Monday Food Moment – Citrus

No scurvy pirates!

This week’s food moment is something that changed the course of history: citrus!

Citrus-Kiwi_14E9570
Citrus and Kiwi fruit

Astute observers will notice that in the photo, one of these things is not like the other!  And you are correct that the Chinese Gooseberry, or Kiwifruit, doesn’t belong with the oranges, lemons and limes.  When I put this photo together in the studio, I was more interested in the overall aesthetic, which was served with the kiwi slices, than fruit correlation.

However, the most recent research indicates an origin in Australia, New Caledonia and New Guinea.  Some researchers believe that the origin is in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeast India, Burma (Myanmar) and the Yunnan province of China, and it is in this region that some commercial species such as oranges, mandarins, and lemons originated. Citrus fruit has been cultivated in an ever-widening area since ancient times; the best-known examples are the oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes.

And the kiwifruit, where does it hail from?  Interestingly enough, kiwifruit is native to north-central and eastern China. Cultivation of the fuzzy kiwifruit spread from China in the early 20th century to New Zealand, where the first commercial plantings occurred. Although kiwifruit is a national fruit of China, until recently, China was not a major producing country of kiwifruit, as it was traditionally collected from the wild. The fruit became popular with American servicemen stationed in New Zealand during World War II and later exported to California using the names “Chinese gooseberry” and “melonette”. In 1962, New Zealand growers began calling it “kiwifruit” to give it more market appeal, and a California-based importer subsequently used that name when introducing the fruit to the American market.

And what about the impact on history, you ask?  Oranges were historically used for their high content of vitamin C, which prevents scurvy. Scurvy is caused by vitamin C deficiency, and can be prevented by having 10 milligrams of vitamin C a day. An early sign of scurvy is fatigue. If ignored, later symptoms are bleeding and bruising easily. British sailors were given a ration of citrus fruits on long voyages to prevent the onset of scurvy, hence the British nickname of Limey.

Technical Details

This image was shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III and an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens attached.  I shot this as an exercise to learn more about using Speedlite flashes and controlling light for a class that I was taking at the time.  For your amusement, I have attached a photo of the setup that I created for this.

Annotated-citrus_14E9572
Citrus shoot setup.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round-up

The first wonderful entries

It was very exciting and gratifying to get the first participants in this brand-new photo challenge.  This installment of the Tuesday Photo Challenge was all about texture.

DenimScape_57A4592
Denimscape

The following fantastic entries were submitted:

Please go check these blogs out and let them know how you like their work.

Be on the lookout for the next challenge on Tuesday, and, maybe you’ll join the fun!

Sunday Morning – Yesterday

A little nature and nurture

Today is definitely starting with some Premier League football, as I’m currently watching my favorite team, Liverpool, and plan to watch the Leicester City game, as this Cinderella story has sofar exceeded all expectations.  The next order of priority will be to take the final to the MITx on-line data science course that I’ve been taking and then practice some guitar.

Dandelion_57A4610
Simple Beauty

Yesterday, I went with my wife to Connecticut to have our little Dora practice a bit of herding on ducks in anticipation of her herding trial next weekend (today, she’s doing agility, so it’s a busy weekend for Dora).  I brought my camera along with a macro lens attached; I have been dabbling with a bit of macro photography over the past couple of weeks, and was in the mood for some more exploring.

Tree-Blossom_57A4601
Spring’s Here!

Tree blossoms were everywhere as well.  There were also some other subjects that attracted my attention, which I will hold back until the Tuesday Photo Challenge post.

Guitar practice time will include two songs today.  The Beatles’ Yesterday will be my main focus, as I need to work on the (for me) tricky bass-line integration with the melody of this song.  Combining that with a couple of interesting barre chords has its challenges for me.

The attentive reader noticed that Sir Paul McCartney is playing at Liverpool’s home stadium.  Oh yes, the other song: Purple Rain, for all the obious reasons.

Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

Friday Travel Photos (Late) – vol 14

Perfect weather everywhere!

One of the factors beyond our control during our travels is the weather; you can go during the time of year when the weather is usually nice, but still not be lucky enough to enjoy sunny days.  Scotland, as it is part of an island and consists of many islands, is known as one of those places to visit where you can not count on the weather.

20130529-Scotland-_57A1083
Beach on the Moray of Firth

This first image shows how wonderful the weather was during our stay.  This is a lovely beach view east of Inverness in a small town, whose name escapes me at this writing.

We knew that visiting Scotland during the end of May and beginning of June was no guarantee for perfect weather.  Lucky for us, we saw just a couple of showers during the 12 days that we were there with the sun being visible during the most of our stay.

20130531-Scotland-_57A1553
Carriden House garden

As you can see here, this weather was just stunning!  This view of the garden at Carriden House, where we stayed for the final 3 nights of our visit, is just stunning.

You have also seen the weather on Skye in Friday Travel Photos – Skye, so I’m closing this post with a rather unusual view that I caught in a castle yard on Skye:

20130528-Scotland-_57A0900
Tub in Field at Duntulm Castle

Weekly Photo Challenge – Admiration

Indomitable spirit

This week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is a show and tell about admiration.  My first image in this week’s series is still among my favorites.

Persistence-Tree_14E6659_8_5_6_7
Persistence

This image is of another one of my favorite trees, and immediately got its name: ‘Persistence’.  I was impressed with its enduring spirit, as shown in the windswept stance that has stood the test of the elements and time.

I also admire this same spirit of indomitable fortitude in the people of Japan, particularly in the face of disasters that have befallen them across the ages.  In response to the 2011 tsunami disaster, I used this print to raise funds for the Japanese Red Cross; the mat of the print had the Japanese 不屈 (Fukutsu) stamped on it, which means fortitude, indomitability or persistence.

Hope you enjoy this image!

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II camera with an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  It is made up of a series of 5 images that were processed using Photomatix Pro to get the contrast and dynamic range that I was looking to get.

Inspired  by Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Admiration.

WPC – Leaf of a Beautiful Color

Looking up to beauty

Wrapping up the week with something along the abstract, yet not so abstract lines with today’s shot…

Autumn-Leaf_MG_9530-Edit
Color and Beauty

This was just one of those quick shots, because I noticed that the pattern of leaves was interesting (to me).  When I look at this, it still grabs my attention with the warm tones against a blue sky.

Technical Details

This image was shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/640 second at f/6.3 and 320 ISO.

Inspired  by Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Abstract.

Friday Mystery Place – vol 11

Late for lunch!

Dear Reader, last week’s challenge was a bit devilish, but clearly not hard enough, as several of you figured it out; you are impressive!  This week’s location should not be too hard to guess…

20130523-Mystery-_57A0264
Which lovely place is this?

This location was one that I almost overlooked in my travels, as I had not put it on the itinerary.  As my wife and I were driving to our next stop on our travels, and in truth we were looking for some spot to eat some lunch, I caught this beauty out of the corner of my eye, as it was a bit obscured by foliage.

We figured out where we could find access to the location and had a fun time exploring it; lunch was served late, and delicious!

Where are we?