Printing.


Testing my Canon PIXMA Pro9000 printer (with the Mk II print head – long story which is on my blog somewhere) after it had been in storage for about a year. I am pleased to say, all it needed was a single head clean function carrying out along with new inks and now works perfectly. Not bad for a printer that was boxed-up in Oman, spent five months in storage there, travelled by sea and stored here in UK for another six months. The only packing preparation it was given was a clean, remove the inks and put the print head in its original foil pack with silica-gel, press out as much air as I could and seal with tape.  I am a happy bunny  🙂

I can now work on some prints for hanging on the wall of our new house, such as the one above from October 2013.
All I need is to decide what paper I will use: always had either Premium Fine Art Smooth or Pro Premium Matte (or their older equivalents) from the Pixma Pro range by Canon. But being back here in UK, the range of papers for both traditional darkroom work & digital printing are almost limitless. Bit like film, instead of hearing “gosh you don’t still use film do you?” I am spoilt for choice. It makes up for the (forgotten) dreadfully changing weather & very expensive fuel prices.

Sand storm coming.

A follow-on from my earlier post of ‘Early morning light’ this greeted me one morning ! not a pleasant sight, it means everything gets a coating of sand, so no breakfast until it passes.

Sandstorms can last for a few minutes or several hours; the only way to deal with them if caught outside is either stay in your tent/vehicle or cover yourself and stay low hoping it passes quickly.
I’ve been caught by a few over the years, luckily I was either in my vehicle or tent so just waited them out. But on the odd occasion I was pleased that I carried a Masar or Shemagh as the Bedu traditionally use; it is not a fashion item when it comes to these storms, it protect eyes, ears & mouth.

 

Garden Rowan.

The Rowan (Mountain Ash) in our new garden has a profusion of berries this year.

Recalling an old folk tale that I remember from when I was knee-high to a grasshopper; it was a sign of a coming bad winter – we shall see. Especially as the two Holly trees are beginning to show the same. Autumn is well & truly on its way, the very large Ash has filled the garden with fallen leaves in the last week or so.

Although we now live in a small town, we have a number of large trees in the garden, horses pass by the house and a regular flow of farm machinery gives it a feeling of being in the country rather than a town.  Double plus good  🙂

Unicorn Myth.

A Jpeg file that I have of the The Arabian Oryx or white Oryx (unfortunately I have not found the original negatives yet: I have about 20 in a folder that I have yet to scan and catalogue) this is from my files of  November 2010 when I was down in the Huquf.

The Unicorn myth: From that well know online encyclopædia.

The myth of the one-horned unicorn may be based on oryxes that have lost one horn. Aristotle and Pliny the Elder held that the oryx was the unicorn’s “prototype”. From certain angles, the oryx may seem to have one horn rather than two, and given that its horns are made from hollow bone that cannot be regrown, if an oryx were to lose one of its horns, for the rest of its life, it would have only one.

Another source for the concept may have originated from the translation of the Hebrew word re’em into Greek as μονόκερως, monokeros, in the Septuagint. In Psalm 22:21, the word karen, meaning horn, is written in singular. The Roman Catholic Vulgata and the Douay-Rheims Bible translated re’em as rhinoceros; other translations are names for a wild bull, wild oxen, buffalo, or gaur, but in some languages a word for unicorn is maintained. The Arabic translation alrim is the most correct choice etymologically, meaning ‘white oryx’.

Farming – Wadi Al Hoqain.

Farming – Wadi Al Hoqain.

Date palms, sugar cane, the henna plant, along with animal fodder; all grown in this wadi, renowned for its abundance of water all year round.
There has been some form of settlement here from as early as the bronze age, maybe even earlier.
I have not been able to find any history about the fort, although commanding such a prominent place, it does surprises me that it doesn’t get mentioned – I’ve probably not looked hard enough.  🙂

Working my way through the book shown below, so with luck.

The countries and tribes of the Persian Gulf
By: Samuel Barrett Miles Pub. 1919.

Dhofar camel.


Dhofar camel – I think I have only ever posted two other images of a camel, thought I should add one more  🙂
I prefer the horse, but once one gets familiar with the sideways motion of a walking camel, it’s a very comfortable ride.

Stand & stare.

Nikon F4: T-Max 400. Old UV filter with Vaseline.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies. (1871 – 1940)

A favourite beach.

A favourite beach at Masirah.

This beach gets big waves and a dangerous undertow during the ‘Khareef’ when the Monsoon winds hit around June to August, but for the rest of the year it’s perfect.
I loved the solitude of the area and could walk or sit for hours: never camping though. The odd time I have camped on beaches has never really filled me with enthusiasm, as the sand is not like the desert. Beach sand clings and gets everywhere, tent, boots, clothes, food & worst of all my Guinness   😉