Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Zaid El-Hoiydi
5,840 followers -
Travel photography, nature and society.
Travel photography, nature and society.

5,840 followers
About
Zaid El-Hoiydi's posts

Post has attachment
Edinburgh
From tomorrow until next Wednesday my daughter and I will be in the capital of the Scotland nation with the last two days in Stirling, a leisure trip.

Anyone local reading this? Would be nice to meet. Going back to London was, again, tempting but I am glad I resisted. England is more than London isn't it?

Whomever made that nice picture, thank you! I will replace it with mine as soon as I get back :-)
Photo

Post has attachment
Nature excels in diversity, against which we relentlessly fight.
Could these sunflowers have become sad after they found out that they were all alike? They surely couldn't all get the pleasure of a visiting little bumblebee. One did and was looking up a bit.
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
7/25/17
6 Photos - View album

Post has attachment
Here is the cutest former prison I have ever seen, last Sunday afternoon, and I wouldn't mind trying it out for a night or two.
They call it a 'slender tower' built in the ring wall of the Oberdiessbach castle complex. A solid shaft with a large round arch gate. The top floor, a reconstruction, was erected around the middle of the 18th century and served as a prison cell. Later, the arch was walled, on the inside a further prison cell was added.
Oberdiessbach - July 23rd, 2017.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberdiessbach_Castle
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
7/24/17
4 Photos - View album

Post has attachment
On the Flank of the Niesen
Today the cloudy weather didn't keep me from getting some altitude, I mention it because indoor Sundays are also something I deal with once in awhile, when it stays cold and rainy from dusk til dawn. For once we got a better view than those in the clouds on the top of the mountains.
Photo
Photo
7/23/17
2 Photos - View album

Post has attachment
Learning from the Past
Some summer rainstorms up on the mountains can turn the little Fallbach stream into a raging torrent dislodging and dragging along everything found in its path, unless, like here, one remembers how powerful it can become and then takes steps to anticipate.
PhotoPhotoPhoto
7/23/17
3 Photos - View album

Post has attachment
Slow Worm
Seen yesterday evening while touring the countryside on a bike. I always spot them in the same conditions, while they are crossing the bare, sterile and hostile area formed by our roads. Sadly, the last few ones I saw in the past years were injured and dead thus I was glad to meet this healthy little guy.

❝Anguis fragilis is a legless lizard native to Eurasia. It is also called a blindworm or, regionally, a long-cripple; to distinguish it from the Peloponnese slow worm, it is also sometimes called a common slow worm. The 'blind' in 'blindworm' refers to the lizard's small eyes, similar to a blind snake (although the slow worm's eyes are functional). Leglessness has evolved more than 20 times independently within the reptiles, the various snakes just being one of those lineages.

Slow worms are semi fossorial (burrowing) lizards, spending much of the time hiding underneath objects. The skin of slow worms is smooth with scales that do not overlap one another. Like many other lizards, slow worms autotomize, meaning that they have the ability to shed their tails to escape predators. While the tail regrows, it does not reach its original length. They are common in gardens and can be encouraged to enter and help remove pest insects by placing black plastic or a piece of tin on the ground. On warm days, one or more slow worms will often be found underneath these heat collectors. One of the biggest causes of mortality in slow worms in suburban areas is the domestic cat, against which it has no defence.

Physical Traits
These reptiles are mostly active during the twilight and occasionally bask in the sun, but are more often found hiding beneath rocks and logs. They are carnivorous and, because they feed on slugs and worms, they can often be found in long grass and other damp environments. The females give birth to live young (ovoviviparous birth). In the days leading up to birth, the female can often be seen basking in the sun on a warm road.

Although these lizards are often mistaken for snakes, a number of features differentiate them. The most important one is that they have small eyes with eyelids that, like other lizards, blink. Unlike snakes, they may also have visible ears. They shed their skin in patches, whereas most snakes shed their whole skin. slow worms may also shed their tails (autotomy) as a defence mechanism, by breaking one of their tail vertebrae in half. Also, the pattern of their ventral scales is totally different from that of snakes.

