Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Do you ever wonder how they come up with the subject for the Weekly Photo Challenge? I know I do, because sometimes their choice seems strange to say the least.


Welsh ponies are allowed to roam wild in many parts of our countryside, locally, the Carneddau mountains in Snowdonia has a semi-feral population of about 180 animals roams.

On the way to photograph the Aber Falls I came across this pony waiting to get through the gate into a protected area.

And now for something completely differentt…..

The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force. During displays, the aircraft do not fly directly over the crowd apart from entering the display area by flying over the crowd from behind; any manoeuvres in front of and parallel to the audience can be as low as 300 feet,

Red Arrows

The ‘synchro pair’ can go as low as 100 feet straight and level, or 150 feet when in inverted flight. The team use the same two-seat training aircraft used for advanced pilot training, at first the Hawker Siddeley Gnat which was replaced in 1979 by the BAE Hawk T1. The Hawks are modified with an uprated engine and a modification to enable smoke to be generated, diesel is mixed with a coloured dye and ejected into the jet exhaust to produce either red, white or blue smoke.

Talking of smoke. How would you like a train passing by your bedroom window every half hour during the summer months. That’s what happens in Llanberis as the train from the Snowdon Mountain Railway makes the  journey to the top of Mount Snowdon and back..

Puffing Billy

For over a 100 years, trains have completed the journey from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales. Using a rack and pinion railway system single carriage trains are pushed up the mountain by either steam locomotives or diesel locomotives. The trains travel a distance of 4.7 miles (7.6 km) to reach the summit. The railway is operated in some of the harshest weather conditions in Britain, with services curtailed from reaching the summit in bad weather and remaining closed during the winter from November to mid-March. 

Health and Safety (or as we call it Elfin Safety) laws in the UK are pretty strict and the legislation is mostly aimed at the workplace, dealing with risks such as unguarded machinery.But all too often Elfin Safety Killjoys impose draconian rules for the playground and entertainment venues with little understanding of the law.

For example one school banned the use of leather soccer balls, instead the kids had to play with balls made of sponge. Always a favourite at school sports day, the Sack Race was banned in case a child tripped or fell over. And you can’t use the playground in case you graze your knee. But this one is a cracker. One Holiday Company banned bumping on the Dodgems (Bumper Cars) at several sites they owned. You can only go round and round, all the cars in the same direction, how boring. 

Which brings me to my next photograph.


Gwrych Castle is a crumbling ruin and obviously the owners felt that they had to protect themselves from legal action should anyone hurt themselves whilst clambering over the ruins. So they put a great metal fence up all around it, have these signs every 50 metres or so and occasionally have random security patrols. So why leave a break in the fence that is obviously used; you can see the well-worn path leading to the castle.

As I said at the beginning of this post I sometimes find the concept for some of these challenges rather abstract. Hopefully this week I have managed to fill the brief? Let me know….


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31 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

  1. lightaustralisphoto January 26, 2014 / 09:37

    Nice shots. Is the pony bi-lingual?


    • Mike Hardisty January 27, 2014 / 09:37

      But of course, It’s a Welsh Pony and they speak both English and Welsh. Seriously though, thank you for taking the time to comment.


  2. 1annecasey January 26, 2014 / 09:41

    Awesome selection of images!


    • Mike Hardisty January 27, 2014 / 09:36

      I’m glad you liked them and thank you for taking the time to visit and comment


  3. petspeopleandlife January 26, 2014 / 11:31

    I think these are excellent examples. I like the photo of the pony waiting to graze on protected meadows. That’s the way things go. Laws/rules are apparently made to be broken as we say sometimes but certainly rules should be reasonble but some things are outrageous.


    • Mike Hardisty January 27, 2014 / 09:31

      That was a lucky one Yvonne. There were about 10 ponies hanging around the gate, waiting to mug some poor fool who might be scared of them, (they are semi-wild), and let them through the gate. The ponies know where the grass is greener.


      • petspeopleandlife January 27, 2014 / 15:51

        Those ponies prove, yet again, that animals are smarter than humans sometimes. I always “go with” the pic that shows an animal. They’re often prettier” than people. 🙂

        I know- I’m pitiful! 🙂


        • Mike Hardisty January 28, 2014 / 20:13

          Not so,pitifully Yvonne. Here’s a little story. There are ponies on the bird reserve at Conwy. One of them became so tame that they took it and most of the herd back into the mountains to make them wild again. Two years rehabilitation and the bad boy and his gang were returned to the reserve. Within days the gang were mugging visitors for food…they’re back in the mountains again.



