Monday, 31 October 2011

Macro on Monday - Halloween


IMG_0122 Halloween

No - that isn't the Guess What?
Just me playing around with the app Hallows Eve HD on the iPad.
The village churchyard with a few added extras.

First congratulations and   gold star   go to Richard and Adrian who correctly identified the Yew in last week's Guess What.

Page_1    P1030191c  Yew

This week's Guess What has a Halloween theme.


(Not exactly  a macro!)
Can you identify what was used as the character in this video clip?

Video made using the iPad app Morfo Booth, fortunately before I loaded iOS5 as the app no longer works properly and the company hasn't even bothered to acknowledge the report I sent them.

As always, no prizes, just for fun.


Finally a Halloween greeting from Bobby


Animated GIFs found on Curlys Halloween site.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Do you Know an Eric?

Another one of the great emails I receive from time to time:

As we Silver Surfers know, sometimes we have trouble with our computers.

I had a problem yesterday, so I called Eric, the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like  Mission Control and asked him to come over.
Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.
As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong ?
He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'

  I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless enquired,

'An, ID ten T error ? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.'

Eric grinned .... 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before ?

'No,' I replied.

'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll figure it out.'
So I wrote down:


I used to like Eric, the little s**t head.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Friday at the Flicks - Squirrel Raider - Hedgehog

The same morning I took the photos of a Grey Squirrel helping itself to some peanuts I managed to grab some video clips. It hasn't been back since Sunday so I guess it's raiding someone else's bird feeders.

Soundtrack produced using the iPad app Loopseque (free version).
(Patiently waiting for an update so it will work with iOS5)

Every now and then I check the camera view in the nestbox. There are a number of fluffy feathers which were not there the previous week so someone has shown an interest. In fact the last time there were so many small feathers was when two birds had a battle over who was going to use the nest. So far it hasn't been used as a night roost.

 Still from the nest box camera:
2011 10 22 204042

I still see a Hedgehog from time to time and most of the food disappears every night so at least one is still awake.

A few nights ago I nearly had to rescue the Hedgehog. It was at the water dish drinking when Bobby went out. As Bobby neared the hog it started to curl up. Unfortunately it was curling with its nose under water and I could see bubbles rising so I quickly called Bobby away and it soon scuttled off..

Monday, 24 October 2011

Macro on Monday - Guess What

Congratulations and  gold star go to Keith, John and Wilma for correctly identifying the ladybird in last Monday's Guess What. It was one of many 7 spot Ladybirds I have seen this year.

Page_1  7 Spopt Ladybird

There have been more about than I have seen for quite a few years. Recently I also spotted the first Harlequin Ladybird I have seen in the village.

This week's mystery object is a bit large to be called a macro ;)

Guess What:

 No prizes. Just for fun.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

I Spy With My Little Eye ....


I watched this morning as a Grey Squirrel helped itself to peanuts from one of the feeders and proceeded to bury them in various places around the garden.

Grey Squirrel 2

You may need to click on this to enlarge it:
Grey Squirrel

I think every planter had at least one peanut buried in it.

Grey Squirrel 3

Friday, 21 October 2011

Friday at the Flicks - Goldfinch Invasion, Restored 1943 Ford GPW

Up to last week the number of Goldfinches visiting the Birdy Bistro had been slowly increasing. There were far too many for them all to find perches so many had to make do hunting round the lawn and weeds to find food. The numbers decreased as the daytime temperatures dropped. Maybe other people have started to put out feeders for the Winter.

Now for something completely different. Roy, who lives in the village, has a great interest in old military vehicles. His latest project was restoring a 1943 Ford GPW which is now in full working order. I managed to grab a short piece of video one day as he drove down the lane. It is deliberately slow to give me time to take the video. This is a combination of some photos I took for his insurers who wanted records of everything and the piece of video.

Have fun observing the wildlife wherever you live.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

First Visit This Year

Up to something like eighteen months ago I used to have regular, often daily, visits by a Grey Squirrel. For some reason the visits stopped, until this morning when this character was seen eyeing up the Birdy Bistro. After a quick look it decided that it had better come back later when Bobby wasn't watching.

