Sunday, November 30, 2008


Align LeftRed Panda

Obviously the Red Panda, or Lesser Panda (shining cat) is not a native creature of the island. I know we have some strange creatures here naturally, but this isn't one of them. Well if we don't have foxes, badgers or squirrels we are hardly going to have these cuties running around. Curraghs Wildlife Park has been paramount with the breeding of the cute little animals which are sadly on the decline, for many reasons ie. habitat fragmentation in their native dwellings of China, Nepal and Myanmar to name a few. So much so that they are classed as "threatened" on the Conservation List. Thanks to not only the wildlife park, but others around the world, these other worldly cuties are currently breeding and hopefully can be saved.

Pichu and his mother Isla, the escaped Red Pandas from Scotland were of course originally from the Island. Thet were bred in captivity here at Curraghs Wildlife Park and then sent across to Scotland. Obviously they had developed a taste for Manx kippers instead of haggis and were heading back for the Isle Of Man. Not the first instance of escpaed animals from Curraghs. Click on George to read my earlier post about the escaped pelican including photo. Unfortunately still no confirmed sighting of the escaped wallaby. Willing volunteer needed to dress up in a fake fur wallaby costume so I can fake a sighting of the critter. Should this idea be taken up, remember you read it here first.

Links below

Red Panda, my other photo
Wiki, Red Panda info.

For more wonderful camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters and be sure to leave a nice comment for Misty' s own outstanding posts.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Let's get this bit out the way. If you have found your way here for skywatch it's the post below.
It's Saturday, so it must be a Ramsey Swing Bridge photo. This wasn't meant to happen but Saturday's have become a sort of of Bridge Day. Anyway for those that know apologises for the next sentence. For those that don't, I was challenged by an some idiot to photograph one subject 100 different ways, which they thought was impossible to do. Doh! It's not at all complex, but well his pea sized brain obviously can't fathom out one more than two angles maximum. So here you go No. 12. So now we've had a dirty dozen of the bridge. Zillions more to go. It's taken again with the point and shoot Olympus. I try and take the bridge on a blue sky day purely as the red and white of the bridge stand out more. When I show you a monochrome shot of the bridge you can guarantee it's a crappy day weather wise. No alterations apart from re sized for the blog.

In case you think the tone of the text is a tad clipped well yes you'd be right. Sometime ago I was approached by a group of island photographers inviting me to join them on their site. I asked for a little more info. We traded emails. Their work is predictable, safe and in the main poorly shot. This for me was not a problem as the aim was to get them up to my level. Their idea was for me teach them add my images to their site to increase their sales base, and in turn they introduce me to the island. Sounded good. Time elapsed nothing happened until a curt email explaining that as they couldn't use my Ramsey Daily Photo blog, then I couldn't join theirs. Remember they approached me. Recently they have been desperately trying to mimic my photography and trade off my reputation instead. Sad!

The moral of the tale is... Many things! All I can say to them is it's your loss boys. You keep your small island market if it means that much to you and I'll tell you what I'll keep my online world market, you know the one you wanted me to introduce you too. You just can't help some people.
This happened a few months ago, but things have reached a point where something had to be said.

Scheduled post. Won't be around.

Friday, November 28, 2008


It's Friday it must be skywatch. I must be showing you a photo of my favourite place in Ramsey . The Poyll Nature Reserve, along the side of the Sulby River. A wider view though today. Same reflections and fluffy clouds but can you see the North Barrule in the distance, on the right hand side. What is a that though?

North Barrule which overlooks Ramsey. You can actually walk up there if you're feeling energetic.

This image is an archive, Sept. The river has sunken a little but it's still too muddy to actually walk down there without getting your boots sucked onto the mud. I'm pressed for time tonight due to my parnter's busy deadlines, so had to post an image that had been pre scheduled with all the info written.

Of course you can always look around for all the other beauties of the skies.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Britannia Pub, Ramsey, Isle Of Man
Fancy a pint?

When I asked you what you'd like to see of Ramsey on the blog top of your list was people, but you all understand the logistics of snapping away at islanders can be a little difficult. Next on the list was pubs. Not flash bars, but a proper pub with a non trendy down to earth name, where you can get a proper pint of beer and bag of pork scratching( don't ask!) Voila!( did I really type that?) here it is. I suppose I have to tell you all about it now too don't I?

