Weekly Photo Challenge – Sweet


Sweet.

Sweet home HX
Where the skies are so blue

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Beloved


Beloved.

MB delves into the world of Middle East politics for this weeks photo challenge. The topic is one he has covered previously, but the photo not. Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge – Variations


Variations.

The endless variety that one thing can contain – is one of Ben’s suggestions for a take on this week’s Variation theme. Ben chose a shot from the Gouda Cheese store in Amsterdam.

MB has also decided to use Amsterdam for his theme shot, selecting another product synonymous with Amsterdam, and Holland generally – Tulips.

Just across the street (and canal) from the Anne Frank house lies Amsterdam’s Tulip Museum. MB and daughter MB2 happened to spot the Museum only on account of the fact that they could not get into the AF House due to the huge numbers of people already in the never-ending queue. But the Tulip Museum turned out to be the silver lining on the AF dark cloud. It’s a real pleasure to visit and to learn the history of the tulip, brought by invading Ottoman Sultans back to Turkey from Kazakhstan and elsewhere, then brought to Europe by diplomats based in the Ottoman region. The Dutch then made it their own, so to speak.

The fact that Amsterdam had a large wealthy middle class at that time (for reasons MB will not get into here) permitted much trading and investing in tulip bulbs, the iPhone of their day. The years 1634 to 1637 saw a frenzy of such investment which was referred to at that time, and since, as ‘tulip mania’. People were investing approximately 50% of the price of a premium townhouse in Amsterdam on a single tulip bulb, whose particular colour might have been considered rare at that time. Three years passed before everybody work up and smelt the coffee tulips.  By then, large personal fortunes had been lost in the world’s first recorded financial bubble, as bulb prices collapsed to a fraction of their previous worth.

For the information of HX followers – anyone considering a trip to Holland to view (or photograph) Holland’s famous tulip fields, April or May are the recommended months to do so.

Shot from the museum:

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Silence


Silence.

A derelict 400-year-old HX church and a bunch of graves in early-morning mist. It doesn’t get more silent than that!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Weathered


Weathered.

There’s the trunk of an old tree a few hundred meters from MB’s mom’s house in south-west Ireland. It looks very much the worst-for-wear, weathered to a bare totem pole-like stick figure on the edge of the grassy field. Even most of the bark is now stripped bare. Where once upon a time birds might have nested or sung from the denseness of its branches and leaves, that possibility is now no more unless mother nature performs one of her regrowth miracles.  But no sign of that yet. The tree itself, or ninety percent of it at least, succumbed to a storm some years back leaving only the forlorn and desolate looking trunk as a memory of greater and greener days.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Growth


Growth.

MB took his awesome ‘8 Ducks A-Swimming’ photo one early misty morning back in HX-land over the Christmas holiday.

And what has the shot got to do with this week’s challenge MB? ie – Growth.

Well, not a lot lads to tell you all the truth. It features eight ducks a-swimming, and one can see some rushes protruding through the lake surface, growing, as it were. And remember, Spring will soon be here, when the mammy and daddy ducks will produce cuddly little baby ducks who will all grow up and continue the cycle of duck life, ad infinitum, unless Trump presses his ‘my button is bigger than your button’ button. Then the ‘ad infinitum’ thingy will be no more. And anyway lads, we shouldn’t always be bound by rules!

It’s far too early in the year to be turning the Photo Challenge into some sort of political statement MB, don’t you think?

Ok, ok lads. Let’s leave sleeping ducks lie for the moment, and just let’s concentrate our brains on the truly awesome nature of the photo.

Agree MB, it’s truly a wonderous shot. Truly ‘awesome’, to use your own phraseology, which should please you no end!

It does. Thank lads. You are an awesome bunch of followers!

Happy 2018 to one and all.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – 2017 Favourites


2017 Favourites

MB was in the Grange Stone Circle at 6am this morning, on account of the fact that it was Winter Solstice Morning. And where else would any self-respecting inhabitant of HX-land want to be at such a time on such a date? Correct – The Grange Stone Circle.

Go only knows how many photos MB took this year in Russia, Lebanon, Qatar and Ireland. So he is not going to tax his brain or work his index finger to the bone by flicking back through them all to pick a ‘2017 favourite’. He will, instead, give just one shot to this week’s photo challenge from his visit to the stone circle this morning.

As followers would expect, MB took many awesome shots at the circle. Any one of a dozen or more of them could easily win a NatGeo photo competition or a Pulitzer, if MB could be bothered winning such piffling awards. But MB is bigger than mere awards and is just humbly happy to share his general awesomeness with faithful followers, free gratis, without compensation, or medals or pats on the back. However, he just might review that ridiculous position in 2018, if he could figure out how to milk his followers monetize his blog site. But that’s another matter. For another day.

MBs favourite photo from this morning (one of), caught a lucky split second one might think if one did not know MB so well. MB managed, by his sheer general awesomeness, to capture another photographer at the exact moment he fired his flash next to a candle that was burning in a small jar on the ground (thanks to friend MR, for that great candle!).

And there you have it lads. A brief history of one of the most awesome photos that any of you will see in 2017. Or 2018.

Will you send it to Nat Geo MB? No way lads. It would be completely wasted on them.

So happy Christmas to all. Thanks for all the crack in 2017. Have a great 2018.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Ascend


Ascend.
MB has chosen a shot from his May 2017 visit to Moscow for this weeks challenge. The domed spires of the churches seem to ascend to the heavens at Cathedral Square, which lies within the Kremlin complex in Moscow’s historic city centre.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Cheeky


MB is not saying where he took this ‘cheeky‘ shot. But you are free to guess!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Serene


Serene.

New Church graveyard at HX on the shore of Lough Gur lake. Live doesn’t much more serene than that!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Transformation


Transformation.

MB has selected a shot from his HX lake from December 2012. The day was dark and wintery. But as MB watched the dull skyline, the sun managed to find a porthole through the dark grey clouds and transform the entire scene.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Experimental


Experimental.

In August 2014, MB found himself in Khartoum, Sudan, for a wedding. Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge – Temporary


Temporary.

Morning shadows at Cnoc Áine (the Hill of Áine), Knockainey, Limerick, Ireland.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Peek


Peek.

MB’s a bit rushed on the photo challenge this evening. He has selected a shot that qualifies on two counts:

1. The crow looks like he is taking a peek at something in the distance.
2. We can see the crow’s beak – and beak rhymes with peek (you are totally hilarious MB!!!)

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Rounded


Rounded.

Residents of the USA will be familiar with the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. In Dubai, the fountains of the Dubai Mall, next to the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building), are similar, but bigger. The choreographed movements of the water to some great musical pieces are accompanied by flashing lights along the entire length of the Burj K. The fountains, music and light show is a spectacular sight as you dine in one of the many open-air cafes facing the fountain area, or just observe from the piazza.

This shot was taken by MB sometime in 2012 in early-evening. One must, however, see them in the darkness of night to fully appreciate the spectacle.

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