Posted by: xinyongtianhua | November 16, 2013

Four Seasons Captured with a Smartphone

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Capturing beauty of nature doesn’t always require a heavy and expensive  high-end camera. That’s my belief, and also an experiment that I underwent in the last year.

Every weekday (except of Friday) morning, I had about 40 minutes of walk from my home to my office in the University of Nottingham. The majority route passes through the beautiful University Park including a small lake. Since last August, I’ve tried to take at least one picture shot every morning on the way without using any “good” camera but only my mobile phone, a little Samsung Galaxy S2. I would like to see how I could achieve during this fixed and limited time slot and route.

Four seasons have passed now. I’m quite happy with the outcome, which can be seen from   a set of photos that I’ve selected and uploaded to my skyDrive albums. Because of the fixed route, most photos were taken in the University Park with many showing the same spots but varied appearance following evolution of four seasons. I know that I can’t expect too much in photographic quality from a little smartphone camera, but it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the beauty of life as long as I pay enough attention to observe it, with my eyes and, more importantly, with my heart.

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Posted by: xinyongtianhua | June 22, 2013

葡萄牙的白云和蓝天

一个月过去了,才把五月下旬在法若(Faro)和里斯本(Lisbon)度假时拍的照片整理出来放到网上,竟有200多张!

(相簿: http://sdrv.ms/131ZEOo

法若位于葡萄牙最南端,是古代的海运重镇。作为古籍保留下来的老城建筑极富阿拉伯风格。其实,不仅法若,葡萄牙其他地方的古建筑也都含有浓重的阿拉伯色彩,比如里斯本西郊辛特拉(Sintra)城里的辛特拉王宫和喷纳(Pena)王宫,修得简直就像阿里巴巴大盗里的宫殿一般,很漂亮。这两座宫殿都列入了受联合国保护的世界文化遗址名单。

五月的葡萄牙十分凉爽,同英国的气温差不多,但阳光明媚,天空总是那样碧蓝碧蓝,云朵也就映衬得格外白净。我们因此明白了为什么著名的葡萄牙瓷砖大都是蓝白二色。离开里斯本的前一天晚上,特地在一家礼品店买了一块带数字2的蓝白瓷砖,现已贴在我们家门外的墙上,作为纪念。

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Posted by: xinyongtianhua | October 21, 2012

嫩板栗

一年前,我们就对自己许了愿:明年秋天一定再去乌拉顿公园(Wollaton Park)捡板栗。

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掐指一算,已到时间了。星期六下午,天气还不错,背上背包,兴致匆匆地赶往老地方。 还在路上时,我就对天华说:“今年夏天这么冷,雨水又多,板栗肯定还没有熟。”到了板栗林一看,果然,是有不少果子掉在地上,但绝大多数栗子果皮都还是白白的,很少碰上有像去年那种深褐颜色油亮发光的板栗。很有点扫兴。但既然来了,也不能空手回去,半生不熟的板栗也还是捡了一小袋回家。 洗净煮熟后,居然大大出乎我们的意料,很好吃,甜甜的,黏黏的,软软的,夹带一股清香,甚至比完全熟透的板栗还好吃。内皮因为没有成熟板栗内皮的那种苦涩,可以连同果肉一并入口。

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嫩板栗好吃,还不只是我们的结论,连公园的梅花鹿也有同感。在白天,因为有游人,鹿群一般都离得远远的。要到夜间游人散去之后,板栗林才它们的天下。可星期六我们在那里捡板栗时,一大群幼鹿大概因为承受不住嫩板栗的诱惑,也赶来凑热闹,挤在树下品尝板栗。看来这嫩板栗是太有吸引力了。

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【欢迎浏览我们的skyDrive相簿:乌拉顿公园板栗林中的鹿群

其实,对我们来说,真正的乐趣不在吃,而是在捡板栗的过程,在那种同大自然的亲密接触。板栗捡回,吃上几次后,慢慢就再也“想不起”去做来吃,以致车库地面和货架上,到目前为止还散放着去年、前年捡回的早已干硬了的板栗。

Posted by: xinyongtianhua | August 31, 2012

Blackberry at Long Eaton Trent Riverside

It’s now the season to pick up blackberry. The best place that we always like to go is the miles of walk way along the Trent River and canals in the Attenborough Nature Reserve. The weather was quite good on last Sunday afternoon. We went to the Trent riverside in Long Eaton, had a nice walk with harvest of blackberry:

Posted by: xinyongtianhua | August 31, 2012

巴塞罗那 – 安东尼高迪的城市

今年6月底去了一趟西班牙巴塞罗那。无限的阳光,无际的海滩,可口的菜肴,整齐的街道,街道两旁的楼房,不管是古典的还是现代的,一栋栋都极富特色,给我们留下深深的印象。特别是安东尼高迪独特的建筑艺术,不亲临其境是无法感受的。刚从巴塞罗那回来就遇上小外孙凯森的诞生,所以近两个月来一直没有时间上新浪,直到上周末才整理出百余张照片(太多了一点?),放到skydrive上。欢迎有空浏览:

