Shadows

 

 

Tyrkiet 2018b
Street sweeper, Karapinar, east of Konya, Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Kenya 1988-89
Fog, lifting above Lake Michaelson, Mount Kenya. A halo is seen around my shadow. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018c
Shadows from bamboo and from leaves of a tree are cast on the back side of a sign, Tzi Gong Da Foa Daoist Temple, Linnei, Taiwan. The shadow from the tree leaves resembles a cat, licking its paw. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In many areas around the Earth, cone-shaped pillars are formed in moraine clay and gravel, which was deposited during the last Ice Age, when the glaciers began melting away. In dry weather, this mixture is hard as stone, but when it rains, it becomes softer and begins to erode away. However, larger rocks were also deposited by the glaciers, and under such stones the soil is protected from the rain. Over the years, the surrounding soil is eroded away, and beneath the rocks majestic pillars are formed, often rising steeply out of the soil. Such structures are called earth pyramids.

 

Ladakh 2000
Evening sunshine, illuminating earth pyramids in the Markha Valley, Ladakh, northern India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The giant taro, or giant elephant’s ear (Alocasia macrorrhizos), which grows to 5 metres tall, is native from Malaysia south through Indonesia to northern Australia, but has been introduced to many other tropical and subtropical areas as an ornamental, food crop, or animal feed. It is listed as an invasive species in Cuba, New Zealand, and several Pacific islands.

The gigantic leaves of this plant are often used as umbrellas. Its rhizome is edible when cooked for a long time, but the sap irritates the skin in your mouth, as it contains needle-like calcium oxalate crystals. In Hawaii, this plant is called ʻape, and they have a saying, Ai no i ka ʻape he maneʻo no ka nuku. (’The one who eats ʻape, will have an itchy mouth’), meaning ’There will be consequences for partaking of something bad.’ (Sources: S. Scott & T. Craig, 2009. Poisonous Plants of Paradise: First Aid and Medical Treatment of Injuries from Hawaii’s Plants. University of Hawaii Press; and M.K. Pukui, 1986. ‘Ōlelo No’eau, Hawaiian Proverbs and Sayings. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu.)

 

Taiwan 2010
Shadows from ferns create patterns on a leaf of giant taro, Shei-pa National Park, Taiwan. This species is ubiquitous in the lowland of Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Annapurna 2007
Evening clouds, moving over the Annapurna Mountains, near Muktinath, Mustang, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018
The shadow from a leaf of breadfruit tree (Artocarpus altilis) is cast on another leaf, Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The native range of snowball sand verbena (Abronia fragrans) is the American prairie states, from Montana and North Dakota southwards to Arizona, Texas, and Chihuahua, northern Mexico. Despite its name, it is not related to the common vervain (Verbena officinalis), but is a member of the four-o’clock family (Nyctaginaceae).

This species was first collected by Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859) near the Platte River, Nebraska. He was a British printer, who came to the U.S. in 1808. Shortly after his arrival, he met botanist Benjamin Barton (1766-1815), who induced a strong interest in natural history in him. During the following years, until 1841, Nuttall undertook several expeditions in America, and numerous plants and animals are named after him.

 

Arizona-Utah 2001
Snowball sand verbena in evening light, Arizona. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Asien 1977-78
Ox-cart in evening light, southern Pakistan. – Read more about domestic cattle elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014c
Young couple, walking hand-in-hand, Xiluo, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Chile 2011
Dune, consisting of dark volcanic sand, Parque Nacional Valle de la Luna, Chile. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bali-Lombok 2012
Early morning at a market place, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The greater plantain (Plantago major) is native to Europe and Temperate Asia, but has been introduced to many parts of the world, often becoming naturalized. When the Europeans emigrated to North America, this species was inadvertently brought along. Its sticky seeds would often stick to wagon wheels of the settlers, who thus spread it wherever they went. This was noticed by the indigenous peoples, who called it ‘white man’s footprint’.

 

Vorsø 1975-87
Fruiting spikes of greater plantains, casting shadows on snow, Jutland, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nordindien 1991
Long morning shadows, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Fyn 1967-2004
Early morning on a village road, Lyø, Funen, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Indien 2003
Don’t fall down! – This picture was taken during a camel safari in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan, north-western India. You may read more about this safari elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: India 2003 – Camel safari in the Thar Desert. About camels in general, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The marram grass (Ammophila arenaria) is native to coastal sand dunes of Europe and North Africa. It is very proliferous, as its rhizomes can grow 2 metres in about six months, and one clone can produce a hundred new shoots annually. This grass was introduced to western North America in the mid-1800s to stabilize shifting sand dunes. However, it soon spread beyond control, and today it is one of the worst invasive weeds of coastal California, which has spread northwards to British Columbia. (Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammophila_arenaria)

 

Bornholm 1999-2005
Marram grass, growing on a sand dune at Dueodde, the southern tip of the island of Bornholm, Denmark. The tracks in front of the grass is from a mouse. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Tyrkiet 2018c
Shadows of a metal fence are cast on flagstones on the Hippodrome Square, Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Construction of Great Zimbabwe, capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, took place between the 11th and 15th Centuries A.D. It is believed that this stone city, which covers an area of 7.2 square kilometres, was the residence of a local king. At its peak, it would have housed about 18,000 inhabitants.