Situated on the corner of Peel Street and Waterloo Road is The Britannia Hotel- to give it it's official name, is colloquially known to us locals as the Brit. Unlike other local pubs that local name is logical. You wait 'til you hear the rest. Not today though. Boasting not one, but two rooms. The Pool Room and what you'd call a Lounge room. Don't be fooled my the quiet exterior of the pub. It's hub bub of activity.

The quiz night for starters. Ramsey has it's very own quiz league where most of the pubs take part. One off quizzes often take place here for charitable events. Play darts anyone? Ladies and Gents darts teams, and of course a darts league. Then of course there are the bands. Yes real live bands playing a very mixed bag of goodies for your listening pleasure from rock to blues to contemporary. Even been know for the folk club to meet here. Told you it was busy.

To go with the very straight forward text for once I tried my hardest not to take a technical professional image but a simple snapshot with a local leaving the shot, as the daily photo should be. In case you are wondering, no not one of my local pubs, wrong side of town. I have been in though for the occasional quiz. One more thing about the Britannia that may or may not still happen.You could buy Valentine's and Mother's Day cards at the bar for the forgetful drunk.
Now how about that for enterprising.

Does your local pub/bar sell anything other than drinks and food?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


shellan maey- bumble bee

Fancy learning some more Manx? You do? Well you already have. Shellan is the Manx word for bee. Shellan maey is the Manx for bumblebee. Shellan breck is also Manx for bumble bee is used less frequently. The Sheelan Maey above disappearing into the flower head could actually be disappearing now if we don't act soon. Changes in countryside practises, crop rotation, climate change and urbanization( modern housing estates and car parks again!) have lead to a decline in numbers of the poor British bumble. The humble bumble is is a pivotal creature in the pollination of many British crops and rare and garden flowers so don't dismiss the Shellan Maey. Please Take care when you see one, maybe plant some bumble bee friendly blooms. For more the the decline of the British bumblebee and those friendly blooms click here.

Hands up those you thought I was going to have Sulby River or the Ramsey Swing Bridge Swinging for S. Tsk! To bee or not to bee predictable - that is the question. The answer I always choose to be one step ahead- catch me if can you.The original, the best Ramsey Daily Photo.
Ha! Ha!

Want to join ABC got the lovely hostess with the mostest, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


My World
Ben Varrey in Ramsey Harbour

Recently I stopped by one of my regular blog stops only to find the Ben Varrey, the ship above was docked in their harbour in Barrow. I had noticed it had left Ramsey Harbour but no idea where it had gone so thank you Enitharmon for posting the ship. Where though does the Ben Varrey get it's very unusual name? Back to the island myth and legend.

Ben Varrey is the Manx(Manx is the language of the the Isle Of Man) name for a Mermaid. Ben Varrey was a bit of a naughty mermaid. A beautiful mermaid she used to lure sailors to their death around the Isle of Man by the ususal method of the siren's song in the pursuit, whereupon the Ben Varrey would collect her shiny jewels and any more form the shipwrecks. Naughty mermaid!

I did look for Ben Varrey, but I couldn't see her. Instead I give you the cargo ship that is named after her and owned by The Ramsey Steam Ship Company. The Red Cross you see is the companies symbol. The Ben Varrey is a working ship, as Ramsey is still a working harbour. It's a cargo ship carrying mainly grain and bale around the Irish Sea and near Continenent trade. No jewels though, which is perhaps why it's namesake the Ben Varrey, mermaid doesn't bother with her, no precious shiny jewels.

Like to see the Ben Varrey in Barrow click the HERE.

For more my entries click MY WORLD and thank the skywatch gang once again for another inspired idea.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Ramsey Harbour Silver Shimmer

Well the monochrome bit is obvious but what of the odd? How often do you see sunrises or sunsets without colour? Think of all those skywatch shots we all see every Friday, mainly sunsets. Isn't it the colours mostly that prompt us to leave complimentary comments? Does sunset or sunrise look odd to you without layers and ribbons of colours? In fact without colour in an image can you still relate to the image, in this case being a sunrise? Back to the harbour.

Whilst undertaking further research about Ramsey Harbour and it's past I happened upon many a quirky tale. One, I am really hoping to post sometime, but I want to separate the myth, legend and fact. History remember isn't always what actually happened but who committed it to paper.