Posted by: xinyongtianhua | April 25, 2012

藿麻好吃

“藿蔴好吃!”贝尔法斯特(Belfast)的小W在电话里兴奋地对我说。

那是两年前的事了。他有一天同小L在自然保护区河边散步时不小心被藿蔴草狠狠扎了一下,疼得忍不住大叫:“我把你砍来吃了!”话刚出口,突然意识到眼下不是流行天然食物吗,没准这藿蔴还真能吃呢。回家赶紧上网查询,果然,藿麻,又名荨麻,不仅可以吃,营养还不错,富含维A、维C,以及铁、钾、镁、钙等多种矿物质。从中药角度看,可以入药,其味苦、辛,性温,有小毒,具有祛风定惊、消食通便之功效。于是,第二天去地里小心翼翼地剪了一大袋,美餐一顿后,马上给也喜欢“野味”的我们俩来电通报。

两年过去了,一直没有亲口尝试,原因之一是因为记性太差,出门时总记不住带工具,在外看见藿蔴时才想起,但如果没有剪刀和手套,谁敢碰那凶狠的藿蔴呀?另一个更重要的原因恐怕是这两年自家后花园菜地的蔬菜长势很好,顾不上去摘野油菜,刨荠菜、蒲公英等野味,外出散步时兴趣都在摄影上了。

不知是因为今年开春以来,一直阴雨连绵,还是渴望时令蔬鲜的心情过于急切,总觉得地里新种的小白菜和莴笋长得太慢,几个星期下来一直只有半指高,没有一点变化似的。星期天下午,看天气还不错,天华的书也读得太累,需要休息一下了,我提议说去剪藿蔴吧。她欣然同意。复活节在大学校园拍照时就物色到宿舍区旁边的树林里有一片很新鲜旺盛的藿蔴。我们径直去到那里,不到一刻钟就剪了一袋。开水煮一头后,放一点酱油和橄榄油,确实很可口。本来还说第一次先少吃一点,以免错将有毒的野草当成藿蔴,吃下去起不来,但一吃起来就全然不顾了。哈哈。

晚上,我对天华说,应该打电话告诉小W和小L,谢谢他们的推荐,藿蔴确实好吃。

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剪藿麻要全副武装,碰着皮肤可不是好玩儿的。

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剪下的藿麻在水槽里漂洗,可以去除“扎人”的蚁酸。

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最好在沸水里煮一两分钟,就更保险了,而且也好吃一些。

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放上自己喜爱的调料,即成一盘可口营养的小菜。(一次可不能吃得太多,会拉肚子的)

Posted by: xinyongtianhua | April 15, 2012

春天随着复活节来临

作为一个岛国,英格兰以天气变幻无常出名,刚刚还晴空万里,转眼就可能倾盆大雨,一二十分钟后又会阳光灿烂。这种多变天气,在复活节前后,也就是三月底四月初,会演绎到极致。

记得1995年的复活节星期日,我们还住在诺丁汉大学Cripps Hall的公寓里,观望窗外景象,活生生一座话剧舞台。几次鹅毛大雪,而后狂风暴雨夹冰雹。每次风停雨住后,太阳从蓝天白云后面出来露露脸。一天时间里,几乎把所有主要的气象都上演了一番。类似的天气,几乎每年复活节前后都会遇到。我和天华把它戏称为“复活节天气”。

这种大起大落的复活节天气过后,春天便会在英伦大地牢牢扎根,不会再有特别寒冷的日子了。我在想,或许正是这种恶劣的“复活节天气”和随后而至的万物复苏滋生了耶稣基督蒙难升天,普渡众生的故事吧。

今年复活节前,整个三月下旬,特别地阳光灿烂,气温飙升到20多度,简直就像夏天提前降临了似的。还以为不会再有复活节天气了呢。不料到四月初,复活节将至时,气温又陡降20度,回到零点附近。看来复活节天气还是逃不掉的。

不过有一点是肯定的:春天总是随着复活节来临。

今年复活节:

去年复活节:

Posted by: xinyongtianhua | February 5, 2012

Heavy snow hits Nottingham

This winter has been exceptionally warm, about 7 to 10 Celsius degrees for most time. The first snow of this winter unexpectedly hit Nottingham last night. Had some photos today. Most were taken on University of Nottingham campus.

Posted by: xinyongtianhua | February 4, 2012

Britons celebrate the Chinese New Year

Celebration of the Chinese New Year has become a fashion in Nottingham. Every year by the weekend after the CNY, various activities and stage performances were organized by the local councils and the University. The following is a set of photos taken on Saturday 28th January in Beeston, a small town near the University of Nottingham.

Spectacular fireworks were displayed at Lakeside on University Campus on Sunday 29th evening, having attracted thousands of local residents, in particular families with children.

Posted by: xinyongtianhua | January 1, 2012

A mosaic made with Picasa 3

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