          • petspeopleandlife January 29, 2014 / 17:20

            Mike, that is hilarious. You can try to take the feral out of something but those ponies have “common sense” and a keen memory. There is an old saying over here that is something like this. “You can take a person out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the person.” That’s about how it goes with the ponies. 🙂


            • Mike Hardisty January 29, 2014 / 19:17

              They are smart and I see quite a lot of them when I’m wandering in Snowdonia.


  4. Lynne Ayers January 26, 2014 / 14:29

    Good images but my favourite part is about the elfin safety in the school grounds. 😉 No wonder kids don’t play outside so much any more – we’ve taken all the fun out of it.


    • Mike Hardisty January 27, 2014 / 09:27

      It’s everywhere. You go in hot pie shop and there are signs warning you the surfaces might be hot…and don’t forget so will the food be. Of course it will. My favourite though is a parking machine in a small twenty space car park in town. It has a large sign telling you that the edges are sharp which you can read from about 20 feet away, no they are not. But do you want to find out what the parking charges are. In small writing on the machine, that’s where you will find them.


  5. spnphoto January 26, 2014 / 16:55

    Excellent pics!


  6. meticulousmick January 26, 2014 / 16:59

    I’m struggling but for me you have hit the nail spot on. I especially like the first one. MM 🍀


    • Mike Hardisty January 27, 2014 / 09:20

      Thank you. Took me a while but once I found the first photograph the others came much easier, then it was just a case of putting together the words to match


  7. vanecktharien January 26, 2014 / 21:06

    I enjoyed this entry very much. I was really flummoxed with the challenge this week and could not find a great number of photos fulfilling the theme. Will need to go and look again.
    The UK H&S laws are worth of a book, more to describe the ambiguity in it than necessarily the value of the law!


    • Mike Hardisty January 27, 2014 / 09:18

      Used to drive me crazy when I was at work, sometimes all that was required was a bit of common sense to see we could do it without the elfs…


  8. Cris January 26, 2014 / 23:06

    Love this one. The USA is heading in this same direction—safety above all else, even common sense. Great post!


    • Mike Hardisty January 27, 2014 / 09:15

      No getting away from it Cris, it’s here to stay and only going to get worse.


      • Cris January 28, 2014 / 03:58

        Well, the government, under obama, is militarizing the police and training them in assault tactics, and it’s definitely getting worse, especially in the big cities, buy I expect it to filter down to even the rural counties. They’re pouring millions of dollars into this, arming them, in some cases, as if they were indeed the military. That doesn’t bode well for the citizenry of the USA.


        • Mike Hardisty January 28, 2014 / 09:03

          Most of our police still aren’t armed, good thing really. But we have rapid response teams who keep weapons locked in the trunk. The police uniform though is getting more and more military style though and there has been an introduction of taser and pepper spray.

          And that’s where the problems have been, over enthusiastic use of taser. For instance using it on a semi blind man from behind. The officers said his white stick was a samurai sword. As you can guess the press had a field day.


          • Cris January 30, 2014 / 03:47

            Cops have been known to kill people—with both tasers and guns—using them on cripples and invalids, like you say. They’re going crazy with them over here. There’s been more cops killing people for ridiculous reasons than I have ever heard before. Not all cops are this way, but there is an ever-increasing number of them, due the obama’s militarization of them.


  9. sukiesoriginal January 26, 2014 / 23:48

    Much of “Elfin Safety” seems much more concerned about preventing lawsuits than actually keeping anyone safe. Maybe we should sue “them’ for driving us nuts with their wacky rules?! It must be hard to think of a new challenge every week, but responding to the abstract ones has to be good for our brains, Mike! Like doing cryptic crosswords…


    • Mike Hardisty January 27, 2014 / 09:13

      It gets worse all of the time, one company I used to work for insisted that we switched off our mobile phones when driving to and from work, which is not a bad thing in it’s own right. But if I was going to see a client I had to pull over every half hour to check messages. Now that was stupid, especially as our cars were fitted with extremely sophisticated hands free systems, voice dialling and answer etc.


  10. vastlycurious.com February 8, 2014 / 23:22

    Great variety! I cannot imagine having wild ponies wandering about my neighborhood. It would be lovely!


    • Mike Hardisty February 9, 2014 / 22:50

      Not so lovely when the gang up and try to mug you for food. But the do photograph well



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