 

Sydlige Afrika 1996-97
Watchtower in the Great Enclosure, Great Zimbabwe. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The sacred, or Indian, lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is distributed from Iran and the entire Indian Subcontinent, eastwards to southern China, Taiwan, and Japan, thence south through Southeast Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia to New Guinea and northern Australia. All parts of this plant are edible, in particular the rhizome and seeds. Rhizome, leaves, and seeds are also widely used in traditional Indian and Oriental medicine for treatment of numerous ailments. The plant is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains, who call it padma. – Read more about this plant elsewhere on this website, see Traditional medicine: Nelumbo nucifera. About the various Indian religions, see: Religion.

 

Kina 1987
Lotus leaves, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, southern China. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The western gull (Larus occidentalis) is a large gull, which is distributed along the American Pacific Coast, from British Columbia south to Baja California, Mexico.

 

Californien 2011a
Western gulls, resting on a beach, Jughandle State Park, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Indien 2003
Children on a sand dune, casting long evening shadows, Thar Desert, Rajasthan, north-western India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Humayun, whose real name was Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad, was the second emperor of the Moghul Empire, comprising what is today north-western India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Humayun ruled in two periods, 1531-1540 and 1555-1556. He died in 1556, when he fell down the staircase to his library, hitting his head on the rough stone steps.

 

Nordindien 1997
The shadow from a carved sandstone ‘window’ creates patterns on a wall in Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 1987
Early in the morning, kitchen smoke is seeping out of houses in the village of Namche Bazaar, Khumbu, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Popular names of the genus Heliconia include lobster-claw, toucan beak, wild plantain, and false bird-of-paradise. Formerly, this genus, comprising about 200 species, was included in the banana family (Musaceae), but is now forming a family of its own, Heliconiaceae. These plants are found mainly in Central and South America, with a few species in some Pacific Islands and Indonesia.

 

Costa Rica
This shadow on a leaf of Heliconia latispatha, growing on Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica, resembles a snail. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

A great annual mela (fair) takes place near the town of Sonpur, Bihar, northern India.

 

Nordindien 1997
At dawn, this cart at Sonpur, drawn by zebu oxen, casts long shadows. – Read more about the zebu ox elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nordindien 1997
Shortly after dawn, this man is leading his horse to the Sonpur Mela. – Read more about horses elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2012
Swollen fingergrass (Chloris barbata) is a native of Tropical Africa, but has been accidentally introduced to many other parts of the world. In Taiwan, where this one was photographed, growing at a house wall, the species is extremely common. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Everest 2010
The shadow of a jagged mountain chain is reflected on clouds, Khumbu, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Fyn 2010-15
Part of a wing of an old Dutch type windmill, Langeland, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Island 1989-91
Hilly grassland, near Ljosavatn, northern Iceland. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Californien 2013
This woman is walking her dog on a sandy beach near Mendocino, California. – Read more about the dog elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Jylland 1977-90
Grass-clad dunes on the island of Langli, Wadden Sea, Jutland, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bali-Lombok 2012
Withering banana leaf, Lombok, Indonesia. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Udaipur is a delightful city in southern Rajasthan, India, situated around the gorgeous Pichola Lake. As early as the 10th Century, the Hindu Mewar Rajputs established a town here, named Ayad, which became a thriving trading centre.

Udaipur was founded in 1559 during the reign of Maharana Udai Singh II, the ruler of Chittorgarh, further north. Chittorgarh, situated in a flat tableland, was vulnerable to attacks from the Maharana’s enemies, notably Muslims, who had conquered parts of northern India. Following the emergence of artillery warfare in the 16th century, Udai Singh decided to move his capital to a more secure location, choosing Ayad. However, as Ayad was prone to flooding, he decided to establish his new capital on a ridge east of Pichola Lake. To protect the new city from attacks, Udai Singh ordered a 6-kilometre-long wall, with seven gates, to be built around the city.

Read more about Rajputs elsewhere on this website, see Travel episodes: India 1986 – His name is Muhammed!

