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Pink Squares 4: Penguin

Oddly disturbing …

Something about this penguin makes me uneasy — and I don’t mean its peculiar pinkness! I found this guy (??) in the shop of the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum in Hobart, Tasmania.

In the Pink!

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London Lights

street lights admiralty arch

If you know of my fondness for tall ships, you won’t be surprised that I was enchanted by these lights.

London has no shortage of interesting street lights, but I’ve settled for two for Nancy’s A Photo a Week Challenge (street lights). The ones above are near Admiralty Arch, those below are outside the St Pancras hotel/train station. The small feature photo at top has lights from Kew Bridge.

street lights St Pancras


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June Roof: Patterns in tiles

Museum of Military History, Budapest (I think).

Museum of Military History (Maybe. Possibly.) in Budapest (Definitely).

I’m a bit vague about what this building is. My photo is named “rooftops castle.jpg”, very helpful (not!), but when I tried to confirm online that it is the castle, well, it looks nothing like the castle! Then I added “roof” to my search and countless images of the St Matthias church and its amazing tiling appeared — but, sadly, they don’t match this tile pattern (and you’ll notice there are no crosses at the top of this building). But it does seem to match the Museum of Military History.
All I can say for certain is that this is a building in Budapest and it has an amazing roof.
@Becky, this is like your quest to identify the Greenwich Foot Tunnel!

June Squares: Roof If you have a photo (or two!) of a roof, join in!

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Square Sky 18: Mauna Kea

One of the observatories perched atop Mauna Kea.

When you can look down on the tops of clouds, you’re usually in a plane. Unless you’re on Mauna Kea, 4207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level on the island of Hawaii. “With its high elevation, dry environment, and stable airflow, Mauna Kea’s summit is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation. Since the creation of an access road in 1964, thirteen telescopes funded by eleven countries have been constructed at the summit. The Mauna Kea Observatories are used for scientific research across the electromagnetic spectrum and comprise the largest such facility in the world.” (source) Tourists, though, are generally more interested in the sunsets-and-stargazing tours.

Square Sky December

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Square Sky 1: Sunrise over Mauritius

Sunrise over Mauritius, 2013

Sunrise over Mauritius, 2013

Becky is back with another month of square challenges. 🙂 This time it’s skies for December — and I’m only a couple days late joining, which for me is remarkable. I’m kicking off with a stunner (if I say so myself): sunrise over the island of Mauritius, taken in 2013 while sailing across the Indian Ocean from South Africa to India on the tall ship ‘Lord Nelson’.

Be prepared for a lot of photos with sky and ocean, though I’ll try to throw in some non-sailing ones too!

Square Sky December

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Textures of the Great Barrier Reef

Coral is the most amazing stuff. It looks like rock, but it’s alive, and not rock at all but animal. The colonies are formed by millions of tiny soft-bodied polyps which have a hard outer skeleton that attaches to rock or to other (dead) coral skeletons. (More info about coral here.) And what a variety of corals there is! All the colours and textures that you can imagine, often growing around or on top of one another.

The ruffly yellow stuff looks rubbery, in contrast to the spikier coral behind it.

While snorkelling or diving around corals, it’s important to avoid touching them — not only can it damage the coral, but a person can get a nasty cut from those sharp edges.

What a mix of corals and textures here!

What IS that yellow stuff? It looks like spilled paint that has dried in wrinkles and folds.

I took some of these photos last week on the Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas (with a GoPro I hired for the day), and some on the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns three years ago (with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 I bought for the trip, but it was second hand and died after one outing).

This is brain coral, I believe. I imagine that if you brush your finger along it, the little white knobs would feel plush. But I have no idea!

That white coral looks smooth, but I’d steer clear of the spiky stuff at lower right!

A texture contrast here of hard coral and smooth, slippery fish.

This is a Maori Wrasse dubbed “Frank”! He’s very friendly, as these divers are discovering. I don’t dive (only snorkel) so did not get to pat Frank and discover his texture.

There are so many warnings about the health of the reef and the damage we (and nature, in the form of destructive storms and voracious starfish) are causing, that I feel now is the time to see this astonishing feature — while it’s still there.