Wednesday, 31 December 2014


Subliminal actually means something usually below the level of known sensation or consciousness. It can be useful when advertising.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014


A tiro (which can also be written as tyro) is a beginner or novice. Two or more are known as tiros.

I'm a tiro when it comes to wildlife photography, but fortunately this little bird hopped off instead of flying away, so I got some of it in focus. Anyone know what it is?

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


Libration is the apparent oscillation of a heavenly body (usually the moon) because the edges are coming in and out of view. I imagine it occurs more frequently after the viewer has taken a libation.

Hands up those who thought it involved drinking at the library. Oddly I didn't have a picture of me doing that, so here's one of me with The Sphere. Apparently he oscillates on windy days.

updated 18/12 - we're just back from a cruise. The ship very conveniently had a cocktail bar close to the library. I *may* have indulged ... It was for research though, obviously. Any minute I might need to describe the exacy taste of a White Lady, a Singapore Sling or a Brandy Alexander.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


Nyctitropic is the movement, of plants, at night. Yep, daisies and cabbages are going to crawl out their beds and murder you in yours!

Nah, not really. This phenomenon is caused by changes in light or temperature. Usually it's no more alarming than leaves drooping or flowers opening at different times. For example mirabilis jalapa and nicotiana sylvestris flowers tend to be droopy in the daytime, but perk up in the evening and overnight. That's handy if you're pollinated by moths.

I admit it's not an easy word to drop into a story or casual conversation, but I'm sure you'll find a way.