Kelp, I need somebody, kelp! (Not the Beetles).

I must begin with a thank you to those who offered advice on my jasmine problem. Especially Rough Seas who womanfully battled the vicissitudes of WordPress to provide a wealth of pragmatic suggestions.

This morning I dug around the roots and pruned off all the dead wood. The roots did not seem waterlogged nor did I find battalions of grubs munching away. There were some tiny, tiny ants and these have been exterminated sent to a better place. I added some organic fertiliser and some sand to help with drainage and now I shall sit back and watch. I suspect it will die anyway knowing my luck but at least I gave it a whirl.

Kelp – or seaweed solution – was another suggestion and we shall drop in at the local garden centre on the way home this afternoon and see what they have. Or I could just go beach combing.

But kelp has another resonance today. I am nothing if not unfaithful – to my blog that is. I post a few shots on Flickr, on Facebook and indeed on PBase. The last one has long since been neglected but it hosts hundreds of images of HK Moths I have taken and also back-ups of wedding photos so I keep it going. It’s a great business model. Inertia rules. Like our godown in fact. A godown, for the uninitiated, is a warehouse. We rent space in it to store in an air-conditioned environment all the stuff we have no room for but can’t bear to part with. And it costs us a bras and a jambe. So inside Aladdin’s Warehouse you will find 2 sets of golf clubs last used about 20 years ago. They do have carbon fibre shafts not hickory so they are not so old. Indeed my first clubs did have wooden shafts and I was 12 years old. I keep the latest set “just in case” I ever want to play again. I am sure if I did I would invest in a set of 21st Century clubs but you never know. I have a decent collection of artwork (none of it mine except a few photos), which we have nowhere to hang – most of our walls are glass so we get fabulous natural light but nowhere to knock a nail in. Glass and nails are not natural bedfellows. What to do with it? And so the list goes on and the pile reaches the ceiling. We resolved after the shock of this year’s bill – payable in advance of course – to empty the godown and stop storing things “just in case”. But we haven’t. Yet. I shall enrol at once in Hoarders Anonymous. Hello. My name is Andrew and I’m a Hoarder.

This is something of a wild digression from my kelp theme. Sorry.

Yesterday I posted a small number of shots to Flickr and a few more to FB, all on the Antarctica theme. I have reluctantly given my loyal blog readers a break from the Rough Seas in the South. But others sites are not spared. What bugs me is that one of those images is a particular favourite of mine. Yet it has elicited zero response. My public and I are clearly on a different wavelength. I am the Third Programme to their Light. I am on Shortwave whilst they tune happily to FM. But I refuse to give up. And so here it is – the Kelp Gull.


Why do I like this so much? No idea. I just do. So yah boo sucks to the rest of you. And only Yvonne commented on the dog-on-the-wall picture yesterday. Care for me, says the dog. Don’t abandon me. I make the same plea for my Kelp Gull.

Un abrazo.

18 thoughts on “Kelp, I need somebody, kelp! (Not the Beetles).

  1. I left such an unhelpful comment on yesterdays post that clearly I’ve now been relegated to the compost heap!!!

    I like your seagull kelp photo a lot – it reminds me that i need to go and soak a whole load of the stuff for my lunch (heave) don’t ask, all I pray is that it does the trick.

    Oh and on the subject of social med-e-aaah please can you tell me your twitter name? I like tweeting posts that I’ve enjoyed but in a more personal way than just hitting the tweet button on a page if that makes sense?

    Right off to forage for some kelp, no rest for the wicked TTFN

    • I am happy to relate Lottie that I don’t Twit. Or Tweet. Is that a Halloween thing? Trick or tweet? In fact I’m not sure I would know how to nor that I would have anything to twitter about.

      Rest assured you are not on the compost heap. I see you more on the croquet lawn with a Pimm’s.

  2. All the nice gulls like a sailor I hear. It is a nice looking gull with a good dramatic background and foreground – I must say ‘lovely plumage’ reminds me of a Norwegian blue.

  3. Oh -my-goodness. Andrew, you and Lottie would make a fit for screaming, roll-em- in the aisles comedy team. I am so glad that I found you both (tongue in cheek, here). Previously, I had no idea how cotton picken (not picking) funny British people could be/are. And then there is Just Rod who is English by birth and somehow deserted his homeland for Canada, who is now throwing his 2 cents worth of comedic skills into the ring. And, now Andrew this seems the place to be if not looking at the perfect example of a kelp gull over on what did you call it z place? Oh I just realized I used the wrong name. P base, it is.

