittle it down to 45 piks.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

glowing rock

It turns out that bubbling rock [Volcanoes National Park] is a lot hotter than bubbling water [Yellowstone National Park]. The former is apparently 2000C! I feel quite stupid for not realising there is such a big difference. It is quite weird (see yesterday's weird pictures) to see evidence of rock being a liquid. The really hot bit was some way below the surface of the crater pictured here, but the orange glow becomes apparent at night. The volcanic cloud is made of all sorts of dangerous stuff (e.g. glass), and they close different bits of the park depending on which way the wind is blowing.

Volcano National Park


Monday, January 28, 2013


Volcano National Park
Volcano National Park
Volcano National Park
[Volcanoes National Park, Hawai'i]


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's a tree, I think

only bigger and weirder.

Here is is from a distance. There was something wrong with the idea of it being a tree, because it made all the houses and cars round about look like toys. It said on it that it was a Banyan tree. [Hawai'i]


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Doing my bit to kill the planet

I hope to blog more pics from our trip later, but after so much aeroplaning (Took off Saturday morning from Newark and landed Monday afternoon in Japan), it seems like a good time for some aeroplaney photographs.

I thought this was a bit like a body plugged in to life support.

New York and United, or, as close as I got to New York.
New York United
New Jersey is as attractive from the sky as it is at ground level.
New Jerseyish
Somewhere in the middle of America.
Sunset fell as we came in to land in Honolulu
Sunset in the Pacific

PS - professional photographers like to tell people "it's not the camera, it's the photographer". This, however, is the equivalent of how Heifetz could play the Mendelssohn violin concerto beautifully on a 25 dollar mass produced violin. Never taken such respectable aerial pics before, and it is due to having had a fortunate Christmas, rather than suddenly having got good at taking pictures. Saw Gavin last week and he called my new camera both "old" and "broken", which is fine by me, as such an impression may make me less likely to be mugged. But he did also stroke it lovingly, which was quite strange, as I do that too.
So here's a new mantra to replace "all the gear, no idea":
"Got no idea, need the gear".


Saturday, January 19, 2013

17 miles

On my recent travels, more than one person wondered why I was bothering to carry a camera in New Jersey. [Americans are like that - they make personal comments to strangers as a form of social oppression - to force them to regress to the mean.] Princeton and Rutgers universities are 17 miles apart, and not precisely identical.

Princeton University

Rutgers University
Princeton University GuestHouse (free cookies!)
Palmer House
Rutgers Preferred Hotel (free swimming pool!)
Horrible Inn
Another can't believe it - Tom Selleck is on TV! It really is the 1980s here in New Jersey!


Friday, January 18, 2013

ice age cycles

It is astonishing the extent to which Americans wear their hearts upon their sleeves.

Only the Yakusa have tattoos in Japan, to the extent that people with tattoos are generally not welcome to bathe in the public baths.
[Lisiecki&Raymo benthic stack of the last 7 ice ages]


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mauna Loa

On the weekend we did neither astronomy (Mauna Kea) nor climate (Mauna Loa), but geophysics instead (Volcano Natl Park). But that huge flat mountain in the distance is Mauna Loa.

Volcano National Park


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guide to Hawaiian wildlife #4

Visiting Princeton University today. It's a theme park of large pseudo-old buildings placed in a very large field which is randomly criss-crossed by little paths. It should greatly confuse the archaeologists of the future, but at least the buildings are warm and spacious inside. However - outside it's like Manchester in November. Pizza for lunch not as good as Tokyo. So that's all the important stats for the day. I am missing all the warm, fuzzy animals of Hawaii, so will cheer myself up with these...

Native peacock - you can tell it is native cos it wasn't in a cage.

This tortoise is bigger than you think. Alternatively, this man is not a midget.
Galapagos tortoise
Having not done my bit to propagate the tufted great ape, I probably shouldn't criticise, but this bird seems to deserve a Darwin award. The notice board said something like they nuture one offspring every 5 years per group of about 20. Surprisingly, they are endangered.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Guide to Hawaiian wildlife #3

Cute monkeys are everywhere on Oahu. The tufted great apes are ubiquitous - the little malnourished ones leap and swim in the ocean, while the big fat ones lie beached on the shore. In the trees, however, other species can be found:



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Guide to Hawaiian wildlife #2

Not all the fluffy aminals in Hawaii are quite as cute as they first appear.

Mean turtle
"Me bite You fall me bite you fall mebiteyoufall"
Mean turtle
"Ha ha ha hee hee heeee"
Mean turtle
"Me Top Turtle Now"


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