Wednesday, 13 March 2013

High cross



A high cross or standing cross is a free-standing Christian cross made of stone and often richly decorated. There was a unique Early Medieval tradition in Ireland and Britain of raising large sculpted stone crosses, usually outdoors. These probably developed from earlier traditions using wood, perhaps with metalwork attachments, and earlier pagan Celtic memorial stones; the Pictish stones of Scotland may also have influenced the form. The earliest surviving examples seem to come from the territory of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria,

Which had been converted to Christianity by Irish missionaries; it remains unclear whether the form first developed in Ireland or Britain. Their relief decoration is a mixture of religious figures and sections of decoration such as knotwork, interlace and in Britain vine-scrolls, all in the styles also found in Insular art in other media such as illuminated manuscripts and metalwork. They were probably normally painted, perhaps over a modelled layer of plaster; with the loss of paint and the effects of weathering the reliefs, in particular scenes crowded with small figures, are often now rather indistinct and hard to read.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Weasel


Weasels ( /ˈwiːzəl/) are mammals forming the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. They are small, active predators, long and slender with short legs.

Weasels vary in length from 12 to 45 centimetres (5 to 18 in), and usually have a red or brown upper coat and a white belly; some populations of some species moult to a wholly white coat in winter. They have long slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows. Their tails may be from 22 to 33 centimetres (9 to 13 in) long. Weasels have a reputation for cleverness and guile.

Weasels feed on small mammals, and have from time to time been considered vermin since some species took poultry from farms, or rabbits from commercial warrens. Weasels occur all across the world except for Antarctica, Australia, and neighbouring islands.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

White-throated Sparrow


The White-throated Sparrow is a passerine bird of the American sparrow family Emberizidae. The White-throated Sparrow is 17 cm (6.75 inches) in length with a wingspan of 23 cm (9 inches) Typical weight is 26 grams (0.91 oz).


Ottawa, Ontario
There are two adult plumage variations known as the tan-striped and white-striped forms. On the white-striped form the crown is black with a white central stripe. The supercilium is white as well. The auriculars are gray with the upper edge forming a black eye line.
On the tan form, the crown is dark brown with a tan central stripe. The supercilium is tan as well. The auriculars are gray/light brown with the upper edge forming a brown eye line. Both variations feature dark eyes, a white throat, yellow lores and gray bill. There is variation and some individuals may show dark lateral stripes of each side of the throat.
They almost always pair with the opposite color morph for breeding. The two color morphs occur in approximately equal numbers. Both male and female white-striped birds are more aggressive than tan-striped birds during the breeding season.
The breast has gray/tan streaks and the streaks continue down the flanks but the belly is generally light gray. The wings are rufous with two distinct white wing bars. Sexes are morphologically similar.