Vigur Island— A birdwatchers paradise, the pearl of the Westfjords are words that can and have been used to describe this small island in the far northwest of Iceland.
It is the second largest island of the Isafjordur Bay or the Djup. It is about 2 km long and 400 m wide sits in the ocean and is surrounded by fjords. One family lives on the island all year. Their livelihood is based on farming, the collection of eggs and eiderdown, bird catch and tourism. The island is home to about 80,000 Atlantic puffins, a large number of eider ducks, arctic terns, guillemots and many other types of birds can be found on the island. Most of the houses are from late 19th century or early 20th. Seals often can be seen on the shore line as well as whales and dolphins further out in the sea.
The only surviving windmill in Iceland is situated in Vigur, owned by the National Museum of Iceland but maintained at the island. It was mainly used to grain corn.
Eider Ducks furnish the eiderdown for the famous pillows and quilts, and a living for the farmer. The ducks are wild, but develop a symbiotic relationship with the farmer and don’t seem to mind when he collects the down. He also builds shelters for them to use for their nests, and feeds the ducklings.
On the thirty minute boat trip from Isafjordur to Vigur Island there were many puffins flying and many more in the water all around us. Iceland is the breeding home of perhaps 60 percent of the world’s Atlantic Puffins. Parts of Vigur Island is covered with Puffin nests which are burrows in the ground.
Located on the CV-70, 25 km from Altea, is the village of Guadalest. Occupying one of the most stunning positions in Spain, this small village is precariously perched on the pinnacle of a granite mountain, giving fabulous views across the valley carved out by the River from which the village takes its name.
Getting to Guadalest by the twisting road that climbs ever upwards, passing through the village of Polop, is almost as spectacular as the position of the village, but the breathtaking views make the drive worthwhile even for the more nervous passengers!
On reaching Guadalest you can see why the Moors, who constructed castles to defend the area, considered this place a site of strategic importance.
Some of these castles were unconquerable and the remains of several can still be seen today, even though they were bombarded in the 18th century during the Spanish war of Succession. A Cliff Hanging Castle was a good defensive plan.
Penon de la Alcala
However the building you will see on most of the postcards is the whitewashed bell tower of Penon de la Alcala which seems to cling to the mountain face.
Intriguingly the old village and castle is accessed through a tunnel carved from the rock and when you reach the other end and see the ancient houses, you seem to have been transported to another age.
The black scabbard fish, Aphanopus carbo, is a bathypelagic cutlassfish of the family Trichiuridae found in the Atlantic Ocean between latitudes 69° N and 27° N at depths of between 180 and 1,700 m. Its length is up to 110 cm, but reaches maturity around 80 to 85 cm.
The black scabbard fish is a fish with a body that is extremely elongated, with body depth 10.8 to 13.4 times in SL. The snout is large with strong fang-like teeth. Pelvic fins represented by a single spine in juveniles but entirely absent in adults. Color is coppery black with iridescent tint. The inside of the mouth and gill cavities are black. Juveniles are believed to be mesopelagic from 100 to 500 m.
The actual discovery or first record of Espada fish being caught off the coast of Madeira was in the early 1800’s. In 1839, Richard Thomas Lowe, a British naturalist and zoologist first described the fish and soon afterwards submitted his study to the Royal Zoological Society of London. Lowe attributed the Latin name Aphanopus Carbo to the fish.
The Alhambra was so called because of its reddish walls (in Arabic, («qa’lat al-Hamra’» means Red Castle). It is located on top of the hill al-Sabika, on the left bank of the river Darro, to the west of the city of Granada and in front of the neighbourhoods of the Albaicin and of the Alcazaba.
The Alhambra is located on a strategic point, with a view over the whole city and the meadow (la Vega), and this fact leads to believe that other buildings were already on that site before the Muslims arrived. The complex is surrounded by ramparts and has an irregular shape. It limits with the valley of the river Darro on its northern side, with the valley of al-Sabika on its southern side and with the street Cuesta del Rey Chico on the eastern side. The Cuesta del Rey Chico is also the border between the neighbourhood of the Albaicin and the gardens of the Generalife, located on top of the Hill of the Sun (Cerro del Sol).
The first historical documents known about the Alhambra date from the 9th century and they refer to Sawwar ben Hamdun who, in the year 889, had to seek refuge in the Alcazaba, a fortress, and had to repair it due to the civil fights that were destroying the Caliphate of Cordoba, to which Granada then belonged. This site subsequently started to be extended and populated, although not yet as much as it would be later on, because the Ziri kings established their residence on the hill of the Albaicin.
