I have been reviewing someone else’s paper for a journal and preparing one of my own for submission. And both jobs have caused me to do a thing I do a lot: looking at a figure that uses a colour scale and asking myself whether the colour scale can be improved. A dataset where theContinue reading Colours for contours
I have been in Snowdonia for the weekend, pretending to do some hill walking. The weather was not ideal and I am the sort of walker who can not usually be bothered to make the effort if the clouds are down on the tops. It therefore seemed the day to head for something smaller: anotherContinue reading Two summits for the price of one
This is a YAHP (Yet Another Halo Phenomenon) post, I’m afraid, like this one, and the ones it links to. I took the photo while flying out to Lanzarote, but I am only posting it now as I didn’t have facilities to crop and contrast-boost the photo on my phone, and I didn’t take myContinue reading Subsun
This is another in my occasional series of classic lump ascents. Like the first one, this one is in the Canary Islands. A purist might argue that at 608m, Atalaya de Femés is far too impressive to count as a classic lump, especially as it is the highest point in the southern part of Lanzarote. IContinue reading Another Canarian summit
I am on holiday in Lanzarote, in that gap between the end of teaching and the onslaught of exam marking. The island is, like all of the Canaries, made mostly of volcanic basalt, but the flatter parts are often covered with a layer of wind-blown sands. While poking around the seaside resort of Costa Teguise,Continue reading Lavahenge
I’m in North Wales for Easter, and the weather (hooray) has been nice enough to get out for a walk or two. I visited Prestatyn Hillside: an impressive north-west-facing limestone cliff. The limestone is of Visean age, towards the old end of the Carboniferous period; essentially the same rock that we spend a week onContinue reading Limestone walk
The drive down to North Wales for Easter meant one crossing of the England-Scotland border, so it seemed a good opportunity to visit all the crossings we didn’t have time for in part 1 of this two-part post. We packed the car and headed south across the borderlands, aiming for the A68, which crosses theContinue reading Out on the border: part 2.
As I have noted before, I am a physicist and, like many hard scientists, tend to regard geography as a rather alien kind of subject. But I do love maps. The border between England and Scotland is historically the most important line drawn on a map within easy drive of my home, and I haveContinue reading Out on the border: part 1.
One of my favourite signs of spring is the first bumblebee. This will always be a queen who has hibernated over the winter and is now out looking for nectar and a nest site. They seem impossibly large, compared to the worker bees that are all over the garden later in the year. They areContinue reading Spring is a buzzing.
The fuzzy patch of light near the top of the picture is a halo phenomenon called an upper tangent arc. I grabbed the snap from Dunbar station while dashing for a train. Despite keeping a lookout for halos (see previous posts here, here, here, and here), and despite the fact that it is supposed toContinue reading Off at a tangent