Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Dreary Time + Domesday

It is a week since the Sun showed for more than a couple of minutes. Constantly overcast sky, low temperatures and a chilling breeze seem to be the order of the day. This shows how the local temperature has stayed constantly below average since last Tuesday:


One day last week I decided to try out a couple of panorama shots using the Nikon. The first looks North across the cricket field and was made from six landscape overlapping shots stitched using the free PC program Serif Panorama Plus 2:

Panorama 01.JPG

The second looks East from the cricket field. It gives a good idea of how flat this part of Lincolnshire is. This one is made from seven portrait overlapping shots again stitched using the Serif program:

Panorama 02.JPG

The above are as taken by the camera. The following is the first given the ReDynaMix treatment in Photoshop Elements:

 Panorama 01rdm.jpg

I often think the cricket field exhibits ridge and furrow features reminiscent of the Medieval strip field system. Running N/S the length of the field there are gentle, regular hollows and high points. The camera is looking straight down one of the dips which shows as a darker colour.

The Domesday Book (1085) records that this village had 5 smallholders and 6 freemen.

2013-02-26 18.21.42.jpg

The village entry (in Latin) is the 4th up from the bottom. A description of the strip field system can be found here on Wikipedia and an explanation of the ridges and furrows left over from that farming system is here on Wikipedia.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Guess What

gold star
Congratulations and a virtual gold star to Jan and ImaBurdie for identifying the crocus flowers in last week's Guess What:


These crocuses have been ready to open for well over a week but I guess they are waiting for the temperature to rise:


For the new Guess What I took these shots this morning with the iPhone4 fitted with a macro lens: (they are in colour)

2013-02-21 09.51.15.jpg

2013-02-21 09.50.49.jpg

Can you work out what I was photographing on a cold February morning. Not quite cold enough as these items were visible for a lot less than a minute.

No prizes - just for fun.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Song Thrush

The past couple of days a Song Thrush has been singing nearby every dawn and dusk. It is especially nice to see and hear them as they are on the RSPB red list of species whose numbers have diminished greatly. Even at -1C this morning we were greeted with its easily recognisable repertoire of repeated though varied songs. This somewhat wobbly clip was taken as the Sun was setting yesterday.

It is rare for me to see one in the garden. This shot was taken in December 2010.

Song Thrush 1

Sunday, 17 February 2013


As it was a reasonable afternoon yesterday we went walkabout round the church again. This time I got nearer to the church to take some closer shots of the various carvings, gargoyles and grotesques. Rather than have a dozen full size photos here I used Photoshop Elements to make a slide show. (My first attempt with that particular facility):

The soundtrack is 'Tedeum', from a ProTracker module by The Weasel.

All photos were taken with the Nikon S9050. One was lightened and a couple cropped. All had a vignette effect added in Elements to darken the edges otherwise they are as taken by the camera.

Full size copies may be found in the CHURCH set on my Flickr account.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Woody Returns

It seems that the Great Spotted Woodpeckers are making frequent visits to my peanut feeder. Yesterday morning I spotted a male on the feeder and managed a few still shots.

 Male Great Spotted Woodpecker

You would have had a good laugh if you had seen me on hands and knees crawling over to the video camera to move it further away from the kitchen window. Fortunately the ruse worked and I was able to get some video. Unfortunately the Hitachi DVD cam got its white balance in a twist and the video turned out very blue which I managed to partly correct on the PC. I also managed to take some with the Nikon S9050 which is the last part of this video:

The soundtrack is 'Hunger After Dinner', from an old Protracker module file by Delta X of Fraxion.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday at the Flicks - Roosting Great Tit

What a difference a few hours can make. For several days the temperature struggled to reach +2C. Quite a bit lower with the wind chill. That was until Wednesday night when it began to climb back to the average for this time of year:

Graph made with Cumulus using data from my weather station

Before the change in temperature we were subjected to another snow fall. During that time I could see the Great Tit roosting in the nest box was shivering to keep warm.

Overnight the snow turned to rain which lasted until mid morning. That had melted the snow by day break leaving large pools of water everywhere. Finally the sky cleared and the Sun put in an appearance. At one stage it looked as thought my shed and conservatory were on fire. It turned out to be the heat from the Sun rapidly drying out the woodwork and sending up clouds of water vapour.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Guess What + Monty Jnr

Running more than a bit late. I think we are both catching up on our beauty sleep - one needs it more than the other but I'll let you decide which is which.