Size and Longevity
Adult slow worms grow to be about 50 cm long, and are known for their exceptionally long lives; the slow worm may be the longest-living lizard, living about 30 years in the wild and up to at least 54 years in captivity (this record is held by a male slow worm that lived at the Copenhagen Zoo from 1892 until 1946, the age when first obtained is unknown). The female often has a stripe along the spine and dark sides, while the male may have blue spots dorsally. Juveniles of both sexes are gold with dark brown bellies and sides with a dark stripe along the spine.❞
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anguis_fragilis
Photo
Photo
7/23/17
2 Photos - View album

Post has attachment
Gifted - 2017
A coincidence brought me to see this movie within days of the death of Maryam Mirzakhani. Captain America's actor in a touching role raising a 7 years old girl too gifted to be comfortable with fellows of the same age. A family movie I warmly recommend if you need a break from your typical Saturday night brain narcotizer blockbuster.

I wish they'd given a bit more importance to the mathematics, which is the girl's passion, but I guess there aren't enough mathematicians out there to pay back for the production costs.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gifted_(film)

Post has attachment
A decimated army in the middle of the winter of 1871
Before cinemas were invented, there were already spectators fond of visual sensations and large panorama paintings were one of these. The Bourbaki Panorama in Lucerne was made between 1880 and 1914 and remains one of the last of its kind worldwide.

Adapted extracts from Wikipedia
Their last battle was fought during the winter of 1871, between January 15th to 17th against the German ➊. The French were led by Charles Denis Bourbaki ➋, and were attempting to relieve the Siege of Belfort.

Bourbaki was in command of the hastily trained and ill-equipped Army of the East, Bourbaki made the attempt to raise the siege of Belfort, which, after the victory of Villersexel, ended in the repulse of the French in the three days' battle of the Lisaine ➊. Other German forces under Manteuffel now closed upon Bourbaki, and he was eventually driven over the Swiss frontier with the remnant of his forces. His troops were in the most desperate condition, owing to lack of food; and out of 150'000 men under him when he started, only 87'000 men with 12'000 horses escaped into Swiss territory.

They crossed the western border of Switzerland at Les Verrières ➌, Sainte-Croix, Vallorbe and in the Vallée de Joux at the beginning of February 1871. They were disarmed and detained for six weeks before being repatriated in March. Rather than submit to the humiliation of a probable surrender, Bourbaki had delegated his functions to General Clinchant on 26 January 1871 and tried to commit suicide that night. He fired a pistol at his own forehead, but the bullet somehow "flattened as if against a cast-iron plate and his life was saved. General Clinchant carried Bourbaki into Switzerland, where he recovered sufficiently to return to France.
http://www.bourbakipanorama.ch
➡➊ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Lisaine
➡➋ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles-Denis_Bourbaki
➡➌ https://goo.gl/maps/nh3X7fa3hxN2
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
7/21/17
12 Photos - View album

Post has attachment
A few glimpses from the weekend with the foreign body of the collage, and not the one which can get us that delicious cheese, was caused by a firm intention I have recently nurtured to replace my totally overpowered and underused car with a battery-powered mountain bike.

Their value-over-time curves now cross reasonably low enough but I shouldn't wait for much longer. Amazing how the price of used cars can get low and equally amazing the heights that the bicycle's prices will reach.

For me a mountain bike is the obvious choice for I don't want to share roads with cars and also because it increases the number of possible tours from home by at least an order of magnitude.
Photo

Post has attachment
An Empty House, Literally.
This weekend I spotted an interesting ongoing renovation: the interior of this old farm is being entirely hollowed out and renovated so that the future inhabitants can settle comfortably, not unlike what hermit crabs are searching.
Thierachern - July 15th, 2017.
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
7/17/17
4 Photos - View album
Wait while more posts are being loaded