Saturday, 30 September 2017

Half a Moon

Thursday night I noticed the Moon showing clearly with a lovely pale orange colour. Needless to say by the time I had the camera set up on its sturdy tripod there was plenty of cloud about:


Try as I might with every setting I could find on the camera it refused to reproduce the true colour.

Every now and then the cloud cover cleared so I took a short piece of video.
Canon 70D with 400mm zoom lens plus 3 times digital zoom in the camera:

Taking a quick look at the Moon as we normally do it appears to be virtually stationary, only noticing it has moved after some minutes have passed. With the camera rock steady the video shows the true 'movement' as the Moon and Earth career through space. The Moon is orbiting the Earth at over 2000mph.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Memories Are Made of This

'Memories Are Made of This' says the title of a song sung by Dean Martin

It's sometimes surprising what can make a memory from years ago rise to the surface. Recently a couple of riders and their horses were trotting round the block. When we went walk-about there was the evidence in the road:


What strong memory can possibly be associated with a pile of horse dung?

One Summer near the start of the 1950s I was sent to stay with my maternal grandmother and great grandmother. A decision I liked as I generally enjoyed visiting there. The only thing I didn't take kindly to was one particular chore I had to carry out. Milk and coal, as with many other products, was delivered by horse and cart. After they had visited I would be given a hand shovel and bucket and sent out to collect the still steaming piles of horse manure. Why? Granny would transfer it to a sack which was dangling in an old oak water butt. The resulting manured water being used to feed her roses.

Oh and no. I wasn't tempted to repeat the exercise this year.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Fill Those Baskets

Not just humans gleaning an Autumn harvest from the hedgerows. Recently the Ivy around the village has been swarming with bees making the most of a final harvest of pollen, leaving with bulging pollen baskets. Some Ivy growths have so many bees visiting that the hum from their wings can be heard well before nearing the plant.





I have noticed there seem to be far fewer wasps around this Autumn. Normally by now they would also be swarming over the Ivy but I have only seen the occasional one.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017


Whenever I fold back the hasps while unlocking the garage or shed doors I never know what will be hiding there. Sometimes a moth, sometimes a spider. This time it was a weevil:

2017-09-25-22.20.01 ZS PMax2

By the time I had fetched the 50D with its macro lens I only managed three focus stacked photos before it made a dash for cover.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Tuesday Teaser

This was the modified photo I showed last week:

It was just a photo of a recently ploughed field:

Many thanks to those of you who had a go at identifying it.

I wonder what you will make of this week's teaser:

Screenshot (2017-9-25 11.12.26 am)

Any guesses in the comments please.
They will be revealed, along with the original photo, next Tuesday.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Keeping Warm? + Sunrise

Early morning - A group of Starlings clustered on one chimney stack:



Saturday, 23 September 2017

Baa Baa Black Sheep ....

Nice to see some back in the paddock at the end of the lane:





Trying to work out whether Penny is a sheep? 
Right colour but no wool or horns.

Friday, 22 September 2017

On the Turn

We are now officially in Autumn and the leaves are beginning to turn to their Autumn colours:


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Daddy - What Long Legs You Have




Crane Fly AKA Daddy-long-legs

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Only Good One is a Dead One

When we had that hail storm a while ago I thought I saw a large, unwelcome, furry visitor disappear into the greenhouse. Another sighting a few days later confirmed my identification. After leaving some choice bait in safe places there have been no more sightings apart from this stiff one I found near the bottom of the garden.


Moving that was the nearest I have been to a rat and though I knew they were large rodents I was still surprised just how big they are.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Tuesday Teaser

It seems yonks since I last had a series of 'guess what' type of posts so here is the first of a new series:

What was this a photograph of before I DeepStyled it:


Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the original photograph, next Tuesday.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Any DeepStyle

As regular visitors may remember I am always on the lookout for apps to try out. My early morning routine always includes checking for iOS amd MacOS updates to the apps I have and then making a visit to to see which others have become free downloads for a short while.