    I really must ask. Exactly, what is Pbase? But never mind about all those nose is the air people who do not appreciate your photography. You know you have one die hard fan of your humor-humour and skilled photography. I will comment on everthing you post. No matter. Why I’d even comment on Pbase if I knew just what it is or where to find it.

    Back to the kelp gull After lookiing intently at the photo I can readily understand your skilled eye for what is an outstanding photo of a bird that most of us have never before seen. It is actually an extreme rarity that you were able to capture the bird as it was either landing or about to take flight. I would dare say that it is not every day that someone can snap a bird that is in its element. Is that bird about to eat kelp as that sheep was that I commented about? Either or i-therr way, I like the photo very much.

    Have you noted your photos on Flickr that I made as a favorites to go among my favorites of other photographers? I shall/will make this one a favorite as well if it is on Flickr.

    It is now 12 MN central standard time, deep in the heart of Texas and I must let the dogs out for their final sniff and leg lifting exercises.


    • Yvonne, PBase is just another boring place that hosts your photos. I used it before Flickr and long before I succumbed to FB. Facebook for all its many weaknesses does what it says on the tin – it connects me to my many birding friends, a few lucky (ex) colleagues and some distant rellies. What it doesn’t do is mange photos well. On the contrary it butchers them. But I post a few anyway so Mrs. H can share or admire or scream “delete, delete, delete” like a demented Dalek. (Worth googling if you don’t know what a Dalek is). I have religiously noted your favouriting (if such a word exists) of my Flickr images. Thank you. It reminds me that I am not alone but please don’t feel obliged. The Kelp gull is not rare in its own area but would certainly cause a stir here in Hong Kong. I will elaborate on why I like it in the reply to Ms. Blushy Pants herself, The Hon. Rough Seas.

    • I do not make a photo a favorite unless I like the pic. You are a blogging friend -how do we consider oursleves that banter with words on each other’s blog? So since I am familiar with your bird photography it is more likey that i will choose your photos rather that looking through multiudes of bird pics.

      Over on Flickr I have found various photgraphers that I like and made some of their photos favorites. HOWEVER- I have only asked a limited number of all those photographers to be a contact. I had the feeling that it could be like WP with too many people who want to follow but do not want to comment. And besides how does anyone keep up with all the blogs they subscribe to. I commnt on the ones that I like on a religious basis. I have deleted 10 to 15 maybe from my blog list. I know I jumped the rail here. Just threw that in for good measure- (so to speak)

      I think you missed my sarcasm in my remark of the gull. When I wrote rarity, I did not mean the bird. I was referring to you skill to capture the bird in landing or about to take flight. Not everyone is able to snap a pic at just the right time unless they can anticipate the birds actiions or have a fast lens. I have no idea if you were able to shoot (x) number of frames per second in order to get the gull with its wings stretched out. It was merely an added remark.

      It is barely daybreak and I don’t see any signs of the sun up yet. (Maybe it is and is being obscured sp? by clouds.)The carolina wren, titmouse and the chickadee have been singing for a good 20 minutes or more.

      • Yvonne, we are on the same wavelength. I find Flickr hard work to keep pace with. I have a lot of contacts because I enjoy their photography. But I comment on far fewer, those who I have developed a rapport with, who produce strong images and who occasionally reciprocate. There are some photographers who simply stand out from the crowd. Often their style and themes are distinctive. Some I correspond with and they are very thoughtful and genuine folk.

        On the blog I just like playing with language and using my photos to to vide padding. Now and again it is the other way round. I find few bloggers as faithful as you and few who provide consistently good posts.
        My blogging community is therefore much smaller.

        If either Flickr or WP becomes a chore or ceases to give pleasure I shall withdraw gracefully. But the verbal jousting is fun and the images enjoyable. I wish I could hear the dawn chorus now. Not even the owls are calling here. Enjoy your Sunday as we head toward Monday.

  4. * Blushing * if roughseas can blush.

    I think I tried to comment on the dog on one of the many eaten posts. Each time I posted and it got eaten, when I tried to repost I was told it was a duplicate comment, so I had to add a different line or two to re-submit it. Anyway, the one with the dog comments didn’t make it. I wondered if his name was Chungo, or whether that was the author’s name. Sounds like chumbo (prickly pear).

    I wonder if you could buy some wakame and just make your own solution. Must say I hadn’t thought of that before. There must be a recipe on the tinties somewhere. I’m selfishly thinking about me here actually.

    Now if you can’t inform your non-photographic non-birdy readers why it is a special photo, how do you expect them to appreciate it’s uniqueness? Or artistic value? Looks like one of the seagulls that used to swoop down and catch fish when the woman opposite used to throw them out for them to eat. (She threw the fish not the seagulls. Her house is full of cats not birds).