The castle of the Alhambra was added to the city’s area within the ramparts in the 9th century, which implied that the castle became a military fortress with a view over the whole city. In spite of this, it was not until the arrival of the first king of the Nasrid dynasty, Mohammed ben Al-Hamar (Mohammed I, 1238-1273), in the 13th century, that the royal residence was established in the Alhambra. This event marked the beginning of the Alhambra’s most glorious period.
First of all, the old part of the Alcazaba was reinforced and the Watch Tower (Torre de la Vela) and the Keep (Torre del Homenaje) were built. Water was canalised from the river Darro, warehouses and deposits were built and the palace and the ramparts were started. These two elements were carried on by Mohammed II (1273-1302) and Mohammed III (1302-1309), who apparently also built public baths and the Mosque (Mezquita), on the site of which the current Church of Saint Mary was later built.
Yusuf I (1333-1353) and Mohammed V (1353-1391) are responsible for most of the constructions of the Alhambra that we can still admire today. From the improvements of the Alcazaba and the palaces, to the Patio of the Lions (Patio de los Leones) and its annexed rooms, including the extension of the area within the ramparts, the Justice Gate (Puerta de la Justicia), the extension and decoration of the towers, the building of the Baths (Baños), the Comares Room (Cuarto de Comares) and the Hall of the Boat (Sala de la Barca). Hardly anything remains from what the later Nasrid Kings did.
From the time of the Catholic Monarchs until today we must underline that Charles V ordered the demolition of a part of the complex in order to build the palace which bears his name. We must also remember the construction of the Emperor’s Chambers (habitaciones del Emperador) and the Queen’s Dressing Room (Peinador de la Reina) and that from the 18th century the Alhambra was abandoned. During the French domination part of the fortress was blown up and it was not until the 19th century that the process of repairing, restoring and preserving the complex started and is still maintained nowadays. For more information:
Photos shot in my backyard.
Backyard birds so fun to watch!
Fun to watch the many and various activities of birds in my backyard. To draw the birds we furnish flowers, water, bird seed, and for the hummingbirds many sugar water feeders.
It appears this young robin was having great fun taking a bath in our bird bath.
Birds that are frequent visitors are: Bush tits, House Finch,Grey Headed Junco, Oregon Junco, Spotted Towhee, White Winged Dove,Eurasian Collard Dove, Northern Flicker, Canyon Towhee, Lesser Goldfinch, Mountain Chickadee,Woodpecker, Ravens. These birds we see between December and April. A variety of Hummingbirds come in late March and April, and stay until sometime in October or even later! Later in the summer other birds come, and occasionally a Coopers Hawk comes to check out any unaware feeding birds. One of my favorites is the Western Tanager.
Yes! New Mexico is Enchanted
Click on Black Mesa to see more NM scenes.
The Land of Enchantment
New Mexico is truly an enchanted place. Explore everything our state has to offer – from breathtaking sunsets to fabulous local cuisine, New Mexico has it all. Whether you are a citizen, visitor or have a business in our state, you can find the information you need in the state’s official online portal – NewMexico.Gov
So there my husband and I were in Thailand…(Click on images for larger views!)
The Theravada Buddhist temple is located in the Saiyok district of Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province, not far from the border with Myanmar, some 38 km north-west of Kanchanaburi along the 323 highway. It was founded in 1994 as a forest temple and sanctuary for numerous wild animals. In 1995 it received the Golden Jubilee Buddha Image, made of 80 kilograms of gold.
According to the abbot and others associated with the temple, in 1999, the temple received the first tiger cub, it had been found by villagers and died soon after. The story goes that several tiger cubs were later given to the temple over time, typically when the mothers had been killed by poachers, others who wanted to get rid of their tiger “pets” or those were under pressure to do so as laws and policies surrounding the keeping of protected species became more strict. As of 2007, over 21 cubs have been born at the temple and the total number of tigers is about 12 adult tigers and 4 cubs. As of late December 2009, the total number of tigers living at the temple has risen to almost 50.
The subspecies of these tigers is unknown as none of them have been DNA tested, but it is thought that they are Indochinese Tigers, except Mek (a Bengal Tiger). There is also a possibility that there may be some of the newly discovered Malayan Tigers and it is likely that many are cross breeds or hybrids.
Hello World; Welcome to Doris Ford Photography; Ford’s Fotos Blog and Photo Gallery; https://fordsfotos.net and Gallery on FordsFotos.com in Adobe Profile, I also have a Smugmug site; http://FordsFotos.smugmug.com, and can be found on Viewbug, 500px, Twitter,and Instagram. Travel photography is my focus and I plan to show you award winning photos from all 7 Continents. Sometimes the photos will just be in a travel log vein, or reflect a current project on which I am interested. I want to tell you a story in pictures! All photos are for sale so Please view them and I hope you enjoy the photos and the text to further explain the pictures.