Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bergen by Night, 14-01-2013

During one of the cold periods we have had here in Bergen this winter, I decided to take a trip after work to one of Bergens best view points - Fløien. It was freezing cold, and I am not particularly fond of the cold, so I didn't stay long. However, you have one advantage when it is cold - the air is very sharp, meaning your pictures will be sharp too. Here is some of the pictures i shot that afternoon.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Gamlehaugen is the official residence of the Norwegian Royal Family in Bergen, Norway. Today it is surrounded with a nice park, which is open for the public, and quite popular in the summer. Historically, the area was used for farming. Around the turn of the 1900 century, the Swiss chalet style mansion, was demolished, and rebuilt in a Scottish baronial castle style, by Christian Michelsen, the first Prime Minister of Norway. Upon his death, Gamlehaugen was donated to the Norwegian state as the Royal residence.

The first two pictures below, were taken late October with the 100-400mm, and the last was taken two weeks later with the 70-200mm. As you see, all the leaves are gone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Big Tank Aquarium fishes

I have gathered a little collection of Big Tank aquarium fishes, and I also threw in a picture of a big mussel and an anemone :) They are all taken through glass walls in a big tank at Bergen Aquarium.

Black Back Butterflyfish
Feeding almost exclusively of soft corals as Sarcophyton and Synularia, it is normally found in areas with a good cover of those corals. They live in pairs or small groups and they habitat flat reefs or reef fronts in the  Indo-Pacific and Red sea.

Sohal Tang
In the wild this fish feeds predominantly on reef algae and weeds. A fully grown adult can attain a length of 40cm (16 inches). The natural habitat of the Sohal Tang is the reef plateau of the Red Sea, Arabian Sea and Arabian Gulf at depths usually less than 18m (60 feet).

Orangeband Surgeonfish
The Orangeband Surgeonfish mainly feeds on zooplankton and algae. They can reach a length of 35cm and their natural habitat is reef fronts with bare rock, rubble and sand. They are typically found on depths from 9 - 46 m . Juveniles are found in protected bays and lagoons. The Orangeband Surgeonfish is found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, to the Hawaii, and north to Japan and also off the north west coast of Western Australia.

Sailfin Tang
A sailfin tang can reach 40 cm (16 in) in length. They primarily feed on macroalgae and seaweed, and brine shrimp on occasion. Their habitat is coral and rock reefs in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. Young sailfin tangs are found alone around corals and rocks in strong currents. Adults usually are found in pairs.


Schooling Bannerfish
The Schooling Bannerfish, also called False Moorish Idol, grows to about 18cm lenght. Their diet is mostly zooplankton. You can find them from the Red Sea and the east coast of Africa to Hawaii, and they often gather in large groups. They are often found swimming above thee reef or near the reef slope.

Lamarck's Angelfish
The Genicanthus Lamarck, or Blackstripe Angelfish, is naturally found along the coral reefs in Indonesia, from Solomon Islands, North Coast Australia, via Thailand and Vietnam and as far north as the southern tip of Japan. It can be 25cm long, have no natural predators and feed on phytoplankton. The male has a yellow spot on the forehead and longer tail fin. The female has a slightly more pronounced black line, often extending into the tail fin.

Queen Angelfish
The Queen angelfish lives in the Western Atlantic and Eastern Central Atlantic. It inhabits coral reefs and it lives alone or in pairs. The depth range is 1-70m. It is especially fond of stony reef building corals like Acopora and reefs with prolific populations of Porifera sponges. The longest individ found, measured 45cm. In the wild, the Queen angelfish feeds mainly on sponges, but it will also eat a certain amount of algae, plankton, jellyfish, hydroids, tunicates and bryozoans.

Convict Tang
The Convict tang, or Convict surgeonfish as it is also called, is a schooling surgeonfish. In the wild they can be found in schools of thousands of fish. It is an herbivore fish that feeds on benthic algae in the wild. Benthic algae are algae that grow on the bottom of the sea. A Convict Tang can reach 25cm, but usually they are smaller. The geographical range of this tang stretches all the way from eastern Africa to the lower Gulf of California and western coast of Central America.