    So I am going to rebel. I am not going to be told what photos I should like. The cloudy roughseas booted foot is firmly stamped. To be very serious, I find the sea at the front distracting as it looks very busy. But that’s all I can say. I have no other observations to make.

    • Paw note on dog: Prickly Pear won best in breed at Crufts in 1989. PP was a Newfoundland. Looking at the picture I think the owners should have entered it for The Horse of the Year Show. BIG!!!!!!!

  5. Now look here young Rough Seas, I didn’t ask others to like my photo (did I?) I confessed that I don’t really know why I like it. So I plead not guilty to telling you what to like and what not to like. Its a cruel calumny. However I try to take all criticism in a constructive and positive mindset (since when? ed.) and I shall attempt to say why I like it. You find the foreground distracting – point taken. I can see why that might be the case. To me it adds some depth and I have used a shallow depth of field to exaggerate the effect, isolating the gull as the only plane of focus. I like how the bird is part of the landscape (or seascape) rather than the focal point. I like the light and the silvery blue tones. The gull’s wings are raised, showing the underwing pattern and one leg is grounded, the other not, as if its puddling to disturb food. Most of all it reminds me of a moment of tranquility and harmony with nature. End of self criticism. I shall try to crop the foreground and if I think it improves it I shall impose a re-post on you. Before and After. BTW, can a sea be busy? I must go down to the sea again, to the busy sea and the sky…. Hmmmm. I shall have to think about that one.

    Not sure about the dog – could be the name or the artist but I’ve never heard of a dog called Prickly Pear. I shall have to check the Cruft’s records. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and the blush was well earned.

    • Well, m’lud. I beg to differ, much to your surprise. I think the whole sad story of no-one liking/commenting/favouriting is definitely trying to influence the jury. Even before they saw the picture of said Kelp Gull they were already aware of the tragic circumstances around its failure to receive plaudits.

      And then the little touch of defiance, pretending that you don’t really care about the lack of popular claim for the poor unloved Kelp Gull, and you don’t need to justify it, is I would suggest, a mere front to cover up your hurt feelings on behalf of Mr/Ms KG.

      I should also like to point out that I did not criticise it. In fact I said, I didn’t know what to say about it. I did consider pointing out that the gull was the only plane of focus, except the way I would have written it would have come out like ‘most of that photo is out of focus Andrew’ which doesn’t sound half as positive and clever as the way you wrote it. So I didn’t bother saying I had noticed the narrow strip with the gull in just below halfway was the only part in focus. I knew it was a clever trick though.

      I’m not sure about cropping that would be interesting. Cropping is one of the few things I know anything remotely about (via journalism) and what is good about the pic at the moment is where the bird is – you wouldn’t really want him/her much lower in the pic would you? I think the dissonance for me, is the contrast between the blurred sea right in the foreground and the rippling waves right on the turn.

      Not that I could take a picture like that anyway. I write merely as a turbulent roughseas.

      I laughed at your amended quote. The busy sea no less. It reminded me really of going to the busy supermarket. But if a sea can be lonely, I would respectfully claim it can equally so be busy.

      Back to the photo. I suspect you have looked at it on full screen, where no doubt it has a totally different appearance. I’m having to take my glasses off to stick my nose against the screen to look at the detail of the bird! and what’s that just to the right of it’s left wing? Is it a rock or a whale/dolphin?

      Had to laugh at a dog called Prickly Pear winning Crufts. Too funny after your comment. I’m thinking I must call my next dog Chumbo (although it sounds a bit like Dumbo) or Prickly Pear. Most of our dogs have had names beginning with P. I could call him Prickly for short.

      • Objection! I think my learned friend is trying to lead the jury. I was merely exploring the artist’s right to pursue that which has personal validity and integrity when confronted by commercial indifference. Indeed my learned friend tacitly invited the explanation. Whether she agrees or disagrees with the point of view is not a legal issue but entirely subjective.

        Oh and the rock thing is in fact another KG with head submerged. I could remove it, if it offends you so greatly. A matter of just a few moments.

  6. I like this photo a lot. Not sure why either. It’s an interesting perspective. (BTW, I was scrolling around and cut off the top blue section and liked it even more. Seems like it works as a wider photo.

    I have a goal, to rid myself of almost everything I own….Not making much progress however.

    • It’s a very laudable goal but we are definitely not winning. I did manage to dispose of half a dozen shirts this week. I’ll never wear them again so out they go. I should purge my photographic gear but few shops want to do trade in these days. Digital gear is disposable. Lenses are lighter and better. But the stuff is too good to throw out. So it piles up. Just in case. Nightmare.

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