I think I just photoed the end of the summer of 2019

You never know with British weather, which is why we talk about it so much. There was a heatwave last February, at any rate in London. And there could be another in October or November. But (see above), yes, I think I may just have watched the summer of 2019 end.

I was at the Oval today, courtesy of cricket buddy Darren, who is a Surrey member. It was this four day game, between Surrey and Notts.

We chose today to go to the Oval with more than half of our eyes on the predicted weather, and as is usual with British weather forecasts, the predicted weather duly turned into the real weather. The morning was, as predicted, summer. The afternoon turned autumnal, again, as predicted.

Here are a few of the photos I photoed, chosen to illustrate how the weather changed:

Photo 1 was taken at 10.42am, assuming my camera was on top of things (but that fits my memory), and photo 12 was taken at 3.16pm.

Photos 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 were taken from the top of the big OCS Stand that curves around at the north western side of the ground, looking out over London. Photo 5 is also from the top of the OCS out over the ground. Photo 7 is the only ground level photo of these. Photos 8-12 were photoed from the top of the Pavilion, where members like Darren congregate to watch the cricket, from on high, in line withe wicket, and from where I can also photo the Big Things of central London.

Between photo 4 and photo 5, the floodlights came on. But oddly, this did not prevent bad light stopping play. I guess that, what with this being “red ball” cricket, instead of “white ball” cricket, floodlights don’t accomplish much.

An elephant in a City shop

Last Sunday, I visited the Big Things of The City, up close and very impersonal. Sunday in the City is a strange time/place combination, which I like a lot. All those spaces to be occupied by thousands of people, but all the people away for the weekend. Memo to self: do this more often. Especially on great days like last Sunday was.

I photoed the Big Things very happily, and also photoed this big wooden elephant, which was in a shop window:

Shop windows are Photoshop before Photoshop, combining this scene with that scene, this wooden elephant with that Gherkin.

I recently added “Reflections” to the category list. Overdue.

Vapour trails

I photoed this vapour trail in December 2005. I’m pretty sure I have others, but this was the first vapour trail I found in the archives:

And I think that it is indeed a vapour trail. But now take a look at this next vapour trail.

That’s not a vapour trail.

This is a vapour trail:

As Michael Jennings, this blog’s technical curator (to whom continuing thanks), would say, this was in Straya.

Aerodynamic contrails occur when a plane lowers the air pressure as it flies, in turn lowering the air temperature and causing condensation to form on the wings. This condensation then trails behind as the plane continues forward.

In certain humid conditions, the drop in temperature and pressure is such that the droplets of condensation will freeze at varying sizes.

When the sunlight shines through these different sized droplets, it will refract at different wavelengths, hence the variety of colours that can be seen.

Blog and learn.

The Temperate House

On August 24th 2018, exactly one year ago, GodDaughter2 and I visited Kew Gardens I of course photoed photos, of central London from the top of the Great Pagoda, of some inflated plastic dragons, and of the Great Pagoda and the dragons on the Great Pagoda.

Here are some more photos I photoed that day, of something called the Temperate House, so called because it contains plants from temperate climates:

But my favourite photo that I photoed that day of the Temperate House was this one that I photoed from the top of the Great Pagoda:

At the back there are some dreary concrete towers, which architects make a great fuss of, and of the sort that the rest of us mostly shrug our shoulders about and just put up with.

This was the photo that caught my attention when I looked again at my KewGardens Aug24-2018 directory today, and which got me doing this posting.

One of Charlie Waite’s first ‘serious’ images

Yes, I follow Charlie Waite on Twitter, and he just said this:

I had been walking by the Serpentine in London. The deckchairs had been at rest when I arrived yet, within a few seconds, a thoughtful breeze turned them into a corps de ballet.

Click on the above link for the photo, which is in suitably 70s black and white, that being when the photo happened.

Like. Partly because it not that serious.

It’s great how ancient Real Photographers, the sort who used film, can now scan their best old stuff and show it to us.

