Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Nearly a Full Moon

Taken last Saturday while the Moon showed in the day time sky.
Converted to grey scale as I think it looks more natural:

Moon IMG_2677

Monday, 29 June 2015

Guess What


As I am finding it harder to find things for new macro photos I have introduced an extra topic to my Guess What on Mondays which I can use from time to time - close shots of everyday objects.

First though, the answer for last week's mystery photo of a full object. That proved to be difficult .....


TexWisGirl gains the virtual Midmarsh Silver Star for being close(ish) in suggesting it was some sort of lamp. It does have a tiny blue LED inside which flashes while it is working. In fact it is a novelty / disguised USB memory stick. Fiendishly clever those Chinese designers.

DSCN4681    DSCN4808


Now for the new mystery photo, a close shot of an everyday object:
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed next Monday, along with the answer.
No prizes. Just for fun, a fuzzy feeling of satisfaction and possibly a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

As always the new title was designed in Art Text 2 and uses the fonts 'Aliens Ate My Mum' and 'A Charming Font'.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

House Sparrow Community

RSPB reports suggest that House Sparrow populations have fallen by 71% since 1977. Our local ones are doing their best to make a recovery. They spend a lot of time together. Chattering in the hedges. Taking dust baths. Visiting the garden pond waterfall:

Six at once:
House Sparrows DSCN4794

No, make that Seven:
House Sparrows DSCN4795

Correction, Eight:
House Sparrows DSCN4796

Might be hard to see - there is one almost hidden behind the Sparrow on the left.

What I have noticed has been the lack of Tree Sparrows visiting the garden. For the previous few Winters there have been several joining the House Sparrows at the feeders but last Winter I didn't see one.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Seeing Red

Spot the red:


Here's two of them:


A close crop:


These red spider mites were spotted on the wooden step of my Summerhouse.
Actual size about 1.5mm including the legs.
Photos above were taken with the Nikon Coolpix S9050

The following were taken with the Canon 50D with 70-200 zoom plus Raynox Macro lens:




Those were taken hand held while the little darlings raced around all over the place.
Over 30 shots were consigned to Dusty Bin but no mites were harmed during this photo shoot.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Friday at the Flicks - Sunset Clouds

Taking a video of clouds at Sunset is very much a pot luck, suck it and see, exercise. As I prefer to start a short while before Sunset there is no guarantee that any colour will appear. I got lucky with my second attempt.

Time lapse taken Wednesday night towards Sunset:

Shot using the LapseIt app on an iPod Touch 5.
One shot every two seconds.
Total 1837 frames processed at 24 fps.
Colours and contrast slightly enhanced in LapseIt and iMovie.

Doing the same thing on a DSLR means having hundreds of individual shots which have to be transferred to a PC or Mac to be made into a video with a suitable program.  The LapseIt app for iPhone or iPod Touch does the whole process in one app with the advantage of being able to preview things before making the final video. It is possible to add music in the app but I find it easier to use iMovie on the Mac as I have a large selection of music to choose from on disk.

The Ususal Mowing Hazard

It's always a bit nerve wracking mowing the longer grass round the edge of the lawn. Especially so yesterday as it had grown so long. The long grass holds the moisture and is a favourite resting place for the garden frogs. Yesterday was no exception when this young frog (probably around two to three years old) leap out in front of the mower:

Young Frog DSCN4770

Frame added using the old version of PhotoScape X.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Clematis Flower

As photographed:


Processed in a couple of Mac apps:



Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Bee Bush (swf)

OK. So the Buddleia Bush is usually known as the Butterfly Bush but my Globular variety has been attracting scores of bees so far this year so I have christened it my Bee Bush:

The easiest way to see the photos is to click on each part photo.


Plus the occasional fly:


Monday, 22 June 2015

Macro on Monday - Guess What


Last week's mystery photo seems to have been very hard as no one managed to work out that it was a close shot of roots. To be exact the roots of a Cymbidium Orchid which was in urgent need of splitting and re-potting. Something I should really have done last Spring when it didn't flower for the first time in years. It is quite an effort to cut through that tangle of old roots and I end up having to use a freezer knife which has a saw blade type edge. I ended up with three pots which should start to produce flowers again in a couple of years time.

DSCN4623 DSCN4621

Thank you to those who did make a guess.

