Black and white photo of a lady smoking a cigar
Pick a Word,  Themed galleries

Gallery: pick a word (August)

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson’s is a maxim I would do well to follow, but I too rarely succeed in doing so. Anyone who reads my blog posts regularly will know that I’m more likely to do the opposite and use THREE words when one would do!

So it’s good for me now and then to be challenged to keep it brief. Paula’s monthly Pick a Word challenge does just that. Five words, five photos inspired by those words. I may not stick to just her five words, but I will as usual try to be succinct while also giving a bit of context to my choices.


Rough road through empty shingle landscape

Road through the Al Nejd desert, Oman

The Empty Quarter is as close to ‘infinite’ as I have seen anywhere. Otherwise known as Rub’ Al Khali, it is the largest contiguous sand desert in the world. It effectively separates the southern countries of the region, Yemen and Oman, from the rest of the Middle East. This is the road through the Al Nejd desert in Oman, on the Empty Quarter’s southern fringes. There is little to see here but I found the landscape mesmerising.


Row of flamingos in shallow water by a beach

Flamingos in the Ria Formosa, near Faro

I took this photo while on a boat trip in the lagoon of the Ria Formosa near Faro on Portugal’s Algarve coast. This natural park covers a number of barrier islands linked to the sea through six inlets. It protects Faro’s harbour and is used for oyster farming, while also being an important refuge for bird life.


Male lion in profile

Lion at the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent

The Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent, south east England ‘provides sanctuary and excellent conditions for the successful breeding of the beautiful, yet endangered cats both large and small within the co-ordinated global breeding programmes.’ It is not a zoo. Visiting is by appointment only, on occasional open days or for special experiences. This beautiful lion, Kasanga, was rescued from circus work in France by Woburn Safari Park and later moved here.


Shingle beach with breakwaters

The Street, Whitstable

Also in Kent, this is part of the shingle beach in Whitstable known as the Street. It’s a naturally formed spit of land that extends into the sea and can be walked on at low tide. Some of these walkers are walking away from the land towards the sea, but others have turned and are walking shoreward!


Lady in a yellow dress smoking a cigar

In Havana, Cuba

On the streets of Havana in Cuba you come across locals, men and women (but more of the latter) dressed in traditional outfits. They are hoping to earn tips by posing for tourist photos, and I was happy to oblige. These things may seem like tourist traps, but I always see them as a win-win; the local can earn a bit of money in return for their time while I can take photos I might not otherwise get.


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