Friday, 19 November 2021

A Talky Walk

Went for a stroll to the end of the lane and round the cricket field. I went there two days ago and there was nothing of note to photograph. This time the adjoining field was populated by a large flock of sheep. Until I got too close many were lazing in the sunlight:


Several were watching me as I grew nearer:


There were many patches of fungi appearing, starting about the size of my little finger nail:


Some appeared to be fully grown at about 15mm across:


Recently I found that the local amateur radio repeater transmitter was back in operation. (The repeater receives a transmission and the re-transmits it. The idea being that amateurs can use a low power transmitter and the repeater re-broadcasts it at a higher power) Anyway, I had dug out one of my hand held transmitters from where I had stored them several years ago, charged the battery and took it with me to see whether I could make any contacts.


As I walked back from watching the sheep I made a couple of calls through the repeater and an amateur in Boston, Lincolnshire answered and we had a 10 to 15 minute conversation by radio. An activty I've missed for many years. There was a time I used to have radio chats every day when I walked Tramp, the dog I had then, first thing in the morning.

On the return journey I spotted the sunlight shining through the leaves of a Japanese maple bush. A photograph doesn't do justice to the beautiful red glow:



All in all a satisfying walk in brilliant sunlight, even with the cold breeze across the open field.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Ladybirds in November

On a nice sunny afternoon a few days ago I ambled round to the churchyard and rested on a sunlit bench to take in some much needed fresh air. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a ladybird running around on one of the arms of the bench:


Then another appeared, but a different variety:


Then to my astonishment a third variety arrived:


In fact I saw four different types of ladybird all rushing about on the same arm. Unfortunately it was too fast for me to take a clear photo. Obviously I wasn't the only life force taking advantage of a sunny, relatively warm corner of the churchyard.

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Magpie versus Rook at the Feeders

A longish video clip today. About 4 and a half minutes. The Magpie is used to visiting my bird feeders and having them all to itself. Yesterday a Rook decided to sample the free food on offer. I was fascinated watching the Magpie patiently work out how to safely shoo the Rook away.

As with the Wood Pigeon a few days ago the main method seems to be an attack from behind.

Friday, 5 November 2021

A Day to Forget.

Tuesday routine blood test. Wednesday morning frantic calls from doctor. Potassium level dangerously high, must go to Grimsby A&E. When I said I had no access to transport an ambulance was ordered. Five hours later it arrived. Bumpy scenic route on the back roads and lanes to the hospital. Apparently it was the SatNav's idea of the quickest way. An hour after arriving I give blood samples. Initial result was borderline normal levels of Potassium. Back to waiting area. Hours later another blood sample is needed then a long wait for the results. Finally I am told the results. Potassium level was normal. Discharged and allowed home. But it is now 11.30 p.m. Too late to phone neighbour and taxi drivers apparently don't like plastic for payment. In the end the hospital orders a taxi which they pay for. The driver was brilliant. While chatting I found he belongs to a club that I used to be a member of years ago. Once home he didn't leave until he saw that I was safely indoors

The two paramedics in the ambulance were marvellous. Cheerful, efficient and reassuring. They had to perform several routine checks before I left home. BP, steady heart rate, temperature, checking I had no chest pains or feelings of dizziness, etc..

Local reports of how busy the A&E department is were observed to be true. As I felt fine, apart from being anxious that bad results might mean having to stay there a few days, I felt a bit of a fraud.

I don't think we will ever work out why the Tuesday test provided such an alarming result. I had been carefully sticking with my low Potassium diet. I have read that the way the sample is taken and handled can affect the readings as some chemicals are difficult to trace. One difference is in the timing. Locally the samples are transported later in the day to be sent to Grimsby. In the hospital the samples go to pathology immediately.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Bird Table Cam - First Results

When checking to see what has been recorded the phone app looks like this:


The orange bars show when movement was detected and recordings made. Not all clips show birds actually on the bird table but here are the best so far:

Dunnock, Robin, Starlings and Blue Tit. As I thought, the seed is well in focus but the birds are just a bit too close so end up in soft focus but still recognisable.

Monday, 1 November 2021

Bird Table Cam

I had been puzzling how to add a camera to the bird table without having to run a cable back to this room. In the end I decided to use a spare Tapo TC60 indoor wifi camera. This is the same camera I used to take the video clips inside the Hedgehog House. It only needs a 12V feed to power it. Fortunately I already had a 12V power cable nearby which used to power a camera in the Hedgehog House years ago.


Here it is once I had mounted it inside the bird table. It should keep dry under the roof.


A quick still capture after I had it all up and running.


The camera has a memory card which records any movement within its view. I can monitor the video feed using an app on my iPhone or ask Alexa to show it. The video clips can be downloaded to the phone and then transferred to the laptop. Time will tell whether the video will be in focus enough as the camera isn't designed for taking such close views of objects.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

The Reds Have Made It

A reminder that in 2018 I had a bare stump after a very learge Leylandi had been felled and I planted a couple of Virginia Creeper plants hoping for a colourful display in the future.


Last October it looked like this:


Last week I took this photo:


Lovely Autumn colours. Not only covering the whole stump but trying to take over the surrounding fence panels as well.
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