Monday, 31 July 2017

Clouds - Time-lapse

I've been promising myself to get round to making another time-lapse video of the passing clouds. To give a reasonable length of time to take the stills I have to wait until we return from our mid-morning perambulation. In this day and age it would be foolish to leave expensive camera equipment unattended even in the back garden. Problem is, the clouds often evaporate during the morning as the heat from the Sun increases and I don't always have fully charged batteries ready for a lengthy session.

Anyway, today I got round tuit and set up the modified Canon 1200D. The one which sees more IR and UV than normal which is why the green trees aren't.  1000 jpg exposures later I managed, with a struggle, to convert them to a video:

The cameras I usually use tend to run out of battery soon after the 700 exposure mark but this one still had about half left even after a couple of hours taking a shot every ten seconds.  I usually shoot the clouds as they retreat. Don't know about you but I find the time-lapse approaching clouds feels more foreboding, sinister in some way.

YouTube cut off the sound at the end. I had slowly faded it after the final part of the video but YT chopped that bit off. Must remember to put a plain colour filler in next time.

I've been playing a lot with my Amateur Radio gear. Had my first confirmed contact with a station in Brazil which really made me 'well chuffed'. 6039 miles with just 25W of power using a digital mode. Nearly got my first direct contact in the USA last night. My call was received and acknowledged but the conditions deteriorated rapidly so a full two-way contact wasn't made. I've talked to American amateurs in the past but that was by sending my signal up to an amateur satellite and having in re-broadcast.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

A Handy Bug

Or to be exact, a bug on the hand.
When we went walkabout a couple of days ago a little bug decided to hitch a ride:


A closer crop:
Small Bug

A pretty little thing. Looked more colourful in real life, whatever it is.
Haven't got round to trying to identify it as yet.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Spots, Little and Large

Saturday was a day for spotting spots.
First was a Gatekeeper butterfly which obligingly settled on some pond plants for a while:


Both under and top of the wings have two little white spots in a black circle:



It was just the right weather for looking up as well as down.
Moving from the tiny to the ginormous:


As it came into view recently Sunspot AR2665, the largest seen this year, was observed to be growing rapidly. The dark centre is larger than the Earth.

A closer crop:


Gentle reminder folks: looking or pointing a camera or telescope straight at the Sun is a definite NO NO unless you are using a filter designed for that purpose. The Solar filter I use reduces the strength of the Sunlight something like 10,000 times to make it safe to point the camera at the Sun. I wrote about it here.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Nature Diary Date (UK)

In case you hadn't noticed the many BBC promotions for this new nature programme:

BBC 4  Tuesday 11th July  9.00 - 10.30 p.m..
The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn

Chris Packham explored how wildlife copes in suburban gardens through the four seasons.

Monday, 3 July 2017

A Damsel in the Garden

First male Common Blue Damselfly I've seen around the garden pond this year:




To me they always look as though they have some blue insulation tape wrapped round their tail end.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Tiny Green Beastie

Having trimmed back part of an ivy bush I was cleaning the hedge trimmer when I spotted something tiny and green crawling under the handle. It was difficult to photograph there but eventually it found its way down to the lid of the wheelie bin:



As it was no more than 10mm in length I didn't even notice the hairs until I had the macro lens really close. Those, I thought, should make it easy to identify. Wrong. I gave up after looking at well over a hundred green caterpillar photos and not one was a match.
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