In this case the Penny is my retired greyhound. This year I bought her a new reflective harness for our Winter early morning walkabouts. Here are her coat, old harness and bright orange reflective harness:
This piece of video, captured as we went out yesterday morning, shows how well it works. Though it is mainly lit by the infra red LEDs on the camera it is just as dazzling when lit by street lamps or vehicle headlights.
I have a fully reflective coat I wear on dark rainy or misty mornings. Though padded it is not quite as warm as the one I have on in the video and at least it has a couple of reflective strips.
Once again, on our mid morning walkabout yesterday, I spotted another painted stone. This time on a pile of roofing tiles next to an old outhouse being converted to a dwelling:
I may have missed others on previous walks so I have no idea how often they appear and still no idea whatsoever as to their purpose. Intriguing though. Some days ago there was a piece of scrunched up paper in the tree fork where one stone had appeared in the past. It was awful weather that day so I didn't look closely at it. Maybe if I had I might have been somewhat wiser.
It is fortunate there is a public footpath next to my garden as that gave the Green Cuts guys somewhere to drop a lot of the branches though it was still a tight space avoiding next door's fence and greenhouse. Nor was there much of a landing drop space in my garden between the fruit cage and the garden pond:
This view gives some idea of the task:
It wasn't until I had a closer look at some of the stills used to make the time-lapse I noticed that to be safe some of the cut branches had been lowered to the ground:
Some general shots of the guys at work:
Needless to say there was a veritable mountain of chippings to dispose of.
This truck ferried three loads on the first day alone:
Plenty of wood too thick for chipping, much of which some neighbours took for burning:
Originally I was going to have the stump taken down to about four feet in height but when it had reached this stage I decided I liked it as a natural sculpture to take the bareness off that corner of the garden:
So that was the end of two and a half days hard physical labour on their part.
All that remains is for me to pay the bill when it arrives.
A couple more videos today.
Most of the time I couldn't see any detailed action.
If your eyesight is sharp you may spot one of the gang from Green Cuts in the second section, would probably need to be seen full screen. It gives an idea of just how big the tree was.
In that and the following video the occasional sound of a camera shutter is from the 350D which was taking the stills which made up the time-lapse shown yesterday.
This is part of the final reduction from 60ft + down to a stump:
The gang from Green Cuts in Lincolnshire were terrific. I recommend them for the careful, stirling hard work they put in to the job and the way they cleaned up at the end of every day. You couldn't get a more cheerful, friendly gang to work for you.
There was a leylandii growing in the corner of my garden when I first moved here many, many moons ago. About twelve years ago I had it topped with about one third of its height being removed. After that it started to spread as well as finding new sections to continue its upward growth. The time had come to let some light in that part of the garden and relieve some of my anxiety when watching it wave and clatter in strong winds. To that end I contracted a local company, Green Cuts, to reduce it down to a stump.
For part one here is a time-lapse video of two and a half days hard graft:
I now have to sort out some real time video I took along with some still photos.
I had set up an old Canon 350D in the kitchen fitted with an 8GB card and connected it to a Canon mains unit which replaced the battery so I wouldn't have to worry about it running out of power. An external timer was set to take a photo every twenty seconds. The resulting 1866 photos were made, 100 at a time, into video clips using Time Lapse Assembler. This is a very simple app for the Mac though I don't know whether it will work with the latest version of OS X. Finally those video clips were put together in iMovie to produce the finished time-lapse.
Sound track is my own composition which I call Thumper.
If the video doesn't play here than this link should take you to it on YouTube:
Yesterday was practically a non day. Overcast all day, raining all morning, soggy everywhere the rest of the day. Much better start to today. Nippy at 4C when we went walkabout but clearing skies showed a rising Sun to the East and a setting Moon to the West:
Some years ago I purchased a wildlife trail camera. That was at a time when I used to have regular evening visits from bats. I was fairly sure they used to skim the pond to drink and hoped a trail camera would capture any action. It was a complete failure. What little it did capture was of poor quality so I ended up adding it to my pile of unused equipment.
I still like the idea of being able to capture photos of any night time visitors to the garden. I know there are foxes around from time to time and keep hoping hedgehogs will start visiting again. Anyway, I suddenly decided to try a more modern one and ordered a Floureon Trail camera from a seller on eBay. That arrived yesterday so after perusing the instructions - yes I do sometimes read them - I set it up temporarily on the side of the shed aimed at the wilder end of the garden:
The camera runs on 6V so can have 4 or 8 1.5V batteries depending how long it is going to be left running. Four are said to last for up to three months so it is quite economical to use. Unlike my old trail camera this one has a built in colour display so a quick check can be made on what it has captured on the SD card which is an extra purchase. The display is automatically turned off when the camera is switched to automatic operation.
This camera has three passive IR sensors. The two angled ones detect an approaching creature and prime the camera ready to take a photo when the forward facing detector notices any action. It can be set to take a single shot or 2 or 3 in succession. It takes colour during daylight (the background picture on the collage), b/w with IR LEDs at night. If wanted it will record the temperature along with the date and time on the photo.
It can also take movie clips and time lapse so I will have to experiment to see how those work out. Results are not up to my DSLR standards as the camera has a 5 mega pixel sensor which can be interpolated to 8 or 12 Mpix when saved. Still they seem reasonable as record shots of any nocturnal activity and pretty good value for £56. Probably less than half what I paid for my first one.
No problems getting the photos on to a computer. When the provided USB cable is plugged in it installs itself as a removable device on PC or Mac.