Ramsey Harbour still is a working harbour, though not the grand shipbuilding harbour of yesteryear. I've mentioned previously of The Star Of India known as the Euterpe as the most famous ship built here but not of The Jane.

Mid 19th century Ramsey it seems led the way in shipbuilding. The first ship designed to carry bulk oil, commonly known as an oil tanker was built at this very harbour and name "The Jane." Apparently The Jane transported oil around various places of which the only one I have found named is Philadelphia in 1853. Again I find out a cute little story and find the trail ends abruptly.

I've asked about The Jane before. No further news on it . Any ideas anyone?

Want to join the weird world of Odd Shots Monday? Then see KATNEY

Want to join the beautiful and creative world of Mononchorome Monday? Then see Aileni at LOOSE ENDS

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Cormorant, Ramsey Harbour

Very early followers of Ramsey Daily Photo know all about Babooshka and the family of cormorants that hang around Ramsey Harbour. These are my nemesis bird! I am constantly chasing them to shoot(I should add with a camera, not a gun!) and the results are shown here.
When I have the big camera and all the lenses, great weather conditions, they are no where to be seen. When I have the big camera, wrong lenses and poor weather conditions ie bad light of course they appear, flapping around showing off, diving for fish- a real bag of tricks and an abundance of photo opportunities. Typically I didn't have the telephoto lens, the light was oppressive and here he was messing around in Ramsey Harbour saying look at me Babooshka. Ok he was actually saying that, cormorants don't actually speak, not even Manx ones but you get my drift.

Cormorants are shore birds. I know last time I uploaded a cormorant I had lots of comments from inland dwellers and some of you from certain countries echoed they had never seen one too as they are not natural inhabitants. As the world's climate is changing and a lot of shorebirds are seeking refuge inland, while at the same stroke a lot of familiar garden birds are seeking alternative food arrangements along the beach. Have you noticed any changes with your wildlife?

Like to know more about the cormorant or see my other pics, including a young cormorant?
Click links below.

Wiki- Cormorant
Young cormorant
Babooshka and the cormorant

For more wonderful camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters and be sure to leave a nice comment for Misty' s own outstanding posts.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


What do you think this controversial building is?

Looking at this image I realised it would have been a suitable Ramsey skywatch shot, but that's the one below. What though is this building. Long time followers of this blog will have had glimpses and an early construction shot of the this building. It is the new swimming pool. Yes I did say new, which indicates that the present one will soon be considered the old swimming pool. Ramsey though only has room (population I should say) for one swimming pool, the new kid on the block has won, but what of the old one? Now this is where the controversy starts!

You have to cross the now famous(I jest!) Ramsey Swing Bridge to access the new swimming pool, which isn't to everyone's taste. The old swimming pool is conveniently placed next to St Pauls, basically the shops and flats as is accessible to all. Only room for one swimming pool, so what will happen to the old building? Are that is the big question at the moment in Ramsey. Now most residents have the perfect solution. Something that we have been crying out for now for ages. Something we haven't got. Something that is relevant to all the community. Something that would be used 7 days a week. We would like a CINEMA!

Ramsey is the second major town on the island, the largest in the North. It's known as Royal Ramsey, or the Jewel of the North. It's sprawling population is roughly 8000( figures vary of course) and when you ask most of them it's a cinema that is the number one item they request we have, including me and everyone I know. Not just in Ramsey, but the smaller villages that are dotted around the North of the island would like this too.

What we don't want is another supermarket. We need the ones we have to be better stocked and run more efficiently. We have a Post Office, Gymnasium, Police Station, shops, pubs, cafes, bars, restaurants, library, hotels, parks, art gallery, churches, schools, skateboard park, football ground, rugby pitch nightclub... you get the point. See what is lacking from the list for the size of the population... a cinema! A community centre has been muted, but that is a proposal for another closed building. New housing we need, but is being built elsewhere. One proposal is a bowling alley. Nice idea, it has it's supporters but it is secondary to peoples preference for a cinema. The bowling alley is being touted as a place for younger people( since when do older people not go bowling?) which neglects the rest of the community. Even the youngsters are asking for a cinema first. A cinema is a great leveller. It's not age discriminatory. Besides that the Isle of Man has a thriving film industry, due to tax breaks and of course stunning location. Surely the people of Ramsey deserve to go to a local cinema to see the films that feature Ramsey and occasionally it's residents as extras?

