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Posts tagged ‘Wildlife’

The Daily Norm Photo of the Week: Mountain Goat

Mallorca’s mountains are full of goats. Little bouncing hairy goats, roaming the mountain plains in herds and on their own, and reaching the dizzying heights of cliffs and precipices, seemingly able to balance on the most precarious of terrain. I love the goats of Mallorca. Almost everywhere we have gone in the Tramuntana mountains, they have been a feature, whether it be avoiding a near collision on a mountain road, or watching a family of little kids gently baaaahing their way around an undulating pasture.

This week’s Daily Norm photo focus is one such Mallorquin mountain resident who posed so elegantly in this photo, with his two chocolatey dark eyes staring straight into the lens of my camera, that I could not help but make him a feature. Wild and timid by nature, there was something deeply satifying about photographing this marvellous animal at such close quarters – a rare and intimate moment captured in the most stunning of Mallorca’s landscapes.

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All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Rural idyll in Mountainous Mallorca

It is sometimes difficult to remember, when passing most of one’s time in the bustling city centre of Palma de Mallorca, that mere miles outside of the city lies some of the most stunning natural scenery in all of the Mediterranean. From wide planes peppered with ancient windmills and sprawling olive and citrus groves, to incredibly vast vertiginous mountain scenery, Mallorca is an island rich in stunning vistas and bucolic idylls, and when I got myself a set of wheels last week, I enjoyed my first samplings of the island at its very best.

The car took us deep within the vast Serra de Tramuntana, a stretch of mountains which forms the backbone of the island sprawling from South West to North East, and which was awarded UNESCO world heritage status in 2011. Reaching the village from Palma involves an easy motorway drive East to Alaró from where the road turns inwards into the heart of the mountains.

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While the meandering mountainside road can be a little nail-biting at times, the accompanying views and sensationally untouched countryside are amongst the most stunning I have ever seen. Beneath towering mountains, terraced planes filled with olive trees and red stony terrain play host to mountain-hardy sheep and goats who totter around with iconic bells hanging around their necks. The result is a soporific melody of soft bells jangling in the still mountain air, a soundtrack which mesmerises me into an other-worldly state of epiphany. 

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Meanwhile through the delicate olive branches, soft warming sun rays bounce and scatter light across a crumbling dry soil, and all around insects stir against their beds of rustic tree bark and rocky-bound plant life. The landscape is almost biblical in its magnificence, and of course it lends itself to photography like none other.

So let me leave you to enjoy the fruits of my first visit inland. I can assure you now that there will be many more new mountain adventures to come.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Valencia (vi) – Photography Focus 2: Wildlife and Wetlands

Yesterday, I showed you the awe-inspiring, pioneering and back-breakingly costly architectural innovations that make up Valencia’s Ciudad de Las Artes y Las Ciencias. But while I was warranted in focusing on the buildings which have made the “city” within a city famous across the globe, I left out an important feature of the park – its resident wildlife. For at the far Eastern end of the complex is the most visited attraction of all the 6 main architectural sites: L’Oceonografic, a vast aquarium (the biggest in Europe) which, you will be unsurprised to hear, hosts an equally vast variety of fish, mammal and bird species.

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There is an inevitable difficulty with photographing the often stunning colourful fish swimming around in an aquarium. The tanks are usually low-lit, and notices remind visitors not to photograph with a flash so as to avoid stunning the fishes. Unless abstract art is your thing, it is practically impossible to capture a moving fish in dull waters with any kind of precision. However, in L’Oceonografic there were a multitude of ponds, marshes, pools and wetlands creating the perfect habitat for birds such as cranes, herons, scarlet ibises, spoonbills, and flamingos, all of which made ripe fodder for my camera. Even better, in the large open auditorium pools, a few dolphins swam and danced around, while in the antarctic area, I captured one of my favourite photos of the bunch – a beluga whale staring at its reflection in a mirror – so cute.

All of the resulting photos, including some rather dazzling shots of stunning ethereal jellyfish, deserve the focus of a separate post, and for this reason, I devote this article to a show of their quite unique and brilliantly colourful beauty. Enjoy.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2013 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.