Wednesday, 28 February 2018


It's definitely still winter.
Today's temperatures, so far:

Screenshot (2018-2-28 2.29.17 pm)

Just put out the third lot of seed for the birds.
Always a toss up who will be waiting nearby, Robin or Blackbird:


Also had to change the pot of water I put out in cold weather. It soon freezes over.

Something I don't see much these days, icicles.
These have been slowly forming during the afternoon:


Though snowfall here has been sporadic, when it has come it is like blizzard conditions.
Yesterday it nearly all melted but not today.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Beam Me Up Scotty

Mid morning a few days ago all that was visible to show there was a Sun somewhere were these weak Sunbeams:


Sunday's Sunrise looked more colourful, brightening up a cold Winter morn:


This morning we are getting a taste of things to come - light snow showers.

Sunday, 25 February 2018


The mid size Cymbidium plant has been in flower for about four weeks and seems to have reached its best colouring:


Another of the Oncidium Twinkle miniatures is also starting to flower.
These blooms are about 10mm at their widest:

2018-02-25-13.16.22 ZS PMax2

The buds on the larger Cymbidium plants are still developing.
All being well some should open about the middle of next month.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Saturday Stretcher

Last week's slit scan / stretched photo:


was a rear view of:


which Glo, Ragged Robin and Adrian correctly identifies as a remote control.
My thanks to all who had a go at guessing.

I don't think this week's puzzle photo will cause too many problems with identification:


We shall see ....
Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They wil be revealed, along with the original object, next Saturday.

For some unknown reason Glo's comment last week went in my 'spam' list and when I tried to move it to the right list Blogger decided to publish it straight away. 

Friday, 23 February 2018

Whoa. It's Not Spring Yet

I just spied one of the tiny flowers opening on the Corkscrew Hazel bush. It's a bit on the early side to say the least. The catkins haven't started to open up yet:

Corkscrew Hazel Flower

It looks like a couple of weeks ahead with temperatures hovering around 0C while the weather system brings cold air from Siberia. Snow warnings have already been issued for next Tuesday on this coast.

Monday, 19 February 2018

A Walk on the South Side

The last time we cut through the back of the churchyard I noticed some of the grass round the South side had been cut to make a path all round the church. That is the first time I have been able to get close on that side. For many years the old part of the graveyard was fenced off as sheep were allowed to graze there.  Then for a few years it just went wild with long grass and weeds.

I was able to see two old doorways which are now sealed.
One on the South side near the East end:


The other at the West end which would have opened into the base of the tower:


I was also able to get closer shots of the grotesques and gargoyles on that side:

 DSCN8160    DSCN8159

DSCN8158    DSCN8157

DSCN8156    DSCN8153


One of two stone carved crosses at the East end of the roof:


Some of the grave stones, like this one, have fallen over:


The few stone tombs are well weather worn:




A look back at the newer part of the churchyard with its Snowdrops and Winter Aconites:


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Of Moggies and Badgers

Last Friday:
Nothing of outstanding interest on the latest batch of 200+ photos taken by the trail camera at the bottom of the garden. Penny, moggies and Wood Pigeons mainly. Madam always knows what has walked where:


Greyhounds may well be known as sight hounds but she spends more time at home, and out and about, following scent trails.

The day after I wrote the above:
6 a.m. Penny needed to go out in the back garden. Once out she spent ages carefully following scent trails all over the place. A quick check of the automatic video recordings showed the badger had visited again just an hour earlier.

That should be the last Badger visit to my garden for some time to come. Much as I really like to have wildlife visiting there was too large a chance of Penny going out while a Badger was there. They can inflict bad wounds with their front claws when threatened so I must put Penny's safety first. To that end I found the only gap in the fence where one could get through and, hopefully, made it secure.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Saturday Stretcher

Last week's slit-scan / stretched photo was:


Congratulations to Wilma, Ragged Robin and Adrian who correctly identified a coffee mug:


A new one for you to identify:


If you would like to say what it is please leave your guess in the comments.
They, along with the original object, will be revealed next Saturday.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Friday at the Flicks - Blue Tits


Great to see a couple of Blue Tits tucking in to the peanuts a couple of days ago.
Soundtrack is some audio from last Summer as it was too windy for a new soundtrack.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

If At First You Don't Succeed

I saw what looks to be a brilliant idea on Glo's new blog: Glo-photo-bug
Mount a fat block horizontally instead of vertically.
Only take the cover sheet off the top of the block and leave the rest of the plastic container on.
Put it in the holder and hang up, open side down.
I had to trim off the edges of the plastic container  to get it to fit


Wait for birds which are happy hanging upside-down when feeding.
Hope that fools the Starlings and they don't / can't peck through the plastic covering!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Monday, 12 February 2018

Failed Again

I keep trying to make feeders solely for small birds.
Every time I try something new I am outwitted by:


Yes, those pesky, greedy Starlings:



Though I must admit the low Winter Sunlight did bring out their colouring.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

A Pine Cone Treat

I was looking through some of the ideas on the Instructables site when I came across an idea for making a pine cone treat for the birds. There were  few different suggestions which all used peanut butter and added seeds. The only problem I have with that idea is the use of peanut butter made for human consumption. Most varieties will have added salt which is not a good idea for bird feed so I decided to use some of the peanut butter I have which is specially made for birds:

Peanut Butter Feeder

Swings and roundabouts here - peanut butter for humans is reasonably soft and easy to smear but that made for the birds is much harder so the first job was to stand the jar in warm water to soften it up a bit:

DSCN8137    DSCN8136

Next raid my collection of cones to find a nice open one:


Now for the messy job - use a knife to wedge pieces of peanut butter well in the cone and attach a length of string to hang it up:


Finally hang it under my home made log peanut butter feeder and wait to see whether there are any takers.

Home Made Peanut Butter Feeder    DSCN8139

Why a new peanut butter feeder? Hopefully this one will be more difficult for the raiding Starlings to grab everything which is going and let the smaller birds have a chance for a high energy treat in this cold weather.

More about my peanut butter log feeder can be seen HERE.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Saturday Stretcher

I've spent a while thinking (hard work) about a new style of Guess What photos.
In the end I decided on something a bit different.
Objects rotated on a turntable while the camera, this time an iPod running the ScanCamera app, takes many thin strips. As the subject is continually rotating it tends to stretch and add different parts of the object during the few seconds it takes to build up the final photo.

Example, take a battery:


and let ScanCamera do its stuff.


Here is the first one for you to identify:


If you would like to have a guess then please leave it in the comments. It, along with a photo of the original object, will be revealed next Saturday.

Thursday, 8 February 2018


The medium size Cymbidium plant is nearly in full flower now:

Cymbidium DSCN8123

Inside the new propagator an Oncidium twinkle is blooming:

Oncidium twinkle DSCN8127

That Oncidium is a miniature.
Here are both together for comparison:

Cymbidium DSCN8131

There are two other miniatures producing buds at this time so more to look forward to along with the two large Cymbidium plants.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Badger Visitor Part 2 - Video

As the stills from the trail camera were time stamped I had a look at my 'security' camera recordings for the same period. Bingo:

Badger in the Garden?

The Floureon trail camera has been set up and running at the back end of the garden for ten days. 411 photos taken, many empty of any visible life, some of the four legged boss:

IMAG0071    IMAG0153

... quite a few of Wood Pigeons and occasionally Blackbirds:


Patiently reviewing all 400+ I spotted just 6 which had something different.
Far from clear but it looks to me as though a Badger has visited:
(At the top of the photo)



I never in my wildest dreams expected to see a badger in my garden
Time to start putting out some piles of peanuts at night to entice it closer to the camera?
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