I thought long and hard before I posted this today. As my blog is the official Ramsey Daily Photo blog, and it's voice is read and heard by many who feel their wants and needs are overlooked I decided to throw my blog behind their voice of Ramsey residents, which I am one and throw my hat into the ring and ask.... CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A CINEMA NOW.

Ooh that feels better. If you live in Ramsey drop by and have your say. If you don't you may have ideas and thoughts of your own of what a unwanted swimming pool could be used for? As for me I will be going to Douglas- one hour on the bus- then a twenty minute walk- to watch a Quantum of Solace, at the cinema - another twenty minute walk and catch the bus back to Ramsey - another one hour, and considerably out of pocket and time. As they say you do the maths. Come on Isle of Man, let Ramsey have this on thing for all residents. Think how it would help the economy, employment, entertainment and film industry. I rest Ramsey Residents case.

A note to UK readers, By the Daily Star on Sunday, or take a peek. Gary( pen name BARKER) has done the celebrity cartoon this week. Lindsay Lohan watch out.

Love your thoughts on the cinema question.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Sparkling Poyll Dooey

Is it Friday already? Must be skywatch then. Hope this works today. Between computer glitches, server problems, Mr Linky not being Mr Linky and the horrible weather I have gone for an archive from the summer. A little bit of sparkle and twinkle on a cold wet November grey day. It's over the Poyll Dooey again, my beloved nature reserve in Ramsey. If you want to see how this shot was taken see Skywatch Poyll Dooey, my other twinkle pic with the photography lesson.

Well I've downloaded new software- running fine.
Server back to normal- for how long I don't know.
Mr Linky is working again- links seem fine now.

Today a big thank you to a few people. This really shows that "the kindness of strangers still exists," even if is not in your own back yard.

MRS NESBITT'S PLACE- tirelessly trying to run the ABC blog and keep us all linked somehow.
GORDON ADELAIDE- He kindly linked my blog to Mr Linky when my server was down. I asked for anyone to help, he jumped to it straight away.
SAILOR GIRL, PORTUGAL- Also jumped straight in and re added my link several times to ABC when it kept disappearing.

Many thanks you were my twinkling stars this week, tremendous help. Anyone stopping by, my blog today, stop by their blogs too for they kept this blog twinkling when it was lost in the virtual world.

To join us go to SKYWATCH.

The concept was DOT'S, the next host WIGGERS WORLD the guardians of skywatch are Klaus | Sandy | Ivar | Wren | Fishing Guy| Louise

Thursday, November 20, 2008



Could it be? No not Ramsey Swing Bridge again. It's been a while but the challenge was to take 100 shots of the same subject, but snapped in a different way/angle/time of day etc. About time we had another then. Come in No 11 your time is up! To be honest I had several emails asking what had happened to the bridge so I am posting the image due to public demand and also as requested a long shot. Ooh you are a fussy lot.

Small isn't it? I don't think this is something that has actually been conveyed in the partial bridge shots, just how small the bridge actually is. It is afterall just a short hop skip and a jump to the other side of the harbour, but it beats walking all the way round to get to the other side on a wet blustery day. Can you see how high the tide is too? The rippled reflection was due to a swan diving (no not a heavy metal fan, the bird kind) just out of shot. Liked the mottled pattern the ripples made cutting through the reflection. They don't all have to be glass like reflections do they?

What else can I tell you. The weather conditions, poor but dry. This kind of blue/grey light or (lilac grey light) is most common over the island. Again this is not the Big Nikon, it's my tiny point and shoot straightforward olympus. No whistles no bells, no groovy lens, tilt screen or light meters. Not even it's tiny zoom on. No need, right on top of the subject, cloudy setting point shoot away we go. Cameras don't take images, photographers do. Cameras just enhance what you compose. Go on have a go. Don't be so serious just have fun with the camera.

It seems there are problems with blogger, mr linky and of course our own server on the island. Posts maybe scheduled for a while. Slowly catching up with the emails. I couldn't open any for 5 days and a lot of sites/ blogs I am having difficulty accessing. Had to download new software which I am trial running with fingers crossed. So far so good.

More Bridge shots from the series. Remember it's all just for fun.

And Everywhere

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Help! Cannot sign into Mr Linky on ABC, My World Or Skywatch. Anyone else had this problem? Appreciate your help or thoughts on this one. Thanks in advance.

