Gallery: pick a word (September)
A picture is a poem without wordsHorace
That would seem to be a good motto for a photography blog. But I like to write (and talk!) almost as much as I like to take photos. So my posts are usually a mix of the two, and I leave my readers to decide whether the pictures or the text say the most.
But as I’ve said before, 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 only to her five words, although I try to be succinct while also giving a bit of context to my choices. But just in case you want more words I’ve included some links to posts where I say more about these various locations.
Paula was a little later than usual publishing her September word list, so I think I can get away with also being late with this response!
Dry stone walls and sheep in Wensleydale, Yorkshire
Dry stone walls criss-cross the hillsides in the Yorkshire Dales, marking the boundaries of the fields where sheep graze. We visited Wensleydale mainly for its waterfalls but like all the dales it has wonderful scenery throughout.
Toadstools in Emmetts Garden, Kent
I spotted these little beauties on the Woodland Walk at Emmetts Garden one autumn a few years ago. It’s hard to sense the scale in this photo but the largest was barely a centimetre across, and that’s lichen they’re growing from.
Rock arch at Arnarstapi on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in Iceland
I had to double-check the meaning of this word. I knew ‘geomorphic’ of course and I’d come across the study known as ‘geomorphology’ but I didn’t know it in its adjectival form. As I’d suspected, it means ‘pertaining to geological structure’. And it would be hard to find any country more packed with examples of geological structure, and activity, than Iceland!
At a kindergarten musical performance in Chongjin, North Korea
This five or six year old girl is playing a traditional Korean instrument known as a gayageum in a performance staged for tourists at her kindergarten. Like all the children performing that day she was excellent despite her very young years, unnervingly so.
At Rano Raraku on Rapa Nui
Huge half-finished moai are scattered across the slopes of Rano Raraku, an extinct volcano on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). This is where the iconic statues were created, carved from its rock and sculpted, before being transported to their final location. When the moai culture came to an end, all work ceased and nearly 400 in varying states of completeness were abandoned here.
I see that several of your commenters have expressed a wish to travel to Easter Island. I, too, would love to: but my vow never to fly again (a choice made to minimise my carbon footprint) means that I never shall. No matter: your travelogue gives me a taste of what it’s like, though I have no doubt that the statues are totally awe-inspiring up close and personal.
It truly is amazing to see those moai in person and I was also fascinated by the Birdman culture there and tales from our guides about the island’s more recent history. Am I right in thinking you’re based in the UK? If so you could see the moai that’s (somewhat controversially) exhibited at the British Museum without any need to fly. Not the same as seeing them in situ, but much better than a photo on a website!
How long was the London-Santiago flight? I have never been on a plane longer than 5 hours
Long! I don’t remember exactly but it was two legs, via Bogota. The first leg, London to Bogota, must have been around 11 hours as we’re booked to fly there again next February (this time to visit Colombia itself) and that’s how long we’re scheduled to fly. We had about five hours at Bogota Airport I think, and then I reckon the flight down to Santiago was about four or five hours? So altogether probably 20 hours but only 15 of those actually on a plane.
The longest single flight we’ve done was probably London to Tokyo at about 12 hours. As I said, not fun but worth it for the experiences when you get there!
I bet on both accounts. You are an adventerous spirit!
In London! It must have been a long flight to Santiago.
Yes, but we’re used to long haul flying. It’s dull and sometimes a bit uncomfortable but so worth it!
You’ve been to Easter Island! Wow. Glorious shots. I was at Arnarstapi too, but I haven’t checked out my own images yet. Life is just too hectic now. I am sure that your photo is much better. Your sky is great 🙂
Thank you Paula. We had great weather there, the skies were super for our photos 😀
And regarding Easter Island, where did you fly from?
From Santiago – we spent a couple of weeks in Chile beforehand. And you?
No, no, I haven’t been there. I’ve been to Iceland. I meant to ask where do you live)
Sorry, I misunderstood – I thought you were commenting on the Easter Island sky and comparing it to your own experience there. I had very mixed weather in Iceland – that shot was taken on the only good day of a long weekend 😀 I live in London.
The little girl was so cute, Sarah!
