Fun with Puffins (Lunga – July 2017)

landscape, Nature, photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Puffins spend more time at sea than on land. Most of the year a puffin lives out on the ocean, only returning during mating season. During this time Male and female puffins share the responsibility of building a nest for the safekeeping of their eggs.

Making a next

Puffins breed in burrows often making use of rabbit burrows to avoid having to dig one for their own use.

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A puffins beak is only coloured orange during mating season. For the rest of the year the puffins beak is a dull grey colour.

Grooming

Facing the wind

A baby puffin is called a ‘puffling’. A mother calls for her puffling below, on land Puffins are very talkative however at sea, where they spend most of their time, they are silent.

Searching for her Puffling

An average puffin weighs about the same as a can of Coke.

Puffin portrait


I’d highly recommend a trip to Lunga off the west coast of Scotland as a great way to visit these animals and explore all of the wildlife this part of the world has to offer!

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Crypt of St Leonards, Hythe

architecture, art, B&W, History, photography, Travel, Uncategorized

The crypt at St Leonard’s is a very mysterious place, over 2,000 skulls on display either shelved or as part of a giant pile of skulls and thigh bones. No-one has been able to confirm exactly when the bones were first displayed in this manner of even why. However, what is known from recorded history is that the skulls have been on show for at least the last 400 years!

A bird nesting in one of the skulls. Luckily after death!
Nesting

This pile is made up of around 1,000 skulls and 8,000 thigh bones. Theory suggests that the bones were put on display to travelling Pilgrims from the close proximity to the port town of Dover. A macabre shrine / tourist attraction on the way to Cantebury.
Pile of bones

This poor fellow died of a sword wound; interestingly you can see how the skull has tried to heal leading to the growth in the around the wound.
Sword wound!

Some of these skulls are over 700 years old. It has been assumed that these were mostly found in unmarked graves from the church graveyard, which due to space restrictions did not have gravestones. It was a common occurrence to find skeletons whilst digging a new grave. Why not put it on display?!
Over 700 years old!

A example of a bone tumour – not necessarily the cause of death.
Bone Tumour

Skulls

It’s a good job the rest of the church isn’t so dreary!
St Leonards, Hythe

Credit to Jack F Barker for producing a guidebook explaining the small amount that is actually known about the crypt.

As one of only two ossuaries in the UK I highly recommend a visit: http://www.stleonardschurchhythekent.org/thecrypt.html.

 

How tall was Hercules? -Amman Citadel

architecture, art, History, landscape, photography, Ruins, Temple, Travel

The ruins of this temple in the Amman citadel complex once held a statute of the hero of Greek mythology, Hercules. Built between 162-166 CE scientists have not been able to accurately determine how tall he actually was!

Best guess?

The temple of Hercules

The temple of Hercules

The temple of Hercules

The Temple of Hercules

The road to Umayyad Palace

The road to Umayyad Palace

Jerash – Greek or Roman?

architecture, art, History, landscape, photography, Ruins, Temple, Travel

Sunset over the Temple of Artemis

Name drop ‘Alexander the great’ founded this place; as an ancient greek city you’d think you were in Athens rather than 30 miles north of the modern day capital of Jordan.

Pillars

The main street

Jerash thrived during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods which is evidenced by the expansive ruins which remain. Despite the 749 Galilee earthquake destroying large parts of Jerash a significant portion of the site remains.

What remains of the old market place.The Marketplace

The Jerash nymphaeum.The Jerash nymphaeum.

The temple of Artemis
Artemis is known as the hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women! Built in CE 150 this was once the most important temple of Jerash but was later turned into a fortress and mostly destroyed by a great fire.
Temple of Artemis

Petra- Searching for the Holy Grail

architecture, History, landscape, photography, Ruins, Temple, Travel

Petra has to be visited to be truly appreciated. One of the new seven wonders of the world and it really deserves its place. The complex named Petra is vast and has so much to explore; after spending over 6 hours and walking somewhere in the region of 30km there was still so much to see.

Al Khazneh or The Treasury 

Originally built as a mausoleum and crypt at the beginning of the 1st century AD. Its Arabic name Treasury derives from one legend that bandits or pirates hid their loot in a stone urn high on the second level.

Emerging through the Siq.

Al Khazneh (The Treasury)

Visiting the Treasury at night is a captivating experience; a candle lit walk through the Siq leads you to the base of the structure softly illuminated by hundreds of small candle lit lamps. This is the only time I saw more than a handful of tourists in one place!

The Treasury at Night

The Royal Tombs (incl The Palace Tomb)

A stretch of tombs and burial chambers line the North eastern edge of Petra.

The Palace Tomb

Inside the tomb.

Tomb Entrance

Exit the tomb.

Hopefully this may give an impression of the scale of the city of Petra; this is just one small part.

The Royal Tombs at Petra

Ad Deir or The Monastery

Built by the Nabataeans in the 1st century and measuring 50 metres (160 ft) wide by approximately 45 metres (148 ft) high.

Petra postcard

The climb to reach this ruin snakes up the mountainside covering somewhere close to 900 steps. After avoiding the numerous Bedouins trying to rip-off the tourists selling trinkets and donkey rides you turn a corner to witness this tremendous site.

The Monastery (Ad Deir)

Stone tower

Ad Deir

Other sights..
The Nymphaeum

Petra Amphitheatre