Thursday, January 23, 2020

Spanish Wrought Iron Candlestick

This Spanish wrought iron (de hierro forjado)  candlestick was found in the Coca Castle in Coca, Spain. Here is a short explanation from Wikipedia: Wrought iron:
Wrought iron is an iron alloy with a very low carbon (less than 0.08%) content in contrast to cast iron (2.1% to 4%). It is a semi-fused mass of iron with fibrous slag inclusions (up to 2% by weight), which gives it a "grain" resembling wood that is visible when it is etched or bent to the point of failure. Wrought iron is tough, malleable, ductile, corrosion-resistant and easily welded. 
Before the development of effective methods of steelmaking and the availability of large quantities of steel, wrought iron was the most common form of malleable iron. It was given the name wrought because it was hammered, rolled or otherwise worked while hot enough to expel molten slag.[note 1] The modern functional equivalent of wrought iron is mild steel, also called low-carbon steel. Neither wrought iron nor mild steel contain enough carbon to be hardenable by heating and quenching.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Persistence of Life

I am reminded of driving over a very high freeway overpass in Phoenix, Arizona and looking out the window at Bermuda grass growing in the cracks of the cement. The ground temperature of that concrete in the summer has to be over 150 degrees. The only water available would be the occasional rainstorm. Yet, the grass survives and thrives. I get that same reminder when I see a sprouting onion or buy a flower bulb that grows in the spring. Life is really tough and will survive.

Monday, January 20, 2020

View from Coca Castle, Spain

Coca is a municipality in Spain. It is also the name of the prominent castle in the center of the municipality. The municipality is in the province of Segovia and part of the autonomous community of Castile and Leone. Quoting from the Travel Guide website from Google:
It is located 50km northwest of the provincial capital city of Segovia, and 60km from Valladolid. Coca Castle, a 15th-century Mudejar-style castle is located in the town. It was also the birthplace of Roman Emperor Theodosius I in 347 CE. The town had a population of 2,131 in 2009.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Coca Castle Moat, Spain

Any conceptions you have about castles from reading or movies is probably inaccurate. Here is a short explanation of the Coca Castle in Spain.
The Castle of Coca is a castle located in the Coca municipality, central Spain. The castle was constructed in the 15th century and has been considered to be one of the best examples of Spanish Mudejar brickwork which incorporates Moorish Muslim design and construction with Gothic architecture. A scale model of the castle has been built in the Mudéjar theme park and another replica built at a ratio of 1:25 is placed in the Minimundus miniature park in Klagenfurt, Austria.
We climbed a lot of narrow stairs and had access to almost the entire castle. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The City Wall, Segovia, Spain

Segovia, Spain is a classic walled city built on a prominent hill. Because of the hill, the wall is extremely high and formidable. Here is a description of the wall from Wikipedia: Walls of Segovia.
The walls of the Castilian city of Segovia complete a circuit of about 2,250 metres (7,380 ft) in length, with an average height of 9 metres (30 ft) and an average thickness of 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in). They are built out of many different materials, with some parts of great antiquity, although most date back to the 11th and 12th centuries, which major renovations in subsequent centuries. From the Alcázar to the gate of Santiago, there are two circular towers and a rectangular one. The Puerta de Santiago, which has a rectangular plan, has a horseshoe arch. The wall continues to the north of the city's historic centre, dominating the Eresma River, until it reaches the gate of San Cebrián, which has a crucifix at its entrance. 
From this point the wall, raised on rock, continues in an easterly direction until the former San Juan gate. This was an ornamental arch built in the 16th century, and it was demolished in 1888 due to urban needs. The wall continues to the south and then to the west, in a section that included the Postigo del Consuelo, the Portillo de la Canaleja and the gates of San Martín, la Luna and del Sol. Continuing towards the west, one arrives at the Puerta de San Andrés, which has a square and a polygonal tower. From there the wall continues to close its perimeter at the Alcázar.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Rock Canyon from the BYU Campus at Sunset

It is wonderful to be able to walk out of the Brigham Young University Library and see a view of the mountains like this one. It is hard to tell that we had a snow storm all morning. But the sun came out and most of the new snow melted. But with the clearing skies, the temperature began to drop and the wind was blowing. It makes the walk to the parking lot worth the effort.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

White Stork in Spain

Here is a short article from Wikipedia: White stork.
The white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a large bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. Its plumage is mainly white, with black on its wings. Adults have long red legs and long pointed red beaks, and measure on average 100–115 cm (39–45 in) from beak tip to end of tail, with a 155–215 cm (61–85 in) wingspan. The two subspecies, which differ slightly in size, breed in Europe (north to Finland), northwestern Africa, southwestern Asia (east to southern Kazakhstan) and southern Africa. The white stork is a long-distance migrant, wintering in Africa from tropical Sub-Saharan Africa to as far south as South Africa, or on the Indian subcontinent. When migrating between Europe and Africa, it avoids crossing the Mediterranean Sea and detours via the Levant in the east or the Strait of Gibraltar in the west, because the air thermals on which it depends for soaring do not form over water.
We enjoyed seeing quite a few of these large birds.