Monday, 31 October 2016


For those who partake, have a happy and safe Halloween.


The 'head' was fitted with two beads which contain a low dose radioactive substance which glows when illuminated with UV light. In this case each bead has an UV LED glued to the back. The 'head' was photographed and the background removed and replaced with a colour using the Mac app Super Photocut:

Screenshot (2016-10-31 8.57.45 am)

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Busy Autumn Bee

Not many bees around now that Autumn is well under way. This was the one I was watching on an Autumn Crocus when I spotted the micro moth I wrote about yesterday:



It was busily collecting pollen.
Towards the end of these video clips you can see it scraping the pollen in to its pollen sacs:

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Micro Moth

I was watching a bee busily collecting pollen from an Autumn Crocus flower when I noticed a small dark triangle move. I had a feeling it must be a moth and a bit of research showed it was a micro moth, Anthophila fabriciana known as Nettle-tap:

Micro moth - Anthophila fabriciana - Nettle-tap

Micro moth - Anthophila fabriciana - Nettle-tap

Micro moth - Anthophila fabriciana - Nettle-tap

Although descriptions say they have a 10-15 mm wingspan, presumably when in flight, as this one crept from pollen grain to pollen grain around the petals I would estimate that it was about 5-6 mm across. I also managed to take a bit of video:

These are said to be very common daytime flying moths which are active from May to October.

Background sounds include the bee I was originally watching and various whistles and clicks from nearby Starlings.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Sunrise with Crescent Moon

It was interesting yesterday morning to see a colourful Sunrise with the waning crescent Moon. As it was only 9% illuminated it was hard to get both to show in a photo:


May be difficult to spot but the Moon is near top centre.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Succulently Yellow

Nothing to do with food or eating.
A couple of my succulents have flowered for the first time, both have yellow flowers:

Faucaria Tigrina:

Faucaria Britteniae:

They are native to South Africa and grow in the propagator along with the Lithops (living stones)

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Monday, 24 October 2016

Blooming Stones

Some of my Lithops (Living Stones) plants are coming into bloom again:

Living Stones

Living Stones

The flowers normally only open while direct Sunlight reaches them. They had been trying to flower for a few days but hadn't opened even in direct Sunlight. It would appear they also need a decent daytime temperature. The ambient temperature had been fairly low with mainly overcast skies and just a few bursts of direct Sunlight. They live in a propagation tray which I leave uncovered during the Summer. I put the cover back and the temperature quickly rose and the flowers opened.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Garden Ord Spider

It has reached the time of year to move some plants from the greenhouse to the conservatory.
On one plant I spotted what I thought was a small snail but it turned out to be soft and squishy when I tried to pick it up. When it moved it became clear that it was a spider:


It had such pretty markings I took some focus stacked close shots processed using Zerene Stacker:

2016-10-22-13.47.51 ZS PMax2

Those 10 focus stacked shots were taken hand held so not every part ended up in perfect focus.
Body size about 6mm.
Heron sighting
As we started out on our morning walk about 7 a.m. yesterday I spotted a Heron fly over and swoop down in a nearby back garden where there is probably a small pond. When we returned home Penny went rushing round to the back garden. Yes, you have guessed it. The Heron was taking off from the edge of my pond. Some years ago I used to get regular early morning visits from a Heron so I will be keeping a watch to try to get a photo. Not easy as they are very wary and visits tend to be early morning when lighting is difficult for photography.

Here are a couple of photos I took in December 2009 when a Heron visited my frozen pond:

 Heron Visits the Frozen Pond

Heron Taking Off

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Sunday Sunrise

We went walkabout at just the right time to watch the Sunrise over the village:





Looks as though that was the best part of the morning as we are now back to dull rainy conditions.

Saturday, 15 October 2016


Some photos taken with the modified 350D on a walk along a narrow pubic footpath:






Each had a slightly different amount of processing to try to bring out the best.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Hardy Cyclamen

This time of year I always keep an eye open as we pass one particular bungalow.  Growing in the grass outside the fence there is a clump of hardy Cyclamen which became established some years ago:


Lovely to see the subtle colours at a time where nearly everything else is closing down for the Winter. I have tried several times to grow some at home but success has so far eluded me.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Monday, 10 October 2016

The Old Post Office - IR

The building furthest away used to be the village Post Office and general store before it closed about 8 years ago when the number of local P.O.s was reduced before selling off part of the publicly owned postal service. Without the income from the Post Office the shop was no longer viable. A great loss to the village as Denis and Marian, the husband and wife who ran the shop, are two of the most pleasant and helpful people you could wish to meet. Nothing was too much trouble for them. On top of that we also lost a meeting place where up to date local information and gossip was exchanged. How to kill off the heart of a village in one easy step. We are fortunate to have a Londis store, convenient for many items but not really a heart and soul of the village type of establishment.

Photo taken in IR with the modified 350D.
Straight from the camera:


HDR enhanced version:


Converted to grey scale:


Sunday, 9 October 2016

Sunrise - over a chimney

A very cloudy morning with just a couple of breaks at Sunrise.
This one I couldn't resist:

Sunrise Over Chimney


Saturday, 8 October 2016

Modified Canon 350D

The modified Canon 350D body I ordered from Romania arrived in double quick time. Posted in Romania on Monday and delivered here on Thursday. Some of our local mail takes longer than that. To recap, the internal manufacturer's filter which cuts out IR was changed for one which allows IR through. Then the focussing has to be recalibrated as IR light focusses at a slightly different point. Gave it a quick trial to make sure everything was working properly. As with the Fuji IS-1 the photos taken can look a little bland:


This one was processed using the Mac app Simply HDR to improve detail and contrast:


As I think the telephone wires detract I used the Inpainting Brush in Affinity Photo to remove them:


Friday, 7 October 2016

Friday at the Flicks - Bee on Ivy


The second part of the video has been slowed down to half speed.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Busy Bees

The main food source for insects here is the Ivy. It is attracting scores of bees and wasps.

Making the most of the nectar and pollen available:



Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Fuji IS-1 (Part 4) Final Batch

Up and down the lane:



The old ......


and the new:


View across the fields to the coast:


Finally one of the boss:

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