Ramsey Rugby. A strange game to some, only played by girls in others, or the best game in the world to many. What about you?

Ramsey are the ones in the blue shirts. I was going to upload the monochrome version, then I realised that would be no good if I said blue shirts in a black and white photo. Doh! Anyway it's Rugby Season. This was home game match( I am not allowed to mention the other team) and as you can see the lads were getting stuck in. The Rugby Pitch, Mooragh, runs alongside the Promenade. You can see the car in the background, right hand side along the promenade road. In other Rugby shots I've shown you the Mountain backdrop. I know I'm lucky. No hooligans here. It's a family sport.

This sport is a lot easier to take than the motorbikes. Another tip, know the rules of the game. This helps to take the money shot. The local paper will only take a few shots and disappear. You stay the game and you'll get the better shot. Again do not saturate the colours. The teams strip should be photographed as they wear it, not over egged.

Want to join ABC got the lovely hostess with the mostest, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My world is Ramsey, Isle Of Man

The Sulby River as I have mentioned before is one of those lovely Viking names they left their mark with on the island. I know this upsets a few Manxies (people born on the Isle Of Man) out there, but you know some you of you are viking stock you can't deny it. Anyway the Sulby. It's the largest river in the Isle Of Man. S It's apparently good for salmon fishing when it's been as wet as this. Well yippe for those fisherman but bad news for me. My walkway down by the riverbanks is under water at the moment. The psot I stood on to take the image is usually not in danger of being swamped under water. Hopefully we can have a few dry days and the riverbanks won't be so swollen.

I mentioned Sulby was a place named by the Viking who firstly invaded, but secondly stayed and integrated. Here is the meaning of Sulby and a few other Isle Of Man Viking Place names.

For more my entries click MY WORLD and thank the skywatch gang once again for another inspired idea.

Monday, November 17, 2008


If you were here for critters yesterday you will have seen the colour version of this shot. Normally any one of the three above, bee, butterfly or plant you would see in glorious colour. When all three appear in one shot( serendipity again, the photographer's best friend) it would seem foolish not to take advantage and produce the natural colour shot. Note I said natural colour, not manipulated colour. Nature shots, should not have tweaked colour, otherwise they they become unatural images. Anyway back to the point.

It's monochrome yes, but is it odd. For the reasons above it is odd to see an image like this in greyscale. The mind's eye immeadiately would have you snap this image in colour. Some of you will be mentally adding the tones and hues as you view and will prefer the colourful one below this post. For those who are more interested in other aspects of photography you will not be veiwing the subjects as nature, but as shapes, tones, light and contrast. Is the composition of the subject more noticeable in colour or monochrome for instance? Do you see more for the lack of colour or does this image confuse you and you need the colour in the right places to view the image?

There is no right or wrong answer. Some of us prefer colour some of us prefer none. There are myths that an image shot in black and white is an instant classic, timeless professional shot. Not so. A bad shot is a bad shot, whatever format it is shot in. This image was composed and shot in colour and black and white for two very different projects I'm working on. I know which one I prefer, and I know why. That though is my personal opinion, and professional opinion. My veiws I will keep to myself.

The daily photo project and the nemes are fun blogs and posts that just show a snapshot of our lives/ towns/ work/ family/ etc. I will say this again, but please remember not everyone out there is professional, has the right equipment or is even remotely interested in a discussion on photography. I posted this image today as a request from someone who follows the blog staunchly and has had a few problems with the black and white versus colour issue. I may be a photographer, but essentially this is a daily blog so this Brad this is for you. Now let's get back to snapshots and quirkiness of Ramsey.

Want to join the weird world of Odd Shots Monday? Then see KATNEY

Want to join the beautiful and creative world of Mononchorome Monday? Then see Aileni at LOOSE ENDS

Sunday, November 16, 2008


No this isn't the nature reserve, garden or park, but a humble, Ramsey back alley. Amazing where you find photo opportunities. Hardly seen any butterflies or bees this year and now both appear on this beautiful bush. I call this bush a buddleja( pronounced buddleha) but I've noticed in America it's called a butterfly bush. I can see why. Butterflies to swamp them. What of it's strange name though?

