Vertically Challenged

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It’s time for Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge again, and this week, she’s asking us to focus on the vertical.  It’s not surprising that I’m heading for cityscapes on the whole: though not entirely.  I wanted to have something for #15 Squaretops too – so look out for a topsy-turvy image at the bottom of the post.

Here are two riverside skyscrapers: quite similar.  But I like the way that in one – in Seville, on the Guadalquivir – the upward sweeping lines are emphasised by its reflection rippling on the waters beneath: and in the other – in London, on the Thames – it’s the contrast with the blocky cranes that does the job.

Then I chose a couple from Cádiz.  Palm trees.  In one the tall palms lead your eyes to the – rather small – moon, and in the other, two wayward palms making an impromptu arch contrast with the properly upright trees they’re next to.

Back in London, Greenwich actually, the standing figures echo the massed skyscrapers of modern 21st century London.

And I liked this shot from Warsaw. The vertical lines aren’t all that pronounced, but still lead you up to those precariously perched window cleaners.

Finally, an image (square of course) taken on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal near Gargrave.  Have you noticed it’s upside down? Topsy turvy? That’s the water up above, and the trees and sky down below.

O Level Geography for walkers

Walking, Yorkshire

This time 54 years ago – more or less – I was sitting my O Level in Geography. Among other things, we studied the economic geography of England, interpreting Ordnance Survey maps, and a little elementary geology.

The Pennine Way near Gargrave.

Our walk the other day would have made an excellent field trip.  We were over in West Yorkshire, and our route from Gargrave took in sections of the Pennine Way, and quite a stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool canal.

A section of an OS map showing the area round Gargrave (from the BBC website).

Map-reading wasn’t our problem, because John and Pat were competently leading us onwards.  The hills weren’t a problem, because the slopes were relatively gentle.  They were the drumlins which are a feature of the area.

We’re walking over drumlins. The Pennines are over there in the distance.

O Level question: What are drumlins?  Drumlins are elongated hills of glacial deposits. They can be 1 km long and 500 metres wide, often occurring in groups. They would have been part of the debris that was carried along and then accumulated under an ancient glacier. The long axis of the drumlin indicates the direction in which the glacier was moving. The drumlin would have been deposited when the glacier became overloaded with sediment.

Here are drumlins. Drumlins as farmland.

We walked through fields of cows, fields of sheep, and through woodland, emerging at lunchtime on the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

O Level question: What is the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and why was it built?  The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is a canal in Northern England, linking the cities of Leeds and Liverpool. Over a distance of 127 miles, it crosses the Pennines, and includes 91 locks on the main line.  It was built from 1770, and allowed  textiles to be sent from the woollen towns of Yorkshire for export from Liverpool.  Liverpool also required coal to fuel its manufacturing and shipping industries.

Our first view of the Leeds and Liverpool canal at East Marton.

What an industrial thoroughfare it was then.  Busy, dirty barges and narrow boats piled with goods moved between Yorkshire and Lancashire, where now there are only bucolic scenes and holidaymakers enjoying tranquil holidays slowly wending their way along the canal.

We watched as boats rose or descended through one, two, three, four, five, six locks to reach a different level of the canal.  We marvelled at a section of our route along the canal towpath.  We, and the canal itself, were travelling along a viaduct, and far below us were fields and a river.  I couldn’t organise photographic proof. Soon after, we were back in Gargrave.

So there we have it.  If only I’d done that walk when I was 16.  I would hardly have had to do any geography revision at all.

The canal towpath. No longer a scene of industry and commerce.