Friday, 29 June 2018

Friday at the Flicks - SloMo Spider

A bit more practice using slow motion video on the iPhone 6s:

Not an easy take trying to keep up with the spider while wasps buzzed round my head.
Final speed 25% created using the Slow Fast iOS app.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A Peek Inside the Village Church

I had to leave the car at my local garage as its air con had developed a leak and lost all the Nitrogen. (Expensive stuff to replace!) In fact it needed a replacement part as well as re-charging.  On the walk back home I followed a footpath which lead me to the back of the churchyard. As I was on my own I decided to have a quick look inside the village church. There were a couple of things I wanted to see and photograph where possible.

So I headed to the porch doors hoping they would be unlocked:


I opened the extra, fragile looking, door which is mainly wire mesh and normally kept shut to keep birds out when a main door is open. Yes. The doors were unlocked.

Once inside the porch I could see the small stained glass window on the West side:


and the inside of the porch doors:


Ahead of me was the main door to the Nave:


Unusual, I think. It is really hefty at about 4 inches thick as the inside is lined with planks of wood:


In spite of its weight it moves easily on those three large iron hinges.

Walking down to the East end I could see the screen dividing the Nave from the Chancel.


It was worth a closer examination as the panels are carved:



About half of the panels contained carved faces:

Untitled 01

Hanging above the screen is a beautifully painted carved crucifixion:


To the left is the pulpit:     To the right, the organ:

DSCN8536    DSCN8523

Walking back to the West end of the Nave lead me to the font:


On which I found one of the things I was hoping to see.
Carved in one shield on the font:


Graffiti. Not any old scribbled carving. Medieval graffiti. What looks like a W is in fact two overlapping Vs, a reference to the Virgin Mary / Virgo Virginum. A design which can be found in many churches up and down the land. Thought to have been used to keep evil spirits away from the baby being christened. I only found out about this from an article in the latest Village News.  A group called U3A Louth Church Mice had visited the church to search for and record any Medieval graffiti.

In the article they suggested a book for those interested in the subject.
Medieval Graffiti: the Lost Voices of England's Churches by Matthew Champion.
There are many places where a copy can be bought as well as an electronic version for Amazon's Kindle and an epub version from Kobo. The latter is the version I bought and am now working my way through its 263 pages. Very wordy and discusses many of the different theories about the meanings behind all sorts of Medieval church graffiti. Some illustrations. I wish there were more.

Whilst in the Nave I photographed the stained glass windows:
DSCN8533b      DSCN8522


Finally, a carved head supporting a roof timber in the porch:


As always the photos can be clicked to take you to my Flickr account where they can be viewed larger. They were all taken with the Nikon Coolpix S9050 pocket camera.

You may have noticed various non churchy items strewn about. Every Saturday there is a sale of donated items organised by a local resident. All proceeds are given to various local or national charities. The chosen charities being different each month.

Oh, yes. I said I was looking for a couple of things. The other was a plaque commemorating one of the village war dead. Unfortunately I couldn't find it. There is more Medieval graffiti to be found - another day maybe.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Not Just Sticky Leaves

I could see something different about a few new growths on my Sundew plant. As well as growing new sticky leaves, which seem to be doing a grand job in trapping the small flies which can infest compost, there are:


Flower buds? Until yesterday I had never noticed a photo of a Sundew in flower but a quick search showed they do indeed produce pretty pink flowers. Something else to look forward to.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Monday Montage

A reminder of last week's WidsMob Montage modified photo:

Montage 21

Congratulations to Adrian, Ragged Robin and Wilma who correctly identified an ...


... insect hotel.
I don't seem to have much luck with these.
Apart from the occasional ladybird they appear to be deserted.

For this week we have ...

Montage 25

... for you to identify.

If you would like to have a go at identifying what was originally photographed please leave your guess in the comments. They will be revealed, along with the original photo, next Monday.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Under a Plantpot

I had put a plantpot containing a seemingly dead orchid to one side a few days ago.
When I moved it this morning I was surprised how many minibeasts started scurrying about.
None were longer than about 1.5mm

I used the slow motion video facility on the iPhone to video this.
Action is about half speed.
The last time I used slow motion I mentioned that the start and end sections of slow motion videos were at normal speed and wondered why. Apparently that is normal so I invested in another app which allows me to slow down those sections as well.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

A Sticky End

Close views of a Sundew leaf showing all the sticky blobs waiting to trap any unsuspecting insect.
The sticky blobs surround nectar glands.  I assume those are the red bits seen in close shots.

Taken with the iPhone:

Closer views of the very sticky blobs on the end of each tentacle.
Focus stacked shots with the Canon 50D + 135mm lens + Raynox DCR-250 macro lens.

44 shots with ring light, which is reflected in every sticky ball
Sundew 1 ZS PMax

60 shots without the ring light
Sundew ZS PMax

Notice how the tentacles bend over to trap anything which lands on the leaf.
Both those sets of stacked photos were processed with Zerene Stacker.

Finally 20 focus stacked shots with Canon 50D + 200mm + Raynox MSN-202 macro lens.
 Sundew AP

This time processed with Affinity Photo as it gave a better result than Zerene Stacker.