Buddleja is actually a spelling mistake. which accounts for the strange j. Jst how it was recorded. Butterfly bush is how it is also often referred to

Some species are commonly found as escapees from the garden. B. davidii in particular is a great coloniser of dry open ground; in towns in Britain, it often self-sows on waste ground, where it grows into a dense thicket, and it is listed as an invasive species in many areas. It is frequently seen beside railway lines, on derelict factory sites and after the Second World War on urban bomb sites. This accounts for me finding this buddleja pictured down a stoney back alley. A garden escapee I like that.

For more wonderful camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters and be sure to leave a nice comment for Misty' s own outstanding posts.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I usually post a black and white after Fiday Skywatch but for a change went with colour but something a little different. Often you hear Photogrpahers/Artists use a phrase called "rule of thirds." We are talking photography rule of thirds, not scuba diving, just to add to the confusion which is something very different indeed.

The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb (mainly used) in photography and a range of other visual arts such as painting and design. What is it though? The rule states that an image can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. Think of the grid you would draw for the game of noughts and crosses. The four points formed by the intersections of these lines can be used to align features in the photograph. Proponents of this technique claim that aligning a photograph with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the photo than simply centering the feature would. I didn't say I agree, I just said that is the supposed rule.

Rule of thirds in photography is considered by many to make images more aesthetically pleasing and professional-looking. The rule of thirds can be applied by lining up subjects with the guiding lines, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line instead of the center, or allowing linear features in the photograph to flow from section to section.

So the image today adheres strickly to the rules. The horizon is the top third horizontal line, not the centre. The swallow( yep that bird is a swallow) is on the lower third horizontal line. The swallow is also in centre of the middle section of the two veritcal lines.

Personally to me rule of thirds should be used as a guideline and not the norm. I chose the most basic image I had to demonstrate the thirds rule, and the horizon is the most quoted for it's use.
Take a look at my photography and you will note the times I subscribe to the rule, mainly sunsets, otherwise no I don't. Why? I would take photographs that would bore me and if I'm bored buyers are bored. Get your technique right but think for yourselves, be creative. This image, for demonstration purposes only, was taken on the beach Ramsey, looking across to England, which is the hazy land mass you see.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Berried Sunset

Ok it should actually be sunset buried, but it was crying out for the bad pun. Apologies in advance for the groan you just made reading the title.

I actually have to thank another for this inspired skywatch shot. I was going to upload a crescent moon taken on the same night but I haven't sorted those out yet. When blog hopping I came across CHELTENHAM, MARLEY one of my regular drops and he had a beautiful berry shot(go see) and it jogged my memory about this image I took on the same night. The crescent moon was out and the sky was just awash with a palette of colours I easily rattled off a about 50 shots in about 10 mins, just adjusting the setting to eek out every last drop of light as I went along. Again this was taken over the Poyll Dooey Nature Reserve Ramsey- otherwise known as the back of my house. I know I am lucky to have this to call upon for photography. I could produce a calender or a book of images from this place, it's just so pretty and inspiring. Where is your favourite place to photograph?

Busy weekend coming up. If you are in the UK buy the Sunday Star newspaper as Gary's Cartoon will be in( under the name Barker) and watch the BARKER GALLERY BBC POLITICS SHOW as yet again they are featuring Gary's cartoon. So I am resigned to coffee and food runs while he produces 3 or 4 masterpieces, deadline by Friday lunchtime. Art and photography is like waiting for a bus. Ages for a job to come in then they all turn up at once! Unfortunately the money though doesn't all turn up at the same time.

To join skywatch go to SKYWATCH

The concept was Dot's, the next host WIGGERS WORLD the guardians of skywatch now are Tom, Imac and Sandy.

I know Tom is no longer blogging, but he does look in on us occasionally and his name will stay ont this skywatch link for me as he's the one who got me into this, was very supportive of my feldging blog when it went through a rough patch.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Lezayre Road, Ramsey

This is Lezayre Road, Ramsey. Looks very Suburban doesn't it? Actually it's a minute walk into the town high street, or if you like the downtown area. Not that we really have a downtown area. When you live on an island and a small town, everything becomes squashed, compact, within easy reach. As you can see it's also very quiet, very, very quiet.

Lezayre, is actually another Parish. This though is just it's namesake the road. Looking into the distance you are heading towards, Kirk Micheal, Curraghs Wildlife Park and the lead out to Peel. As you can see it is a very tree lined area and sunlight struggles to make an impact which is great for those Bresson shadows. In the distance you can see a footbridge, where the solitary walker and solitary car are situated underneath. On the left hand side of the footbridge (looking at the shot) you will find Ramsey Grammar School and on the right hand side the newly built Junior and infants school.

