Monday, 16 September 2019

Monday Mystery

It's a long, long while since I posted a What's That? type of photo.
Here, at last, is a new one.


What was I photographing here?
Answer will be given next Monday.
Any guesses left in the comments will be hidden until then.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Weaver - Thank You

For what? Well, a few days ago The Weaver of Grass happened to mention cooking her meal in her Remoska. Remoska? I had never seen that name before so I was intrigued. I then spent that evening scouring the internet for information. First to find out what it is. An electric cooking pot with a low wattage heater in the lid.


Then to find out what people had to say about them. There seems to be a tremendous fan base and lots of recipes around to try out. I made my mind up and decided to buy a standard one. It duly arrived this afternoon.

Determined to try it out I threw together a few ingredients I fancied.

Four lamb steaks seared in shallow olive oil.

Some sliced potato and sliced carrots par-boiled

Half a chopped onion and half a sliced apple

All placed in the Remoska with a sprinkling of olive oil and some ground black pepper.

Cooked for about 15 minutes and then a stock made with an OXO lamb stock cube was added and cooking resumed for another 25 minutes. As you can probably guess, I was making it up as I went along.

Once done two dishes were served, one for me and one for the four legged boss.
IMG_0778     IMG_0779

What did Penny think of it?

I think it could have done with a bit longer cooking to tenderise the lamb more as they were quite thick steaks. Everything else was perfectly cooked. There is bound be be a learning curve with any new cooker.

It may (probably will) seem a weird mixture to some but I am limited as to my diet choices these days as I have to maintain a low potassium intake so I just put together the things I can eat safely and enjoy eating. There was too much for one meal so Penny has more cooked lamb waiting in the fridge for tomorrow.

I can see I am going to enjoy experimenting with this cooker.
Next will be a whole chicken which is waiting patiently in the fridge.

On the diet / potassium front, yesterday I spent the morning in the Nephrology department at Grimsby hospital. My first contact with a consultant. A very pleasant, patient, informative woman doctor who explained that at my age kidneys would normally be about 60% efficient but mine are down to 30%. The consultation lasted about twenty minutes and a lot of detail was discussed. After handing over the usual sample and a visit to the vampire dept to give some blood I was allowed home. An ultrasound scan is being arranged. The next meeting will be in about two months time. If the tests being made don't show up anything too nasty I will be discharged from hospital care. Also I have had some detailed information from the Dietician at Lincoln hospital. What I must avoid, what I should try to avoid and what I can tuck in to.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Common Darter

I can't remember a time when I have seen so many dragonflies. These past few days there have been dozens about. Hawkers down the end of the lane and Darters around my garden. There may well have been a lot but finding one still long enough to photograph was a different matter. This Common Darter was the only co-operative one I found.



These were crops from the original photos taken in RAW with the Canon M5.

As it was resting on a cut log at ground level I was on hands and knees trying to stealthily move round to get a head on view but it wasn't having any of that and flew away.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

A Quick Fix

A problem had arisen with the 3D printer.
The table bed was lifting away from the heater element in one corner.


That was actually causing several problems while printing. The nearer the print head was to that corner the larger the chance of the nozzle scraping on the bed. Also without a small gap between the nozzle and the bed no material was being laid down. Lastly it also meant there would be significant changes in temperature across the bed which doesn't help with initial adhesion of the PLA. It wasn't really noticeable until I started printing the front panel for my weather displays. That used nearly the full width of the bed. This problem is not unknown and a 'temporary' fix was easily implemented. Measure the thickness of the bed and heater plate when they were properly touching and design a clamp to hold them in place. That is just what I did in Tinkercad:

Screenshot 2019-09-08_09-35-56-974

Then I printed out four of them in case they were needed on all four corners of the bed.


As it happened I only needed to use two. Fitting one at the front left


caused the diagonally opposite corner to lift slightly so I put one there as well.


Job done and the next print session showed the problem was cured, for now anyway.
You may be thinking that the heat from the bed would cause the clamps to melt, or at least warp. Not so as the temperature used to melt the PLA in the nozzle is over 100 degrees hotter than the bed temperature.

Thursday, 5 September 2019


No, not yet, though the keen wind blowing today makes it feel like snowy weather.
Locally there are several gardens with Snowberry plants.  On one hedge the branches were hanging right over the footpath so I brought a bit home to photograph with the iPhone 6s:

Snowberry IMG_0762
Symphoricarpos albus  -  Common Snowberry

Though various mammals and birds eat the berries they can be poisonous to humans.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

The Wannabe Tiger

Having finally got round to mowing all the long grass at the bottom of the garden I thought it a good idea to fix the trail camera on a low post looking at that area.


