Sunday, 11 July 2010

Eye candy

After a short camping holiday we're back in the garden, checking out the soft fruit harvest. The raspberries are ripening nicely and the dessert gooseberries (variety "Careless") are almost ripe, but the most striking crop must be the redcurrants which have been cropping since before we went away. They may be tiny and a little on the tart side, but they look as fresh and perfect as dew drops, with a deep, translucent ruby glow. It's a joy to see them appearing - they must be one of the most beautiful fruits in creation.

It just goes to show that you don't have to go far to see something extraordinary, although a couple of things from our holiday were just as striking. I've got a picture of one of those things here:

It's the sun, surrounded by a rainbow-tinted halo (the rainbow colours were there, although they don't come out very well in the photo). These are produced by the sun shining through ice crystals in high cirrus clouds. I photographed this one about a week ago, whilst sitting on a Cornish beach.

That same beach was dotted with scores beached jellyfish which would have been an impressive sight, if they had still been floating, rather than laying around as sand-covered blobs. I didn't take any pictures, as they weren't at their most photogenic. If they had still been at sea, they'd have made for some interesting pictures. Most of them were harmless Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), quite transparent apart from four violet crescents. These, I later found out, are the animal's gonads. The remaining jellyfish were also transparent, but thickly streaked with a radial pattern of deep indigo, like dark blue ink. I'm not 100% sure what these were, but they looked like this photograph of a Blue Jellyfish, (Cyanea lamarckii). Whatever they were, that indigo colour was as almost lovely as a redcurrant or a rainbow circle round the sun.