Quiet isn't it. What time of day do you think I took this image? Dawn perhaps? No it was 4.45pm. Just before the rush hour traffic. There is an optimum time for the photographs here. Before 4.30pm, it's full of school kids and school run cars, after the slight rush hour. A 15 minute window for a 5 minute walk into town. Enough time to stop at intervals and play around with the light and shadows. Keep an eye on that footbridge. It's going to to be featured in it's own post soon, with it's own quirky background story.

If you follow the TT, The Isle of Man TT Road Races, motorbikes then you are looking at part of the circuit. This is the approach into Ramsey under the footbridge, coming towards the point I've taken the image from, travelling over my shoulder out of shot and onto a right turn at the Swan Pub, the backdrop for my motorbike photos. It's a lot quieter today than it is then. A lot quieter!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Queens Promenade

Q is for quaint. Q is for Queens Promenade. I stood to take this image along Queens Promdenade, next to Queens Pier looking onto the beach below. Why it isn't called Queens Beach I don't know or oerhaps it is, anyone know? The scene seemed very quaint with the locals bathing on one of the better days in Ramsey. To add to the "times gone by" feel I desaturated the colour and ran a slight, almost negligent sepia wash through the image.

Ramsey isn't known for having the lovely beaches, that say Port St Mary, and Peel have( there are more, but just name checked two), but this side of the pier, when the tide is out does have a lovely stretch of beach. It does have harsh pebble underfoot, but not enough to hamper a walk out. This is where I pootle along the beach to photograph underneath the arches or cross the small stream. In the distance, the stretch of land on the horizon, is Maughold(pronounced Mackled) a small village named after St Machaoi.   A certain actor called Johnny Depp stayed there when he filmed the Libertine.

Ramsey and Maughold actually come under the same Parish so one day I 'll catch the very infrequent bus up there and photograph some very quaint, quirky, quintessential Manx History of crosses, churches, stones , St Machaoi etc. Of course I could walk round the bay when the tides out, but run the risk of getting stuck between a rock and a hard place. No I'll risk the bus, even though I may end up staying the night in the spooky graveyard.

Want to join ABC got the lovely hostess with the mostest, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


My World - Ramsey War Memorial

This is the Ramsey War Memorial Cross that stands next to the Police Station and opposite the Post Office. Nestled in a tranquil square surrounded by Cherry Blossom trees, small bordered lawns and benches to sit a while and pay tribute. The cross bears the names of the fallen service men from the Isle Of Man of the World Wars. Note the design of the cross and the intricate detailing. This is down to our Celtic and Manx heritage which creates many varied styles on a Celtic theme.

I chose to show for my world today, the War Memorial, as it is Armistice Day. Poppies will be laid around the foot of the Memorial and a service will be held. As the island is still quite private, and I did not wish to intrude upon the service, I have chosen a spring photo, with the Cherry Blossom in bloom and highlighted with a sepia tone which seemed best suited to the image. Later this week I will photograph the Memorial with the poppies if they are still there, hopefully.

Armistice Day is the anniversary of the symbolic end of World War I on 11 November 1918. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning - the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month." While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the ceasefire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire. In the United States, Armistice Day was renamed to Veterans Day in 1954.

Ramsey, Isle of Man maybe small but the people of the island played their part and gave their lives too in the World Wars and in subsequent and ongoing wars and the War Memorial will always be the focal point in Ramsey On Armistice Day.

For more my entries click MY WORLD and thank the skywatch gang once again for another inspired idea.

Monday, November 10, 2008


A couple of weeks ago my monochrome oddshot was of this housing Estate being demolished and how a once familiar site not being there the next day to me was odd. This was the last house to be demolished. I shot it through the metal fence, which is the dark blurred lines you see. As it's a real shot, not tampered with, no need to clone or remove the lines. What you see is what you get. If you enlarge the photo you will see a very poignant message on what would have been a bedroom wall," I WAS HERE."