A fairly new app for the Mac is 'Any DeepStyle - Art Filters & AI Photo Editor'. New in August this year it has been on sale for up to $14.99 but at the time of writing is a free download. According to their description:

Any DeepStyle is a cool revolutionary app that combines neural networks and AI (Artificial Intelligence) to transform your photos into impressive works of art using 80+ diversified filters & styles, including Mosaic, classical, anime, comic, modern, traditional, abstract, Cartoon as well as your OWN styles. Not a single App or Photoshop plugin can be comparable to its strong capacity to turn your photos into artworks.

 Screenshot (2017-9-16 10.45.09 pm)

A few examples from a couple of hours trying it out:





Darter 2_art

Cricket Field Phone_art


Processing goes through three stages. First a quick rough preview is shown then an HD version ending with a Full HD processed picture. For me the HD version sometimes looks more pleasing than the Full HD one. It is possible to save either though the HD one is a smaller picture when saved. This is not the fastest photo processing app. A lot is going on behind the scenes but that means a longish wait sometimes when changing either of the main parameters (Intensity and Density) as the processing starts again from scratch. There are many other parameters. Some are added to various preset choices but any can be added at any time and adjustments made with those are shown in real time on the finished picture.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Yet More Admirals

This morning passing a different Ivy plant I counted fifteen Red Admirals feeding on it:

Red Admiral Butterflies

Red Admiral Butterflies

Red Admiral Butterflies

This plant is quite a distance from the one I photographed yesterday so I assume these are a different collection of Red Admirals. They seem to have a had a really good breeding season after several years when they were fairly scarce round here.

Admirals Galore

Gathering round one large growth of Ivy yesterday were over twenty Red Admiral butterflies:

Red Admiral Butterflies

Red Admiral Butterflies

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Down on t' Farm

From the end of last month:

The same field photographed yesterday, new crop growing already:


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Cloudy Weather

Seen this week and converted to b/w.
A reminder of how dramatic cloud formations could look before the advent of colour film:





The white speckles in the shadows are light reflecting from wet leaves.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Sunset with Moon


Shine On Harvest Moon
The Ink Spots
Written by Jack Norworth and Nora Bayes

Shine on, shine on harvest moon up in the sky
I ain't had no lovin' since January, February, June, or July
Snow time ain't no time to sit outdoors and spoon
Shine on, shine on harvest moon for me 'n' my gal

Friday, 8 September 2017

Going Round to America

One of the things I enjoy with my Amateur Radio activities is experimenting with simple aerials to see which works best for me. For the past week or so I have been building and experimenting with what is called a magnetic loop aerial. Something which has been on my 'round tuit' list for several years:

Magnetic Loop 01

The small black 'loop' connects to the transmitter / receiver. That picks up the signals received by the larger copper loop which is about 1 meter in diameter. Just above the copper loop is the tuning mechanism which has to be designed to handle high voltages. It might be low power being transmitted but in excess of 1000 volts can be generated at the top section. These aerials seem to need little power to send signals a fair old distance. I use just 10W which is one tenth of the full power of my transmitter and one fortieth of the power I am licenced to use. Best contact to date has been 4177 miles to a station in the US using a digital mode called FT8 on the 17m band.

With most aerials the higher up they are the better they work but the magnetic loop seems to work miracles when close to the ground.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

A Breath of Fresh Air

Bright and early yesterday we trundled off to the vets as Penny was to have her teeth cleaned, again. As in the past the vet thought he might have to extract one or more - one of the problems with having a greyhound. She didn't have her op until late in the day so initially they suggested keeping her in over night for observation.
Just before 8 p.m. I had a phone call. No extractions were needed and she had recovered so well she could go home. By this afternoon she was well and truly back to normal with just a shaved leg to show for her experience.

Getting ready for an after tea time meal doze:

I knew she was due for a 'clean up' as her breath had become very bad but today it is as sweet as anyone could ask for.  Paws looking better too as she also had a pedicure while she was there.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Itsy Bitsy Spider

After yesterday's enormous Sunflowers here is a tiny spider seen today.
Just 5mm across, including the legs.
Three focus stacked shots:

2017-09-06-17.37.35 ZS PMax 2

I wonder what the world looks like through six eyes.
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