 

Nordindien 1991
Entrance gate near Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nordindien 1991
Woman, bringing a basket of laundry to the lake side. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The scientific family name of squirrels, Sciuridae, is derived from Sciurus, the name given in 1758 to the Eurasian red squirrel by Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), also called Carl von Linné. Sciurus is a Latinized form of the Greek word skiouros, meaning ‘shadow-tailed’, from skia (‘shadow’) and oura (‘tail’). – Read more about squirrels elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Squirrels of North America.

 

Sydafrika-Namibia 1993
In the intense midday heat in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa, this Cape ground-squirrel (Xerus inauris) is using its tail to provide shadow on its body. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The rosebay willow-herb (Chamerion angustifolium) is a colonizer of disturbed areas, readily invading forests clearings and abandoned fields. An excellent example of its ability to completely take over newly abandoned fields can be studied elsewhere on this website, see Vorsø on my mind: Expanding wilderness.

 

Vorsø 1975-87
The stem of this rosebay willow-herb is covered in rime, bending it to the ground. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Chortens are the Tibetan variety of Buddhist stupas, whose various parts symbolize the elements, the base representing soil, the dome water, the rings or squares above the dome fire, the half-moon air, and the uppermost point – sometimes a small sun – space. Read more about chortens, and about Buddhism in general, elsewhere on this website, see Religion: Buddhism.

 

Ladakh 2000
Early in the morning, this chorten stands out against the barren hills surrounding Tso Kar, a saline lake in Ladakh, northern India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Nordindien 1982
Ruined chortens, near Leh, Ladakh. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2012a
Shadows from persimmons (Diospyros kaki), drying on scaffolds, Xinpu, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 2012
Dead Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), Reeds Beach, Cape May, New Jersey, United States. – Read more about horseshoe crabs elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Horseshoe crabs – living fossils in peril. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Island-Færøerne 1999
Shadow inside the crater of Hverfell, near Lake Mývatn, northern Iceland – one of the largest explosion craters in the world, about 140 metres deep, and with a diameter of about 1,000 metres. Its age is estimated at about 3,000 years. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sjælland 2006-11
The shadow of a metal fence is cast on a tombstone, Holtug Church, Zealand, Denmark. The plant in the foreground is a cotoneaster. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Ladakh 2009
Jagged mountains in the Shila River Valley, Ladakh, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sverige 2015
Ales Stenar (‘Stones of Ale’), a monument from the Bronze Age near the village of Kåseberga, Skåne, Sweden, comprising c. 60 megaliths, erected to form a huge ‘ship’, c. 80 metres long and 20 metres wide. – More pictures of megaliths are found elsewhere on this website, see Culture: Megaliths. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2010
Shadows from ferns create patterns on leaves of Taiwan banana (Musa formosana), Malabang National Forest, Taiwan. This species is endemic in Taiwan, growing on slopes from near sea level to c. 1,000 metres altitude. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Vorsø 2016-20
Bird nesting box on a wall, Jutland, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Californien 2013
Morning light, grazing cattle, and oak trees, near Los Alamos, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nepal 2009-2
Boys, passing through cooking smoke, seeping out of houses in the village of Chame, Annapurna, Nepal. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Bornholm 2008a
Drift wood, casting a long evening shadow on a sandy beach, Bornholm, Denmark. The shadow resembles some long-legged animal with a long, thin tail. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The Jelling Stones near Jelling Church, Jutland, Denmark, are runic stones, dating back to c. 965 A.D. The larger stone was erected by King Harald ‘Bluetooth’ to commemorate his parents, King Gorm and Queen Thyra. On one side of the stone is a carving of Christ – the oldest Norse image of Christ – and on the other an animal, entwined by a serpent. The text translates as follows: “King Harald ordered these runes carved to commemorate Gorm, his father, and Thyra, his mother – the very Harald who conquered all of Denmark and Norway, and Christened the Danes.”

The smaller stone, which was erected by King Gorm, says: “King Gorm made these runes to commemorate Thyre, his wife, Denmark’s pride.”

Today, unfortunately, the stones are behind armoured plastic, partly because they had been subject to vandalism, partly because they were beginning to show signs of erosion from acid rain.