The Pondi contained an Estate of houses known as "Commissioners houses. "To UK readers you may be more familiar with the term "Council Houses." I am not sure what the equivalent would be in other parts of the world, or even if this type of housing exists in this form elsewhere. Council Housing is a form of accommodation that is owned by the local Council authority and rented out to tenants on long term lets(lifetime in some people's cases) at a low rental. They are not Private sector rentals. The idea was to abolish the slum landlords and overcrowding and provide the working class or lower income families with affordable habitable accommodation. This enabled people to pay a lower rent with a view to purchasing their own home in subsequent years, then relinquishing the property to new tenants and continuing the cycle to provide a step on the mortgage ladder for all. With the boom and bust nature of the world at the moment, we need more of these, yet none are being built. All I will say before I go into a rant.

I have now discovered a change to the above paragraph. Council housing is now referred to as Social Housing. Thanks to Gerald, HYDE, DP for enlightening me on this fact. Since moving from the UK to the Isle of Man several changes have taken place, like this renaming.

So, who was here then? I wonder just who it was who wrote the very poignant message. Whoever you are, thank you for creating another oddhsot opportunity. I wonder if you captured the image for yourself?

Want to join the weird world of Odd Shots Monday? Then see KATNEY

Want to join the beautiful and creative world of Mononchorome Monday? Then see Aileni at LOOSE ENDS

Sunday, November 09, 2008


In the United Kingdom, Remembrance Sunday is the second Sunday of November, the Sunday nearest to 11th November (Remembrance Day), which is the anniversary of the end of the hostilities of the First World War at 11 a.m. in 1918. A two minutes silence will be observed at 11.AM and poppies will be be worn to show a mark of respect. Poppies are the flower that grew in abundance on the Flanders Fields, where so many fell during the battles of Ypres, Passchendaele, and the Somme.

Armistice Day is the anniversary of the symbolic end of World War I on 11 November 1918. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning - the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month." While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the ceasefire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other regions, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire. In the United States, Armistice Day was renamed to Veterans Day in 1954.

As it's critters I thought homage to the the humble pigeon who has played his own part during the wars.

World War I

Messenger pigeons were used extensively during World War I. In 1914 during the First Battle of the Marne, the French army had 72 pigeon lofts which advanced with the troops.

The US Army Signal Corps alone used 600 pigeons in France. One of their carrier pigeons, a Black Check cock called Cher Ami, was awarded the French "Croix de Guerre with Palm" for heroic service delivering 12 important messages in Verdun. On his final mission in October 1918, he delivered a message despite having been shot through the breast or wing. The crucial message, found in the capsule hanging from a ligament of his shattered leg, saved around 200 US soldiers of the 77th Infantry Division's "Lost Battalion".

World War II

During World War II, the United Kingdom used about 250,000 messenger pigeons. The Dickin Medal, which is the highest possible animal's decoration for valor, was awarded to 32 pigeons, including the United States Army Pigeon Service's G.I. Joe and the Irish pigeon Paddy.

For more wonderful camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters and be sure to leave a nice comment for Misty' s own outstanding posts.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Mooragh Park, Ramsey, Isle Of Man

Yesterday I posted a series of very precise firework shots from Mooragh Park. Today a very different style of shot looking in the opposite direction. Every so often I leave the mighty Nikon at home and take out the tiny point and shoot no frill Olympus and post a few shots. I always say it is the photographer and not the camera that is most important. Even yesterday's images, although on the better camera, I still had to compose, fame and time - without a tripod. What of today's image?

The Olympus is a great little pocket camera to use when it's raining or a lot of moisture in the air.
Under these conditions and poor light you can often, if you use the right subject, and compose before you shoot, obtain an image that could be from another era. The sky was so pale grey that it becomes almost white in monchrome as does the foreground foliage already in shadow, becomes silhouetted. The rain, so fine, is picked up on a point and shoot as a misty layer, giving the background a nice hazy feel across North Barrule Mountain and Albert Tower. Note that Albert Tower, that's the centre focal point, what looks like a line, a chimney stack in the distance is actually emphasised and sharper in the reflected glass like image.

Two posts, same place, different cameras, weather conditions, hour, and subject, same photographer. Note the common link. The daily photo is not about photography, it is about the place we post from. Most people who participate are not photographers like myself and have either a point an shoot or camera phone and little time. Let's just remember that when we stop by a daily photo. Think before you judge, read the text and digest, think before you post a comment or are about to skip posting a comment, because the image isn't incredible fireworks. I guarantee you if you go to even one different blog today and look at it carefully you will understand what I mean and make someone happier for a a few pleasant words.


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