Very cute – they all were! But you wonder about what sort of lives they will live. Privileged by North Korean standards but lacking the choices most kids in the Western world get to make.
Great shots! The ones of England make me homesick, and the ones from far-flung places (Easter Island in particular) fuel my wanderlust. Which is a constant balancing act for me.
A balancing act for many, I suspect 🙂 I hope you get to Easter Island / Rapa Nui one day (btw, the native people prefer Rapa Nui as a name, THEIR name) for the island so I try to use it 🙂 )
Good point, I shall bear that in mind.
I wasn’t trying to tell you what to do, just explaining why I use that name!
Aletta - nowathome
Perfect choices for this challenge Sarah! The Rock arch is my favourite!
Thank you Aletta 🙂 That coastline is amazing!
Aletta - nowathome
Gift N. T.
Wonderfully diverse and beautiful choices! My first thought of the mushrooms was that they were big, until I got to the caption. This is one of the fun parts about looking at photos for me. The half-buried unfinished Moai statues also look beautiful and although I have only known North Korea from photos and stories, I felt unnerved too. We probably won’t know the extent of truth and fabrication from all sides, but I’m still sad when I think about what the North Koreans have to experience.
Thank you for the detailed feedback, it’s always great to hear people’s reaction to my photos 🙂 You’re right to feel sad for the people of North Korea as they’re living in vacuum of information about the world and their own country to some extent. But the young girl in the photo will probably have a good life by DPRK standards, as she must be from a more privileged family to be a pupil there. Doors will open for her!
Stunning! I had quite forgotten Emmetts – need to visit again when I’m next down that way. Very jealous of anyone visiting Easter Island – somewhere that fascinated me as a child. Love the way you have interpreted the words, love the images.
Thank you so much 🙂 Yes, Emmetts is beautiful, but Easter Island was something else, a truly unique place. It totally lived up to my expectations!
That’s one of the most precarious rock formations I’ve ever seen, Sarah!
I think it’s stronger and more secure than it looks Jo. It’s volcanic rock and pretty hard I reckon!
Just a bit holey 🤣💖
True – it’s a spectacular coastline!
Ah Easter island – now that’s a place I’d truly love to visit….
I hope you make it – it’s a very special place, everything I’d hoped for and more!
Great pictures 🙂
Thank you very much 😊
Great photo matches with the words, Sarah. Really terrific! I love those mushrooms and the little girl.
Thanks so much Patti 😊 I had lots of fun doing this, it’s such a great challenge!
That is such an interesting history about the half-finished moai. And I do like your picture of the toadstools (probably because it’s so tiny and you captured it so beautifully).
The whole story of the moai is absolutely fascinating! If you’re really interested in Rano Raraku (and only if you’re REALLY interested) you might want to check out my linked page to read and see more 😉
I’ll get myself a cup of tea and hop over to that page 😉.
I’m not sure whether my comment went through on your Rano Raraku post … in case not, here it is:
These statues are indeed huge. I see in one of your photos there’s a path for tourists … does that mean that you’re not allowed to get close to the moai (or touch them)? I had to laugh when I read the local guide’s quote … it sounds that not much has changed over the centuries 😉.
It did, but it came through as anonymous for some reason and I had to approve it – maybe because it’s an older post, although my settings should allow commenting as normal. I’ve answered it there as I hope you’ve now spotted? Thank you for checking it out 🙂
the eternal traveller
I would love to visit Easter Island one day.
Highly recommended if you can manage it – one of my travel highlights for sure!
Mike and Kellye Hefner
These are great selections, Sarah! I love the toadstools and the pretty little musical girl.
Thank you 🙂 She, like all the performers that day, was cute and impressively (but unnervingly) talented!
Nice choices to illustrate those words, Sarah. And Emmett’s Garden is one of my London family’s go-to places when I’m staying, so good to see it next to Wensleydale!
I aim to please Margaret 😆 Emmetts Garden was a new find for us and is on the ‘wrong’ side of London for us to visit regularly but we loved it and I can why it would be a go-to place if you lived nearer. I’d like to visit again at a different time of year, maybe spring.
Bluebell time. That is my earnest suggestion.
Thank you – noted 😀