Monday, 30 November 2015

Monday Mystery - Guess What



Everyone including Polly managed to work out last week's mystery photo. Congratulations and the virtual Midmarsh Gold Star go to TexWisGirl, Adrian, Wilma, Ragged Robin, Glo and Roy who all recognised the kettle among the patterns:

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That was very nearly the last puzzle picture for this year until I finally spotted something to photograph half way through the morning. What is hidden behind the  patterns in this week's mystery photo?

Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.
No prizes, just for fun and maybe a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

A bit of a Change

I replaced the recorder I use with the nature cameras. The old one was very clumsy when it came to extracting bits of video. The new one has a much easier mouse operated interface, once it has been mastered. At the same time I moved the camera which used to monitor for visiting Hedgehogs as I hadn't seen one this year. Now it monitors the bird bath for a change:


A bit of test video:

I think I need to clean the lens again and I am still making adjustments to the recorded quality and length of motion detected video as there are quite a few menu choices to play with on the recorder. Next job is to get sound on the recordings - should be fun!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Friday at the Flicks -- Starlings

Doing what they do best - squabbling over food:

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Super Denoising Mac App

Just spotted that the Mac app Super Denoising is a free download at the time of writing.

Gave it a quick trial on one of the noisy microscope photos:

 Super Denoiser

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I had already tried 'denoising' the original in Serif Affinity and my old version of Photoshop Elements and that was the best I could achieve. So far on this quick test I am very impressed with Super Denoising. Although the results may not perfectly match what was originally seen by eye as it is liable to lose some small detail it certainly makes a good attempt at cleaning things up.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Monday, 23 November 2015

Monday Mystery - Guess What



Last week's mystery photo went down better. Congratulations and a virtual Midmarsh Gold Star go to Adrian, The Weaver of Grass, TexWisGirl, Ragged Robin and Wilma who all identified the Jack-o-Lantern / Halloween Pumpkin:

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I wonder how you will get on with the everyday object disguised in this mystery photo.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.
No prizes, just for fun and maybe a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A Touch Nippy This Morning

It's no wonder the weather is a major topic of conversation in the UK. It can change so rapidly from one extreme to another. A few days ago we had much higher than average November temperatures with it reaching 18C here. Last night it plummeted to an unseasonal -1C over night. It was only half a degree above freezing when we went for our morning perambulation and were greeted by the sight of frozen pools of water by the front gate:



So much depends on the position of the ever meandering jet stream. Depending on its position winds may come from the Atlantic bringing humid, rainy and sometimes stormy conditions. From the Arctic bringing cold and snow or from Africa bringing warm air.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Getting in Close

Not a lot of note going on hereabouts these days. This morning has started with near gale force gusts of Northerly wind, temperature about 6C but feeling nearer 3C in the wind and rain. So far it looks too warm for the forecast snow though that could change overnight if we end up with clear skies.

A few days ago I found a item which had been thrown from the roof so decided to put it under the microscope. Snapshots are somewhat grainy:

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What was it I had found?


A clump of moss. There is always some growing on the concrete roof tiles on the North facing side of the roof. The Blackbirds make a reasonably good job of clearing it off.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Monday Mystery - Guess What

Mystery STAR02
Congratulations and the virtual Midmarsh Gold Star to Adrian, Ragged Robin and Bonnie who sussed out it was a camera.
The virtual Midmarsh Silver Star to The Weaver of Grass and Wilma who suggest it was photographic equipment. What some thought was a flash gun was in fact a microphone:

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I don't think this week's mystery photo will be as difficult. Guess What: 08

Please leave any guesses in the comments. They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday. No prizes, just for fun and maybe a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Paris 13/11/15

My thoughts are with all those affected by the murderous events in Paris.  photo graphics-candles-948505.gif  photo France.gif

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Spray Away

Local farmer spraying the latest emerging crop before the wet weather sets in:



The resistors I ordered arrived yesterday. One soldered in and battery now fully charged.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Friday at the Flicks - Of Earwigs and Sheep


Nothing special this week.

First an earwig which had found its way to one of the gravel trays in the conservatory:

A quick look at the sheep in the paddock next to the cricket field.
A blustery soundtrack. The camera was balanced on a fence post for stability:

Have a great weekend observing nature around you.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Tinkering With 'Simply HDR'

I took a few shots of a weakish Sunrise with the FujiFilm IS-1 without any filters so it would record colour and any IR it picked up. Then I used the Mac app Simply HDR to enhance the results. Each pair starts with the shot as taken by the camera followed by the modified result:









Wednesday, 11 November 2015

New Plants for Old and an Unexpected Repair Job

Now is about the time of year when my Living Stones (Lithops) start showing next year's growth:


As can be seen with the plant on the left the annual new growth appears between the two fused fleshy leaves. This is the time to back right off with watering. The new growth takes its nourishment from the old which will gradually wither away as the new ones increase in size. Normally there are just two new 'leaves' but this one has four which can happen sometimes.

Two nights ago the night temperature in the UK was a record high for November and daytime here yesterday reached 17.7C (about 64F). With the high temperature and a moderate breeze I thought it was time to cut the grass on my frontage. It just hasn't stopped growing this year so I wanted to get it done before it got too long and before the next rainy period arrived.

All went well until I had finished and plugged the mower battery in the charger - nothing. No fan, no lights, no voltage. Dead as the proverbial Dodo. Checked the fuses - both working OK.

Had a quick Google with the item reference number and as luck would have it found the probable fault, and an easy repair, on the first place I looked. ( I didn't have an exact match for the faulty part, a 180K resistor which I read is in the habit of going open circuit. I had a 150K so soldered that in as a trial and everything sprang back in to life so I have now ordered the correct value for a permanent repair.

Instead of having to fork out about £35 for a replacement Bosch charger it is costing me £1.75 for two high quality replacement resistors. One for now and a spare, just in case....

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Red Sky in the Morning .....

..... shepherds (or sailors) warning. That was true yesterday. The day started with a glorious Sunrise which I missed photographing. It was soon followed by two spells of strong winds but fortunately only one heavy downpour.

This morning the Sunrise was pleasant and I did manage a photo with the iPhone...


... as the Sun started to rise behind the village school.  Thick black clouds keep drifting over but the forecast is better than that for yesterday. At the time of writing the temperature has reached an unseasonal 16C. Normal average here would be in single figures.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Monday Mystery - Guess What


Once in a while I get to keep all my virtual Midmarsh Gold and Silver stars to myself. Last week was one of those weeks. I thought the handle on the mug, yes it was a photo of my coffee mug, would have given the game away. It seems the flower decoration on it drew your attention:

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Many thanks to those who had a go at guessing what it was.

Here's hoping this week's mystery photo causes less problems.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.
No prizes, just for fun.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Little Lost Bug

Nothing much of note going on round here recently. All the bird feeders are down for a week. Unfortunately the seed scattered by the Starlings has been attracting at least one unwelcome furry visitor. It's the time of year when they come in the village from the local fields and ditches. I tried putting some special food under the shed for it / them but this time it didn't seem to have any effect so I called in a local pest controller. He will be back after seven days to see how things are going but the feeders stay down so the choice of food is limited to what he provided.

I had set up the Fujifilm IS1 without any filters so it would capture colour video along with any IR to film any local fireworks but so far that idea has bee a washout. Only a few in the distance but enough to upset Penny. The problem with the 5th November falling near the middle of the week is the use of fireworks is spread over several nights. Hopefully the best / worst will be over tonight.

A few days ago I just noticed a green shield bug on the footpath before I stepped on it:



That's about it from a wet and windy Lincolnshire this morning.
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