The trail camera. IR night lighting at the top. Three passive infra red sensors at the bottom. (one pointing forwards and the others angled at 45 degrees). Camera in the middle.

Left it for a couple of days and discovered, though it worked, it worked too well.
The only stranger captured was this wannabe tiger strolling through:




Camera set up to take three shots in fairly quick succession every time it is triggered.

Of course you can guess who always features at some time or other:


But, there was a big problem. The branches, top left and right, waft about in the slightest breeze and keep triggering the camera during sunny daylight hours. That resulted in hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of photos with not a life form in sight and a lot of extra drain on the batteries. There is a lower setting for sensitivity but that risks missing anything of interest. For the moment it has been moved back to its original position.

I did consider a few other solutions.
1) set limits on the times it is operational.
2) use a higher pole and point the camera down more.
3) cut down the tree branches in its view.

With the first I would miss any daytime visitors.
The second wouldn't give me the profile view of visitors that I want.
I've done enough tree pruning for now. I want to keep some greenery.

Recently I made a start clearing the overgrown fruit cage.
There are more weeds and grass than anything else.
Then I can get rid of the blackcurrant bushes (not allowed to eat those any more).
Maybe plant more raspberry canes.
I stick to working outdoors before 9.30 a.m. to avoid the heat.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

The 'Guess What' was ....

A few days ago I posted this close up


which was part of


a piece of cork tree bark.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Night Visitor

Every so often I put out the Floureon trail camera to see what night life there may be about.


Until the latest session there was little of note to be seen. This time, on just one night over the couple of weeks it was operating, it captured something different. I know there are foxes about and felt sure they must visit my garden occasionally. Here at last is the proof.



and half an hour later




Since then I have cut down much of the long grass.
Pure coincidence I did that on the same day the fox visited.



I don't put the camera out very often as it uses eight AA batteries.
Batteries work in two banks of four.
I must rig up a permanent 6V supply for it.
Then I can set it to take short video clips as well as stills.
Also I will fix it lower down to have a better view of smaller creatures.
This old camera has only 5M pixels and responds in 1 second.
I see many of the latest ones have a 12 - 16M pixel camera and a response time of less than 0.5 second. Tempting - if I get more night visitors.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Looking Waspish

Hoverfly on Thistle flower

Hoverfly on Thistle DSCN9942c

Taken with Nikon Coolpix S9050

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Harvest Time

The last local field of grain being harvested on a glorious sunny afternoon.


Shot at 1920 x 1080 and 50 fps on the M5. Mainly at 150mm zoom.
Hand held in blustery conditions.
No extra processing in iMovie apart from shortening the video clips and adding a soundtrack.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Guess What ....


... this is a photograph of.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Common Darter Dragonfly

First one obliged by allowing me to get within about four feet to photograph it while it rested in the garden.




Then I found another when we went walkabout down the lane


Both times they co-operated long enough to obtain some video

A bit wobbly as all were taken hand held.
All taken with the M5 and 18-150mm lens.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

A Chance Encounter

Went looking for dragonflies down the lane and had a brief encounter with


a pair of Muntjac deer. Even with 150mm zoom they were hard to see.

Closer crop of the above photo


While watching them I only noticed one. When I saw the photo I could see there were a pair.
We were far enough away not to scare them and the wind was blowing towards us.
They slowly ambled away and disappeared from view.
Needless to say, Penny was just as interested as I was.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

I've Got a Lovely Bunch of ....

..... fungi


These should be common enough but could I find a matching picture to identify them? Nope!
They appear to be of the Psathyrella family but which I know not.
Cannot be seen in this shot is the nearly buried piece of rotting tree branch they are growing on.
I guess they are about 20mm across.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Eyeing Up the Next Meal?

A Common Darter dragonfly seems to have its eyes on the green bottle fly.


A hurried shot with the Nikon Coolpix S9050

Plant Patterns

Just a few close shots of patterns on plants in my garden






It was good practice using the M5 with 28mm macro lens in very blustery conditions.
All taken in RAW, cropped and saved as 100% JPGs in Affinity Photo.

Saturday, 17 August 2019


An afternoon look round to see what minibeasts were about.

Bee on Bramble


Woodlouse on rotting wood


Ants on the same rotting wood


A moth, possibly AgriphilaTristella


Finally a spider


as yet unidentified.
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