First a crop from another sign of Spring to come which should be recognisable.
Guess What:


No prizes - just for fun.

I can't wait for Winter to end. The past three days the maximum temperature has been +2C. If I put on any more layers when we go walk-about I'm sure I will get mistaken for the Michelin Man. At least it looks as though there will be a small upward movement in temperature starting tomorrow.

Last week was fraught. Penny's tummy problems only seemed to get worse so on Friday I phoned the vet and within a couple of hours she was being examined. She left evidence in the waiting room of how bad she was so there was no disputing that! Penny was taken off the anti-inflammatory tablets and put on a course of antibiotics. The vet said her problem would clear up quickly and sure enough by the end of Sunday she was back in normal food vacuum cleaner mode and we were both getting a full night's sleep once again. The vet was pleased with the healing progress of her gums after the two extractions though they do still hurt a little so she is staying with soft food for a while longer.

This morning a replacement arrived for Monty the Moose - Monty Jnr - which she immediately fell in love with and spent ages making sure he would squeak and grunt as well as the first one.

Monty Jnr.jpg

I wonder how much hurling about this one will take before it starts to fall apart.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Friday at the Flicks - Blackbird with Coconut

Not a lot been going on here of outstanding interest recently. Some days ago I noticed the strong shadow of a Blackbird enjoying the suet filling in a half coconut:

Penny has been having a rough few days. Either the experience of having two teeth out, the anaesthetic or the anti-inflammatory tablets, or all, upset her stomach. Wednesday night she got me up every two hours as she needed to go outside. It was weird as her grizzling while she stood next to my bed was incorporated in a dream each time before I woke up. Since then she has been slowly improving - eating quite well of some tinned dog food, boiled fish and boiled chicken. Penny isn't allowed anything hard to eat for a week. Also she is getting back to being her normal inquisitive self.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Penny has just come back from the Vets. She went in this morning to have her teeth seen to and to have her claws clipped. Unfortunately she needed to have two teeth extracted - not an unusual event for a rescue greyhound. She had the rest scaled and polished.


She was still quite groggy from the anaesthetic when I collected her though she did manage to climb on the back seat of the car. There was more of a problem when we got home as she didn't want to get out. Partly as it was very dark on the drive and she didn't feel confident so I took out a lamp and Freddy the Fox to persuade her. After she had wobbled her way indoors she settled down to sleep things off while I boiled some chicken pieces and a piece of fish as she is on a soft food diet until after her check up.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Not a Horse Shoe - Visiting Woodpecker

gold star
The first Guess What of the year managed to fool a few people. It certainly looked somewhat like a horse shoe in the snow but as ImaBurdie and Wilma worked out it was an impression from the ice spikes on my shoe so they get the first virtual Gold Stars of 2013. Many thanks to all who had a go.

2013-01-24 15.08.15c.jpg   P1040367c.jpg

No new Guess What for this Monday but I will try to find something for next week.

A pleasant surprise this morning when I spotted a male Great Spotted Woodpecker on the peanut feeder nearest the kitchen window. Lighting was poor and I had to up the ISO to 3200 on the 50D to get even a reasonable shutter speed.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Unfortunately it didn't stay long enough to get any video this time.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Village Church - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Glorious blue sky and brilliant sunshine for much of yesterday. Quite chilly but it is only the start of February. We had a couple of good walks round the village to get some well deserved fresh air. Part of one route took us through the churchyard which kept me and my trusty Nikon S9050 busy.

The good things noticed were these signs that Spring is round the corner:

Winter Aconite:




(I did spot a few daffodils in full bloom in the sheltered corner of a garden on our way home.)

Also it was good to be able to clearly see a part of the church it has been difficult to get at in the past when part of the graveyard was fenced off with sheep grazing on the grass. The fence has been removed and one can wander at will all round the outside of the church.

The bad is the way bricks have been used in the past to repair part of the structure which does rather spoil such an old stone built church:


The ugly - the gargoyles and grotesques decorating the roof line of course. Some are probably carved from something like sandstone which has weathered badly over the years:

IMG_0320.jpg   IMG_0321.jpg

IMG_0323.jpg   IMG_0324.jpg


All in all we both enjoyed a satisfying and rewarding perambulation.

Friday, 1 February 2013

The Man, His Dog and the Trees

Lovely late Sunlight illuminating the bare Poplar trees:


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