Ruff formation

Ruffs in formation against a blank sky make an abstract pattern, suited I think to black-and-white; but Ruffs flying low in the morning light with water and reeds as backdrop make for a different kind of image, with a different mood and feeling. Don’t you think? I’ll spare you the play on ‘Reformation’…

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Time to go – Southern Red Bishop

I took a series of images of Southern Red Bishops clinging to the reeds early one morning at Marievale. This one, with the warm golden light, the puff of red feathers, the toes uncurling, wings lifted high above the departing bird’s head, is perhaps my favourite.

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Red-knobbed coot

Spain has saturated my posts and photographs for some time now; with this series done, my eye hankers after water, marsh, sky and birdlife. So the next few posts mark a return to Marievale Bird Sanctuary, and a trawl through the images from my last visit, in November. There are flamingoes, widow birds, ducks of…

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Cava and tapas at the Mercado de San Miguel

Cava and tapas at the Mercado de San Miguel – could there be a more perfect way to celebrate the end of a fabulous trip to Spain than in Madrid, a stone’s throw away from the Plaza Mayor, washing down olives and shrimp and delicacies galore with some fine pink fizz? Two weeks on the…

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Night, Puente Romano, with La Mezquita in the background

Two weeks’ discovery of Spain – first Madrid, then Sevilla, Ronda, Granada, ends in Cordoba, in some ways the most subtly engaging place of them all – and the few days in Cordoba end, in turn, as they should, with the warm stone of the Puente Romano under our feet, moonlight over the Guadalquivir River,…

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Night, Cordoba

So what do you do on your last night in Cordoba? You wander the streets, of course, stopping off here for a drink, there for something to nibble on, all the while soaking in the light, the atmosphere, the sense of place. As the night winds down, you end up on the Puente Romano over…

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La Mezquita – Steeple, at night

What better way to say good night – and goodbye – to Cordoba’s La Mezquita, than to pause, in the street, as her moonlit steeple reaches up into the night sky from above a jumble of houses, on a quiet back-street, and see this image.

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La Mezquita, Cordoba – a photographic portfolio

La Mezquita in Cordoba, I wrote in a recent post, is a Christian cathedral emerging from the ribs of a Moorish mosque – and it is precisely this amalgam and emergence, this blending and superceding, that I find so infinitely absorbing and rewarding, such fertile soil for the kind of historical imagining and understanding that…

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Circumnavigating La Mezquita in Cordoba

La Mezquita simply takes possession of old Cordoba: vast, sprawling, the Christian cathedral emerging from the ribs of the Moorish Mosque, its bulk and presence are unignorable. It’s a good idea to circumnavigate before you enter: wander the surrounding streets, catch glimpses of the spire from narrow alleyways or see it from up high, from…

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The palace gardens of the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos in Cordoba, Spain

The gardens of the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, in Cordoba, Spain – set within the medieval walls and towers of a palace that the Catholic monarch Alfonso XI built in the 15th century upon the site of Visigoth and Moorish forts – have that ‘Cordoba quality’ I mentioned in an earlier post: a sense…

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