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Alistair Knock (Old Profile)
1,937 followers -
Wildilfe and landscape photographer, occasional musician, plus data visualisation
Wildilfe and landscape photographer, occasional musician, plus data visualisation

1,937 followers
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This is my old Google+ profile - my current one is at https://plus.google.com/u/0/115191449466598888352/posts

If you'd already circled me don't worry, Google's transition tool will have moved you over the new profile and new posts will be coming from there.  This is just a note for anyone who stumbles across this old profile and is seeking newer posts.  The reason for the change is moving from a @gmail domain to our www.tarajiblue.com domain for Google Apps - it'll make it simpler to manage accounts and hopefully lead to greater use of G+ from me.
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Just a warning that I have requested a Google+ account transfer from my throwaway account to my main Apps account, the intention being that I spend much more time here without the authentication barriers.  Over the next week there may be some disruption, but I hope by the end of it most things will end up roughly as normal and we can get into sharing some glorious #kgalagadi memories.

In the meantime, here's a couple of toucans from Tortuguero, Costa Rica.
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For #mountainmonday   hosted by +Michael Russell 
#landscapephotography  hosted by +Margaret Tompkins 
  #naturemonday  hosted by +Rolf Hicker  

Ah, Bonnie Scotland.  This is a 7 frame (landscape) panorama from the top of Schiehallion looking down onto Loch Rannoch (left), Dunalistair Water (center), and Loch Tummel (right).
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Num.
For +FoodFriday today we are serving Baked Potatoes with Fava Beans, Mint, Soy Cheese and Sesame.

Last week we already harvested these potatoes and the fava beans are also from our garden.

Recipe: http://www.vegalicious.org/2012/07/20/baked-potatoes-with-fava-beans-mint-soy-cheese-and-sesame/
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So I hear from +Morkel Erasmus that it's snowing in the Northern Cape, possibly in the Kalahari.  When we were there a couple of weeks ago it was -10C at night, so I can believe it temperature-wise, though rain in an arid zone is a rare thing.  Anyway, for #snowysaturday  (curated by +John Fujimagari ) a snow-capped statue of a lion, part of the Samantabhadra giant Buddha at the top of Mount Emei, or Éméi Shān, in the Sichuan province of China.
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Very sad to see fighting in DRC and in Virunga once more.  These rangers do an amazing, dangerous job but over the past couple of days have had to evacuate out of the park and back to Goma.  Around 30 rangers have stayed at the station to provide protection for the gorilla family that lives nearby.  If you want to donate, they have set up an emergency fund - find out more at http://gorillacd.org/
AN APPEAL BY CONGO’S PARK RANGERS - Saving the Last Mountain Gorillas in a country at war. Help us spread the word!!! Please sharing all my Google+ friends.
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I really recommend getting out onto the sea - it's a subtle (and sometimes rocky) difference to being beach or cliff based, but not only do you get closer to the wildlife and the environment, you are surrounded by it.  No matter where you are on what was a busy boat, birds would fly left, right, overhead, or scurry away from their rest point on the water.  Even if it's a bad day for photography, it's always a good day for your soul.
I took this image a few weekends ago off the coast of Flamborough Head, Yorkshire. It's a puffin in flight heading towards the most stunning rainbow #birdpoker   #puffin  
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No bees here?

A swallow-tailed bee-eater perches on a branch near the Nossob River, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa.  When I went back to Kruger earlier this year - after a 10 year gap! - I almost crashed the car when the vibrant colours of these little birds flitted past us, doing the usual safari "is it a rock or a lion?" horizon scanning.  They are beautifully proportioned and patterned, with diverse colours between different species - the swallow-tails in particular have vibrant cyan tails which I hope to show better in a later post.
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Bang!

Two gemsbok (oryx gazella) clash in the Kalahari.
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Inside the main chamber of the Southern African Large Telescope building. The mirror is 11 metres wide, built from 91 hexagonal mirrors which can be removed for cleaning. The white area of the roof opens for viewing - both the roof and the telescope assembly rotate to position the telescope for viewing, but unusually the mirror does not track the sky during a viewing - instead the sensor assembly (top of the image) moves and focuses in order to see different parts of the sky.

You can visit the Southern African Large Telescope on a pre-arranged tour - it costs around $4 per person and includes a tour of the wide range of other telescopes at the SAAO before going into the main building.  You'll see the mirror, either from a glass booth or - if the mirror isn't visible and they can't rotate it into place - by entering the chamber (with hard hats and caution!) itself.

More information on visits to SALT/SAAO - http://www.saao.ac.za/public-info/visits/sutherland/
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