I am running out of ideas and things to take macro shots of so this week here is a complete object.
I wonder whether you can work out what it is.
Guess What:
Including the small ring it measures 7cm (just under 3 inches) in height.

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.

No prizes, just my congratulations and possibly a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Clouds and Moon at Sunset

A few shots of the Moon taken around Sunset last night:


 Moon IMG_2657

 Moon IMG_2630

Moon IMG_2659

And a couple of clouds:



Saturday, 20 June 2015

Sparrow Family Feeding

This is by way of an experiment.
The photos have been made into a swf file which will take a short while to load.
Once loaded the photos should cycle through. If not then hover the mouse over the bottom centre of the box. This should show the controls and the PLAY arrow. Click this to start the slide show. Use the same button to stop the show. Once stopped, clicking on photos will bring them to the front:

Hope it works for you. Tested with the latest Firefox and Safari web browsers on Mac. Not sure how it will behave on mobile hardware. The show is interactive but is a bit buggy with this embedded flash player. Once started it should be possible to click on the photos to bring different ones to the front. I tried this on my iPad2. Didn't work in the Safari browser but worked fine using the Puffin browser.

In case it doesn't work for you, here is the moment two impatient youngsters landed on Papa's back and made him fall off the feeder.:

(As Simon pointed out in fact it was Mama who was used as a landing platform)

 House Sparrow Family IMG_2621

Why do people like Blogger keep changing things? There used to be the word Upload to click on to upload photos. This morning I was staring at the screen trying to see it. Nope, gone. Replaced by a cloudy triangle icon which says Upload when you hover over it. I prefer the old maxim: If it aint broke, don't fix it.

The slide show was created using the Mac app 3DGallery which is a free download at the time of writing. I have used the iOS version in the past and uploaded the swf files to Photobucket but now they don't accept them. It took a bit of searching to find another way. It can be done by storing the file on Dropbox and embedding the player with a link to the file.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Friday at the Flicks - Damselflies - Cartoon Style Pheasant

Several Damselflies have emerged from the garden pond. This mating pair of Blue-tailed Damselflies spent the best part of an hour mating which, fortunately, gave plenty of time to get a bit of video. Male at the top, female below:

Another old video clip given the cartoon style treatment in Celling Video. This time a Pheasant which used to make daily visits for some peanuts:

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Trip to Alford (long)

I had been meaning to take some bits and pieces to the Greyhound Rescue charity shop in Alford for a while and yesterday finally got Round Tuit. Alford is a small market town in Lincolnshire and I carefully chose a non market day so there would be plenty of parking spaces and not too many people for Penny to pester for a fuss! Not that there are too many problems parking these days as the one main parking area is fairly large ....


... and a bridge leads to an overspill area which about doubles the number of car spaces. Alford must be one of the cheapest parking areas in Lincolnshire at £1 for up to two hours:


Alongside the car park and flowing under the bridge is a stream which, yesterday, only showed a trickle of water:




Much of the local surface water seems to flow in to this stream:


Once I had dropped off the stuff at the charity shop we went walkabout. Over the years there have been some nice alterations to this area of Alford. At one time the space in front of some of the shops was for car parking but now it is a wide paved area with a rather posh bus shelter and a space where one of the coffee shops puts out tables and chairs so we can enjoy refreshments and nice weather at the same time:


Nearby are some unusual looking trees which give me the impression that something else has been grafted on a Silver Birch trunk - or maybe it's the result of intensive pruning in the past:

DSCN4664    DSCN4665

A nearby street sign caught my eyes,


not an area I had explored before so we ambled round to have a look see. No sign of a windmill. Well, I didn't really expect to find one as many of these road names date back hundreds of years. There is no doubt there would have been a windmill there at some time in the past. There is a working windmill on the outskirts of the town. Among all the new red brick buildings I did find this old house:


I wonder what shape my property will be in if it survives over 170 years, which I very much doubt:


After a look round and plenty of fuss for Penny at the charity shop we came home.

Video of our route through Alford:

Once home I checked up on Shirley:


... and Smelly which is relegated to the greenhouse:

 DSCN4673    DSCN4675

... and the £10 hanging baskets I bought from Louth Garden Centre a couple of weeks ago:

DSCN4676     DSCN4677   

... which are part of my 'clock' area display this year. Should look nice in another month or so when all the plants are in flower:


Then it was time for elevenses and a well deserved rest, madam was especially quite and slept through until 2pm when she suddenly remembered it was walkies time.
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