For more information visit the Grow Sundews site.  Not an https secure site.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Monday Montage

Last week's WidsMob Montage modified photo

Montage 20

was correctly identified as


an owl garden ornament by Adrian, Ragged Robin, Wilma and The Weaver of Grass.

This week's modified photo is

Montage 21

If you can work out what I photographed please leave you guess in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the original photograph, next Monday.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

A Drop or Two of Rain

It's a good thing yesterday's short sharp shower

only lasted a few minutes as it was falling at the rate of nearly two inches an hour.

In the evening the crescent Moon was visible between the dark clouds:

Moon 16 June 2018 IMG_5040

At the same time visible to the naked eye but more difficult to photograph was Venus:

Moon and Venus IMG_5041

You may have to click on the picture to see a larger version.
Venus is the small white dot half way down on the right hand side.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Winemaking Anyone?

Local elderflower is in full bloom:

Elderflower DSCN8493

Looks very pretty in the hedgerow but a real pain in my garden. There used to be masses of it in next door's garden. That has been dug out but the hundreds of berries which kept falling my side of the fence are growing with a vengeance.

Friday, 15 June 2018

I'll Just ....

.... rest my paw on this biscuit while I have a nap:


to make sure no one can steal it without me knowing.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

In the Rockery

While I was having a weeding session in the overgrown rockery I spotted some of the wildlife sheltering there. First a large frog leapt out. Next was a daytime flying moth. Unfortunately it wouldn't settle long enough to photo or identify as it fed from the flowers on the rockery pinks. Even while it was in one place feeding its wings never stopped moving which made it difficult to make out any markings.

The find I most liked was:

Young Toad DSCN8484

A young toad.

A closer crop from the above photo:
Young Toad DSCN8484b

I sometimes see fully grown adults but this is only the second time I have seen a young one.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Rose IMG_0138_1
Unidentified Rose seen in a local front garden

Monday, 11 June 2018

Monday Montage

Here we are. Monday again. Funny how some days seem endless but weeks and months seem to fly by.
Anyway here is a reminder of last week's WidsMob Montage modified photo:

Montage 19

Which Adrian, Ragged Robin and Wilma had no difficulty in identifying as:


my polka dot kettle.

This week's montage for you to identify:

Montage 20

If you would like to make a guess please leave it in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the original photo, next Monday.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Catching Flies

Catching pesky annoying flies in the home can be done several ways.

Artificial man made catcher.
This is the one I use. No chemicals.
Just a nice attractive, to flies, yellow colour and a very sticky surface.
I have just replaced last year's one as it was well and truly covered with dead flies:

Fly Traps 2

In the past I have tried the yellow sticky sheet type catchers.
Two problems.
Trying to get the paper cover off them without sticking to the darn thing.
Worse, ending up with a sore throat from the chemical used to attract insects.
All you have to do with the Zero In is hold the plastic hook and slide it out of the box as the plastic shapes at each end prevent it from catching on the cardboard.

The natural way with plants which catch flies.
I have had a Venus Fly trap and Pitcher plant in past years but lost them to cold winters.
Now I have got round to replacing them with the addition, for the first time, of a Sundew:

Fly Traps 3

It will be interesting to see which of these works best in the conservatory.

Also tried in the past.
A UV zapper. The type you sometimes see in food shops.
The light attracts insects and a high voltage zaps them.
The almighty crack when one was zapped used to make me jump.
It didn't attract many flies.
It cost money having it plugged in to the electric supply all the time.

A hand held electric zapper. The tennis racket shaped thingy.
I'm too slow to swat the flies. Again the crack when one is zapped made me jump.
Having it handy, with a working battery was a clat.

Much better to have something you can hang up and forget about as it gets on with its designed task.
Just keep it well away from curtains which might blow on to it or heads which may brush against it.

Saturday, 9 June 2018


As regulars cannot have missed I changed my iPhone recently. Mainly to get a bit larger screen but mostly because my old one is no longer supported by Apple and the operating system and many of my favourite apps cannot be updated. One of the apps included in the new one is Health. It can be used to keep a record of all sorts of information but I only use one section, its ability to automatically monitor how far I walk each day. As the phone resides in a trouser pocket most of the time it records how many paces I make and calculates how far I have travelled. The results are shown graphically:

health 080618

Easy to spot when the four legged boss took me out for walkies.

Apparently the number of steps is measured by its built in accelerometer and the distance using GPS.
Both are also used to work out the length of my stride.

Friday, 8 June 2018

A Shaggy Parasol?

No, not a wind blown sun umbrella but these little beauties spotted in the part of the garden which was cleared of overgrown bushes late last year:

Shaggy Parasol?

Having spent a while researching they look to me to be Shaggy Parasol mushrooms.
Chlorophyllum rhacodes  See a description HERE.

Another which had fallen over:
Shaggy Parasol?

From below:
Shaggy Parasol?

Another view of the trio:

Shaggy Parasol?

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Monday, 4 June 2018

Monday Montage

A reminder of last week's WidsMob Montage modified picture:

Montage 17

Identified in various ways:


by Adrian and The Weaver of Grass, with Wilma and Ragged Robin correctly saying it is a fossil fish.

How easy will this one be?

Montage 19

If you wish to have a go at identifying what I photographed please leave your guess in the comments. They will be revealed, along with the original photo, next Monday.
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