Grey Squirrel

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wings on Wednesday - It's My Garden

A few days ago I spotted a couple of Wood Pigeons having a bit of a contretemps. It looked as though one had decided the other wasn't welcome in his garden.

Wood Pigeons

Wood Pigeons

There was a lot of fluttering and leaping about but neither came to any harm.

The slideshow was put together using the app Splice (free version) on the iPad.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Macro on Monday - Guess What

Only two winners of a   gold star  for correctly identifying the acorn in last Monday's Guess What. Congratulations to Wilma and Keith.

Image1C    Acorn

This week the macros are a bit on the fuzzy side as they are very small crops but I think it should be fairly easy to identify.

Guess What:

No prizes - just for fun.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Friday at the Flicks - Greenfinch

I didn't have anything new last Wednesday for the Wings and today is no better as the weather has been awful most of the week with lighting levels less than an average mid winter. Here is a short video of a Greenfinch which visited the feeders last March - good job I have a few clips which I haven't uploaded yet.

Easy to tell yesterday was a 13th. Decided to update my iPad1 to the latest iOS5 and wished I hadn't bothered. All told it took 12 hours to get the iPad back to a reasonable, though not fully, working order. Looking round some of the blogs I see I was far from being alone in having problems. The installation of the new operating system seemed to go smoothly but when it came to restoring all the apps there were many problems, crashes, loud ungentlemanly mutterings and lots of cold cups of tea.

One 'bright light in a wicked world'  A favourite free app of mine is 'eBook Search' which is great for finding and downloading free ebooks on the iPad. This stopped downloading with iOS5 so I emailed Patrick Thompson, the founder of Inkstone Software, who maintains the app and within a few hours he had an updated version available for download. I tested that. Brilliant, it is now back to a fully working piece of software.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Macro on Monday - Guess What

I don't know about you, but to me the weeks seem to be rushing past these days. Here we are again, another Monday galloped up on me.
Anyway - five virtual gold star to award to Adrian, John, Wilma, Matron and Glo as they all correctly identified the spider in last Monday's Guess What.

The Nursery Rhyme goes:

The itsy, bitsy spider, climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
So the itsy, bitsy spider went up the spout again.

but this one was a bit on the larger size.

Page_1 Spider

I wonder if I will get as many correct answers for this one...

Guess What:
Don't be shy. Have a guess. No prizes, just for fun.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday at the Flicks - Bobby

And now, as they say, for something completely different. A few weeks ago there was a news item about some slow motion film made which showed how dogs drink. It showed how a dog curves the tongue backwards to scoop up the liquid. The speed at which this happens draws up a column of liquid and by quickly closing the mouth a quantity is trapped in the mouth.

I wondered if I could film this myself with Bobby just using the TZ7 and slowing the playback down enough to see what was going on. The result is shown below. The first part of the video runs at 1/10 speed and it does a reasonable job of showing the drinking action.

Some of the original film, shown on the Discovery channel, can be found here on YouTube.

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife, and domestic life, around you.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Wings on Wednesday

There are often light aircraft flying near or over the village, especially at weekends. A very distinctive one I have seen several times over the past few years is this Pitts S1-C amateur build biplane.

Pitts S-1C Special 1

A very smart looking aeroplane designed for aerobatics. I see, from looking round the net, that at one stage it had been rebuilt as a seven year project and was on sale for £26,000

Back nearer earth sees the return of Jackdaws. They had been missing for a couple of months but are now back attacking the bread I put out for the corvids.

Raining Breadcrumbs

They don't stay for long when they notice anyone watching.

Jackdaw Take Off

Monday, 3 October 2011

Macro on Monday - Guess What

I would reckon on two and a half gold star last week. It was weathered stone but Adrian and Glo completed the identification of a stone cross which is one of the gravestones in the village churchyard. Glo even went and found the meaning of the carved inscription. (See her comment last Monday)

Page_1    IMG_0080

Back to macro this week with a few small crops from a photo.

Guess what:

All are welcome to try. Just for fun. No prizes apart from the virtual gold stars for correct identifications.
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