Thursday, 27 October 2016

TED Talk about Clouds - update

Over three years ago (6th August 2013) I wrote the blog post (repeated below) about Gavin Pretor-Pinney's TED Talk about clouds. At the time it had been viewed over 200,000 times. I've just taken a look and the count is now 1,189,793 times.

TED Talk about Clouds

I often photograph the sky - it's always available, often interesting and sometimes fascinating. Gavin Pretor-Pinney founded the Cloud Appreciation Society to which many sky watchers, like me, submit photographs. I've been lucky over the last few years to have several of mine published on the CAS website. Recently Gavin gave a talk about clouds at TED Talks in Edinburgh which, the last time I looked, has been viewed over 200,000 times. Do watch it, linked here, it's well worth all of the 11 minutes. I was delighted that he used one of my cumulonimbus photographs as one of his illustrations.

If you've not yet come across TED I would encourage you to take a look. The short talks on and about every subject under the sun are splendid, challenging, inspirational, thought provoking, funny, infuriating, ...

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Levadas - Maderia

We're just back from our second visit to the Portugese island of Madeira - a steep sided (and hopefully) extinct volcano located about 300 miles from the Atlantic coast of Morocco. The island's agriculture is supported by the capture and distribution of rainwater by well over 1000 miles of levadas or rainwater channels. That's a lot of levadas given that the island is only about 300 square miles (800 square kilometres). They have been built over the last several hundred years and deliver water from around the island to where it's needed for agriculture. Many of the levadas have paths by their side so can be walked, and as they're almost on the level they are mostly very easy. Except that, because they run around the contours of the very steep volcano, in places they have precipitous drops - often without guard rails for protection. And here and there they flow through tunnels, some of which are easily long enough (many 100s of meters or more) to require a good torch. So, not for those a little unsteady on their feet or who don't have a good head for heights, or who would feel claustrophobic hiking through very dark restricted height tunnels.

This is a selection of images from this year's trip plus one from 3 years ago.