 

Jylland 2000-05
Crosses on graves, casting long shadows, Jelling Church. The famous Jelling Stones are seen in the background. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Ladakh 2009
Horses, grazing in a high-altitude meadow, Puga Marshes, Ladakh, north-western India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2012
Shady street in the town of Lugang, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Puerto Rico 2000
Fern leaflets, El Yunque, Puerto Rico. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Himachal Pradesh 2007
Evening light on barren mountains, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Jylland 1991-95
Samoyed, watching its own shadow, Jutland, Denmark. – Read about dogs elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Californien 2013
Green hills near Los Alamos, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Indien 2003
Small plant, casting long shadows on a sand dune, Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sjælland 2006-11
Soft brome (Bromus hordeaceus) in front of a red fishing shed, Zealand, Denmark. This species is native to Europe and northern Asia, but has been introduced to many other parts of the world. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Ladakh 2000
Barren slopes in the Markha Valley, Ladakh, north-western India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sverige 2015
Gate and late afternoon shadow, Eriksberg Stränder Nature Reserve, Blekinge, Sweden. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The jackass penguin (Spheniscus demersus), which is named after its donkey-like braying, is confined to coasts of South Africa and Namibia. This species has been declining drastically since 1800, when the population was estimated at 4 million. Today, there are less than 50,000 – a result of overfishing as well as climate change. (Source: seaturtles.org)

 

Sydafrika 2003
Jackass penguins, returning from the sea to their breeding colony at Boulders, Simonstown, Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Sydafrika-Namibia 1993
Sydafrika-Namibia 1993
Sydafrika-Namibia 1993
Late afternoon light on reddish sand dunes, Sossusvlei, Namib Desert, Namibia. – Read more about these dunes, and other places in Namibia, elsewhere on this website, see Countries and places: Namibia – a desert country. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Nordindien 1985-86
This woman in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India, is milking her zebu cow. The calf is waiting for its share. – Read more about the zebu ox elsewhere on this website, see Animals: Animals as servants of Man. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The parasol leaf tree (Macaranga tanarius), also called heart leaf or nasturtium tree, belongs to the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). It is a native of eastern China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, and eastern Australia.

 

Taiwan 2011
This shadow on a parasol leaf tree leaf resembles a slanted-eyed cat. The picture was taken in Taiwan, where this species is very common. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Red frangipani (Plumeria rubra), also called temple tree, is native to Mexico, Central America, and northernmost South America. Due to its pretty, fragrant flowers, this species has been introduced to almost all tropical and subtropical countries as an ornamental. In Asia, it is often planted near temples, hence one of its English names.

 

 

Taiwan 2017
The shadow of a red frangipani is cast on a wall, surrounding the Confucius temple in the city of Tainan, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

USA 1998-99
Eroded rocks in morning light, Badlands National Park, South Dakota, United States. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Fyn 1967-2004
Rusted chain on a house wall, Lyø, Funen, Denmark. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

The fragrant taro, or lesser elephant-ear (Alocasia odora) is native from north-eastern India eastwards to Japan, and thence southwards to Borneo. In Vietnam, this herb is used for treatment of colds. The plant is inedible when raw because of needle-sharp calcium oxalate crystals in its cells. In Japan, several cases of food poisoning by consumption of this plant have been reported.

 

Taiwan 2010
Fern leaf, casting shadow on a leaf of fragrant taro, Malabang National Forest, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Creosote (Larrea tridentata) is a shrub, which can grow in the most extreme desert conditions. Today, it is distributed over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres in the Mohave, Sonora and Chihuahua Deserts in south-western United States and Mexico. This species is protected against extreme heat and drought by a layer of insulating resin, which has a foul smell – Mexicans call it hediondilla (’the little stinker’). It also tastes horribly, containing chemical substances like flavin, lignin, and saponin.

Creosote is an extremely hardy plant. Following nuclear tests in the Nevadan desert in 1962, all living things, naturally, had been split to atoms. Ten years later, however, 20 of the original 21 creosote bushes had sprouted again!

The oldest living organism in the world is thought to be a creosote clone in the Mohave Desert, estimated to be c. 9,400 years old.

 

Californien 2013a
These creosote bushes grow in pure sand, Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Lahaul-Ladakh 2014
Evening light on barren rocks, near Pang, Ladakh, India. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Vorsø 1975-87
Ice sculpture, formed around a stone in shallow water, Horsens Fjord, Denmark. More pictures of ice sculptures may be seen elsewhere on this website, see Nature: Snow and ice. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) – in America sometimes called ‘Creeping Jenny’ – is a Eurasian species, which twines around other plants to compete for sunlight and nutrients. – Read more about field bindweed and other members of the morning-glory family elsewhere on this website, see Plants: The morning-glory family.

 

Sjælland 2006-11
In this picture from Zealand, Denmark, the shadow from leaves of a field bindweed is cast on a leaf of garden nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), resembling two pairs of Disney’s ’Aristocats’. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Zimbabwe-Kenya 1994
The Victoria Falls Bridge, near Victoria Falls, spans the Zambezi River, which constitutes the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The shadow of this bridge is reflected on rocks along the river gorge. – More pictures of bridges are found elsewhere on this website, see Culture: Bridges. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

(Uploaded October 2017)

 

(Revised continuously)