Drones replacing sheepdogs (and some embedded video about this)

This is the first time I’ve tried embedding a bit of video in this blog. Let’s see how this works:

Seems to have worked. Another major improvement of this blog over the old one, especially important for me at moments like this, is that when I press “Save draft” and them “Preview”, I get a preview of exactly how things will end up looking. The old blog, for some idiot reason, couldn’t or wouldn’t do this. Not exactly. Well, maybe it could have, but I couldn’t make it.

I found this news report, about how drones are replacing sheepdogs on the farms of New Zealand, here. This is definitely the most interesting “other creatures” thing I learned about during the last seven days. I first got a clue about this story when semi-watching a BBC4 TV documentary about the wildlife of New Zealand. They must have digressed into not-so-wild life.

According to the above video, drones haven’t yet learned how to function when it’s raining. So sheepdogs, for the time being, are still useful when it’s wet. But work is surely progressing on that, and the days of sheepdogs as workers on farms are surely numbered. These things can take a long time, so it will be a big number. But, a number.

Sheepdogs will not completely die out. Like horses, they will survive as sporting entertainers. And drones will give viewers a much better view of all the action.

LATER: I just realised it’s Thursday today, rather than Friday, which is the day I usually focus especially on cats, dogs, etc. Well, no matter. I’m probably the only one who noticed, so I’m not even going to apologise.

Surrey v Middlesex T20: Out of the sun in Bedser Upper

On July 23rd, Darren and I went to the Oval to watch Surrey lose to Middlesex. I photoed signs, and I photoed a drone, and that was about the half of it, if by that you mean about 0.5% of it.

As earlier noted, we got there with lots of time to spare and to spend taking in all the incidental sights and sounds of the Oval before the actual game got going. Which meant that when we reached our seats, the entire place (not just the place we were in) was nearly empty.

Darren had purchased seats for us in something called Bedser Upper, in honour of this Surrey legend. And the first thing we noticed when we reached our seats was how very cool it was, compared to how hot it might have been. We could see everything perfectly, yet we would be sheltered from the sun:

Remember, this was was the hottest day ever in London since the dawn of creation. 38 degrees centigrade, and a sure sign of Gaia’s Wrath To Come, to punish Sinful Man for burning too much petrol, gas, oil, etc., and for being too happy and comfortable and well off. Humanity used to be a bunch of slave labourers. Now it is a much vaster throng of, pretty much, sports fans with, compared to olden times, part-time jobs. And the sort of people who disapprove of that disapprove of it by talking about such things as how very hot it was, in London, on that day. And it was indeed very, very hot.

But, not quite so hot in Bedser Upper. Darren had chosen very well.

Later we realised that we were also sitting inside a giant loudspeaker, into which dementedly deafening pop music would be inserted for the duration of the game. Such is modern (very) limited overs cricket. But, we agreed that this was a price well worth paying, for the lack of extreme hotness.

I love the architecture of the Oval. (By which of course I mean the Kia Oval.) So much more interesting that some dreary built-all-at-once football stadium. The big sweep of that big new stand, with its big curved roof, on the left. The classical nobility of the ancient gasometer. The magnificently tall pavilion, on the right. And in the distance, occasional glimpses of the Big Things of central London. What a place.

And, just as divertingly, for me, before the game got started there were lots of interesting rituals being played out by a total of getting on for a hundred people. WIth other sports, a lot of this stuff is hidden away behind the scenes. But with cricket, if you get there early enough, you see it all. More about all that in further postings here about this wonderful night out, Real Soon Now.

Cool – and beautiful

Yesterday’s weather, as prophesied at midday yesterday:

And today’s weather, as prophesied later on yesterday:

Which means that today, there’ll be a photo expedition. Another trip to the Dome and nearby parts, I think. There’s some sort of copy of New York’s High Line going on over there.

The plan is to go to Maze Hill station, head north to the River, and then walk all around the Greenwich Peninsula until I get to the High Line thingy, checking out the Optic Cloak and the Quantum Cloud as I go. (Too busy being about to go out to insert links. Look them up.) Then, depending on my mood, I might take the Emirates Dangleway over the river and see in particular how the stuff on the bank on the north side of the River is now looking, from above. Then, with or without the Dangleway journey, home.

The further plan is that by putting this plan here, I make it more likely that I will actually do it.