Blueface Angelfish
Also known as the Yellowfaced Angelfish or Yellow Mask Angel Fish. It is from the family Pomacanthidae, and was first described by Bleeker in 1853. It is found in the Indian Ocean from the west coast of Africa north of the Maldives, east to Vanuatu and further north towards Japan. They live alone as juveniles. Adults usually also live alone, but sometimes in pairs. The young fishes prefer sheltered caves whereas the adults favours lagoons, outer reef slopes and channels at depths from 5-45m, and is often found among rocks and near caves. They eat sponges, tunicates, etc, and sometimes algae. An adult fish may be close to 40cm long.

Foxface Rabbitfish
living in the western Pacific Ocean along the coral reefs and associated lagoons. They have this bright yellow color during the day, but at night, or when they are stressed, they can change to a dark, mottled brown color. They can be 25 cm long and eat algae and other vegetation. The fins of the fish is poisonous, and it can really hurt if you get a scratch from these.

Bluespine Unicornfish
In their natural habitat they are usually found at depths between 5 - 80 meters along outer reef walls. They rarely occur alone, rather they are usually seen in small schools in shallow moving waters of inner and outer reefs and canals. Juveniles occur in groups close to the reefs. In Hawaii they are used as a food fish. They are found throughout the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea to Japan, the Rapa Islands, Hawaii, Tuamotu, and the Marquesas. The Bluespine Unicornfish, or Unicorn Tang, are primarily herbivores and feed mainly on leafy brown algae. A grown up can reach a length of up to 70 cm.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Small Things in Nature

When you are wandering around in the nature, there are a lot of objects we don't see, or we don't notice - the smallest plants, straws, moss, etc. The following pictures are from one of my trips in the Norwegian mountains near Ustaoset.

Some kind of moss


Purple reindeer moss

Cotton grass

Some kind of mushroom

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Fallow Deer

The Fallow Deer (Dama Dama) is more of a herd animal than other deer. In the spring and summer, they prefer open landscape with good access to grass. During the autumn and winter, they often pull into the woods. They also use a greater degree of eyesight to orientate themselves, and are less dependent on sense of smell and hearing. This probably has to do with the fact that they often travel in open terrain, where vision is the most important sense. The Fallow Deer can recognize motionless human beings. It is not fond of swimming.
The Fallow Deer eats mainly grass and leaves from deciduous trees in summer, and nuts, berries and bark in winter. They graze mostly in forest clearings with lush vegetation. They have fairly regular meals, usually early in the morning and in the evening and they graze mostly in flocks. After eating, it is common that the herd pulls back into the denser vegetation. The night is spent cud-chewing and rest. It is quite rare to see a Fallow Deer drink water, as they usually get their needs covered through the food they eat, like dewy grass.
The Fallow Deer does not naturally exist in Norway where I am from, so these pictures are taken during my summer vacation in Denmark.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Common Blue Damselfly

You can find the Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) in all of Europe, except in Iceland. It is often mistaken for the Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella), but the latter does not have the mushroom shaped spot connecting the second and third element of the thorax. The Common Blue Damselfly can reach a length of 35 mm.
Adult damselflies live for an average of 20 days, and during this period they must breed. When they mate, the male clasps the female by her neck, while she bends her body back to his mating organs. This position is called a ‘mating wheel’. The mating can last up to 20 minutes. The females lay their eggs both above and below the waterline. After hatching, the damselflies will live as larvaes, sometimes for as long as three years, before emerging to a flying insect.

All pictures shot handheld with either the 70-200mm (the first three) or the 100mm Macro.

This post has been moved here from my previous blog at WordPress

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Ustaoset is a small place along ‘Bergensbanen’, a railroad between Bergen and Oslo in the mountains of Norway. The station is 991 meters above sea level. Of course you can get there by car as well, taking RV7 across ‘Hardangervidda’. At Ustaoset there is a cluster of approx. 900 cabins, hotels and lodges. You will find great hiking possibilities in the summer, and in the winter you can enjoy cross country skiing. If you go 10 minutes by car, you find one of Norway’s most popular ski resorts, Geilo. During the winter, they have shuttle busses to trasport ski-tourists between Ustaoset and Geilo.